Ukrainian cities still under fire – The night at a glance

Updated 4/21/2022 06:21

  • Russian troops continue bombing cities in Ukraine.
  • It is unclear whether this is actually the planned big offensive in the Donbass.
  • Below is an overview of what happened during the night and a look at the day.

You can find more news about the war in Ukraine here

Russian troops advance into Ukraine, but the feared great offensive could still come. There were reports of Russian bombing from several Ukrainian cities on Thursday night. The Russians have been attacking along the entire front in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions since Tuesday, Ukrainian Security Council secretary Oleksiy Danilov said in a radio interview. However, these are probably just “test attacks”.

However, according to Ukrainian sources, most of Luhansk is already under Russian control. According to the leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya, the Azovstal steelworks in the besieged port city of Mariupol will also fall to the Russians on Thursday.

After lengthy calls for heavier and heavier weapons, the Ukrainian president now sees greater understanding from partner countries. Now they understand what weapons Ukraine needs, if possible now, Volodymyr Zelenskii said in his video message every Thursday night. Germany too had long been accused of hesitation.

Last ultimatum for the people in Mariupol?

According to Russian information, about 2,500 Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries are still in the Azovstal steel mills. According to Ukrainian reports, around 1,000 civilians are said to have sought protection there. “Today before or after lunch, Azovstal will be completely under the control of the Russian armed forces,” Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, whose units are fighting in Ukraine, said Thursday evening. The Ukrainian fighters who remained in the steel mills could still surrender in the morning. If they do, it is certain that the Russian leadership will make “the right decision”.

During the talks with Russia on Wednesday evening, two representatives of the Ukrainian delegation declared their readiness to come to Mariupol to negotiate the evacuation of militants and civilians from the steel mills. The commander of the remaining marines had previously requested the evacuation of his fighters to a third country. According to Ukrainian sources, the rescue of civilians failed again on Wednesday.

Read also: All up-to-date information on the war in Ukraine in the live ticker

Luhansk largely under Russian control

After the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the town of Krimenna, Russian units now controlled 80 percent of the Luhansk region, the region’s governor Serhiy Hajday announced Wednesday evening on Telegram. The cities of Rubishne and Popasna in Luhansk are now “partially” under Russian control. There has been an intense struggle over this for weeks. Here, too, the bombings have increased. At the start of the Russian war of aggression about eight weeks ago, the separatists of the Luhansk “People’s Republic” still had about 30 percent of the region under their control.

Uncertainty about the start of the great Russian offensive

However, it was unclear whether the expected major Russian offensive had already begun with fighting in the east of the country. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had already declared on Monday evening that “the battle for the Donbass” had begun. However, according to the secretary of his Security Council, this is still not the case. But it is only a matter of time. The US Department of Defense also said on Tuesday that it saw the latest Russian attacks only as a sign of a major offensive by Moscow. The secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine has warned against thinking that the fight for Donbass will be the last battle. “I wouldn’t be so optimistic, there could be a lot of different things ahead of us,” said Danilov.

Other mass graves in front of Kiev

Meanwhile, two more mass graves have been discovered in the Kiev suburb of Borodyanka, according to Ukrainian sources. It contained a total of nine bodies of civilians, men and women, Andriy Nebitov of the police in the capital region said on Facebook Thursday evening. Some of them showed signs of torture. Borodyanka is one of the most badly damaged cities in the capital region. Atrocities have been reported from the city by Russian units which have since withdrawn. The information cannot be independently verified.

Zelenskii: The partners understand the need for weapons

After days of urgent demands for heavier and heavier weapons, Zelenskyy sees greater understanding among Ukraine’s partner countries. He can say with “cautious optimism” that the Kiev partners “have become more aware of our needs,” Zelensky said in his video message every Thursday night.

Germany, especially Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), had been accused for days of hesitation in providing heavy weapons. Scholz then presented the further strategy on Tuesday evening: based on this, the federal government finances direct arms deliveries from industry to Ukraine.

Since the start of the war, the country has received 2,500 anti-aircraft missiles from Germany, 900 Panzerfausts with 3,000 bullets, 100 machine guns and 15 Bunkerfausts with 50 rockets. In addition, the German news agency learned from Ukrainian government circles 100,000 hand grenades, 2,000 mines, about 5,300 explosive charges and over 16 million bullets of various pistol calibers. Heavy weapons such as tanks or artillery are not on the list.

It will be important on Thursday

US President Joe Biden wants to comment on Russia and Ukraine. Meanwhile, in Estonia, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is consulting with the political leadership of the Baltic state on the consequences of the Russian aggressive war against Ukraine. In Tallinn, Baerbock talks with her colleague Eva-Maria Liimets and a meeting with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas are planned. On the same day, an international meeting in support of Ukraine will be held in Washington with the participation of the head of the World Bank David Malpass and the head of the IMF Georgieva.
© dpa

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