Ukraine Daily Summary - Thursday, April 20

Russia possibly preparing to sabotage wind turbines, gas pipes, power cables in Nordic countries -- Defense Ministry says complex measures of counteroffensive underway in the east -- Ukraine’s agricultural sector has suffered more than $8 billion from war damage -- Patriot systems from US, Netherlands already in Ukraine -- Russian propaganda entrenched in eastern Ukraine -- and more

Thursday, April 20

Russia’s war against Ukraine

a group of people standing next to a wrecked car

People and workers look at a residential building being demolished following heavy damage during Russia’s attack last year, on April 19, 2023, in Irpin, a town outside of Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo: Roman Pilipey/Getty Images)

Ukraine’s agricultural sector has suffered more than $8 billion from war damage. The damages to Ukraine’s agricultural sector and land resources have cost $8.7 billion since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, according to a report from the Kyiv School of Economics.

Ukraine serves 5 individuals in Luhansk Oblast suspicion notices for allegedly spreading propaganda in schools. Ukraine’s Prosecutor General served five individuals in Luhansk Oblast notices of suspicion for allegedly spreading Russian propaganda in educational institutions, according to a press release published on its website.

State Bureau of Investigation opens case into officer allegedly beating serviceman in Volyn Oblast. Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has reported launching an investigation into a recent serviceman’s beating in Volyn Oblast’s city of Volodymyr.

Commander on Bakhmut: ‘Dynamic’ fighting continues, city still stands. Russia is concentrating “the largest number of forces” in Donetsk Oblast’s Bakhmut, but Ukrainian defenders “hold back the enemy onslaught,” Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine’s Land Forces, said on April 19.

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Ukrenergo, ENTSO-E increase capacity for Ukraine, Moldova to import electricity. Ukraine’s Ukrenergo grid operator and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) have increased Ukraine and Moldova’s capacity to import electricity from Europe, Ukrenergo on Facebook on April 18.

Ukraine recalls ambassador to Belarus over Lukashenko’s meeting with Russian proxy leader. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry recalled its ambassador to Minsk following Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s meeting with the leader of Russia’s proxy administration in occupied Donetsk Oblast.

Zelensky visits Volyn Oblast to discuss socio-economic, security situations. President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Volyn Oblast in northwest Ukraine to discuss the socio-economic and security situations there, the President’s Office reported on April 19.

New York Times: Russian propaganda entrenched in eastern Ukraine. Many residents in Ukrainian towns on the frontline still believe Russian propaganda about the war, according to a New York Times article.

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Ukraine war latest: Defense Ministry says ’complex measures’ of counteroffensive ‘underway’ in the east.

The planned counteroffensive “involves a vast and complex set of actions and measures” conducted by Ukraine’s military, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said on national television.

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

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Human cost of Russia’s war

Russian attack on Kharkiv Oblast kills 2 people. Two people were killed by a Russian air strike launched on the city of Vovchansk on April 18, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported the next day. According to Syniehubov, the bodies of a 50-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman were found in the rubble by search and rescue workers.

International response

Bulgaria temporarily bans import of Ukrainian agricultural products. Bulgaria has temporarily blocked imports of Ukrainian grain and over 20 other food products to protect the local market, the country’s acting Agriculture Minister Yavor Gechev said on April 19, as cited by national radio.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba visits Kuwait, discusses reconstruction. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba visited the Gulf Arab state of Kuwait on April 18 to discuss reconstruction projects and post-war development in Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry website.

Reuters: South Korea could provide military aid to Ukraine under certain circumstances. South Korea could provide more than humanitarian and financial aid to Ukraine in the case “there is a situation the international community cannot condone,” President Yoon Suk Yeol told Reuters in an interview published on April 19.

FT: Ukraine likely to ask for more air defense missiles at upcoming Ramstein summit. Ukraine is likely to make an urgent plea to western allies for more air defense missiles at the upcoming Ramstein Summit on April 21, the Financial Times reported on April 19.

US announces new military aid package for Ukraine. The U.S. Department of Defense announced an additional security assistance package for Ukraine worth $325 million on April 19. The package includes more ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 155mm and 105mm artillery shells, anti-armor weapon systems, anti-tank mines, and more than nine million rounds of small arms ammunition.

Official: Patriot systems from US, Netherlands already in Ukraine. Patriot air defense systems pledged by the U.S. and the Netherlands have arrived in Ukraine, First Deputy Minister of Defense Oleksandr Pavliuk said on April 19.

Cyprus to set up national sanctions implementation unit. The Cypriot government on April 19 announced that it will set up a national sanctions implementation unit, according to a Cyprus Mail report.

In other news

US announces new charges against 4 Americans, 3 Russians for ‘malign influence campaign.’ The U.S. Justice Department announced additional charges on April 18 against four Americans and three Russians for partaking in a “multi-year campaign of harmful foreign influence in the United States” allegedly to further Russian interests.

Media: Russia possibly preparing to sabotage wind turbines, gas pipes, power cables in Nordic countries. Russia may be preparing to sabotage wind farms, gas pipelines, and power and internet cables in the waters around Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Sweden, Danish media outlet DR Nyheder reported on April 19.

NYT: ‘Surge’ in electronic components sent to Russia via Armenia, Kazakhstan. According to the New York Times, senior tax and trade officials from the U.S. and the European Union noticed a “surge” in chips and other electronic components sent to Russia that were “deemed as critical to the development of weapons, including Russian cruise missiles that have struck Ukraine.”

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