#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Bachmut blocked by Russians in north and south. Patriots arrive in Ukraine: Kiev tries to break through the front at Zaporizhzhia


“The coming weeks and months will be crucial for Ukraine, the United States will try to provide Kiev with what it needs,” says the White House, which has already sent Patriot air defence systems along with the Netherlands and Germany to Ukraine, the country’s Deputy Defence Minister Oleksandr Pavlyuk reported. The second of the four IRIS-T air defence systems promised to Kiev has also arrived in Ukraine, Spiegel reports, citing its sources in the relevant ministries.

Volodymyr Zelensky said he had visited Ukraine’s border with Belarus and Poland. “It is an honour for me to be here today, to thank our border guards for protecting the state border. For protecting our state in Bachmut (Artemovsk). I know how firmly you stood there, you held Bachmut,’ Zelensky said. He added that he was proud of the border guards and wanted them to maintain ‘power, justice and anger’.

On the subject of the Pentagon leak, it is reported that the judge cancelled the 19 April hearing on a preventive measure for the American Teixeira accused of publishing classified Pentagon documents. Meanwhile, Jens Stoltenberg says in an interview with CNN that a number of secret Pentagon documents leaked on the Internet are not true. “We have all seen that some of these leaks are fake and manipulated. I don’t think they will influence what NATO allies are doing about Ukraine,’ he said.

Ukrainian authorities are summoning their ambassador to Belarus Igor Kizim for consultations because of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s meeting with the acting head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin, reports the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry website. Also Kiev on Friday at a meeting of the contact group on military assistance will ask the West for urgent deliveries of anti-aircraft missiles, source Financial Times

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Macron’s plan to resolve the Ukrainian crisis said: “China supports the European side in trying to promote peace talks.”

South Korea for the first time admitted the possibility of military assistance to Ukraine, Reuters reports. As President Yoon Seok-yeol stated, ‘this will happen if the country is likely to suffer large-scale attacks on civilians or face a serious violation of the laws of war. In this case, Seoul will go beyond mere humanitarian and financial support,’ said the South Korean president.

Commenting on South Korea’s claims of a possible arms cession to Ukraine, Dmitry Medvedev, Vice-President of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, said: ‘I wonder what the people of this country will say when they see the latest samples of Russian arms from their nearest neighbours, our partners in the DPRK? What is called quid pro quo … (quid pro quo)’. DPRK means North Korea.

Russian sources report that the Russian businessman, son of the governor of the Krasnoyarsk territory Alexander Uss, Artem is no longer listed on the wanted list of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Interfax reports. Of a different opinion is TASS, which states the opposite: ‘Uss Jr. is still in the database’.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu checked that one of the regiments of the strategic missile forces in the Kaluga region was in operational readiness. The commander-in-chief, General Karakaev, reported to the Minister on the progress of rearmament at the Yars complexes. And still on military matters, we learn from the press service of the Black Sea Fleet that the crew of the diesel-electric submarine Stary Oskol in the Black Sea simulated missile attacks.

During the night, Russian bombardment resumed in Odessa: a fire broke out. Non. The other three bombings have been reported from official sources. Local residents report that, according to preliminary information, there are arrivals in the area of the Shkolny airport, where a large number of military equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is located. Local authorities are urging residents not to ignore the air alert.

Explosions thundered in the early morning hours in Kramatorsk and Druzhkovka, allegedly, Russian missiles hit the location of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In the same areas, but at night, explosions were heard in the industrial zone. According to some reports, Russian missiles hit another Ukrainian military position.

Also during the early hours of the morning, the Ukrainians shelled the centre of Nova Kakhovka with mortar shells, one shell fell on a residential building, there were wounded, Volodymyr Saldo, acting governor of the Kherson region, reported. According to him, the fire is ongoing in the centre, residential areas and an ambulance station. “There are injured people. Despite the danger, rescuers and part of the medical teams are at work and have gone to the scene to assist the victims,” Saldo said. At the time of writing there is one dead and one seriously injured.

Ka-52 attack helicopters destroyed a hangar with equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the direction of Zaporozhzhia. Also, in the direction of Zaporizhzhia, military personnel of the Vostok group of forces destroyed the Ukrainian guard in the Novodanilovka area, eliminating over 10 military personnel. And in the Novoandreevka area, attacks were carried out on the ammunition depot of the Kiev formations.

In the south-Donetsk direction, units of the Russian Armed Forces repelled an attempt to conduct a reconnaissance in force. A reconnaissance group of Ukrainian militants was also destroyed. Motorised rifle units liquidated more than 20 Ukrainian units.

The Specnaz continue to ‘wear down’ the Ukrainian military with ambushes in Vuhledar while the Russian army constantly strikes the positions of the Ukrainian armed forces with ‘Grad’. Meanwhile, the Ukrainians continuously try to break through the Russian defences in the direction of Zaporozhzhia. So far they have been unsuccessful.

According to social sources, ‘the Ukrainian defence is rapidly degrading: the units of the Ukrainian armed forces must surrender to Bachmut or be buried inside it. The Wagner assault groups launched an attack on the northern sector of the remaining Ukrainian-held part of Artemovsk (Bachmut). The Wagner’s successful door-to-door combing in the central part of the city continued. The advance of the Russian units along Levanevsky Street from the north is noted. On the streets of Gleb Slobodin and Dachnaya the fighting continues, the Ukrainian military are trying with all their might to hold back the advance of the ‘musicians’. In the south-west of the city, the Russian fighters managed to expand their zone of control in the area of the railway. In the vicinity of the city, the suppression of fire by the Ukrainian armed forces continues in the villages of Krasnoye (Ivanovskoye), Artemovskoye (Khromovo) and Bogdanovka’.

Video footage has also emerged showing soldiers blowing up skyscrapers in the city. Apparently, they are preparing to leave their positions. The blowing up of skyscrapers by the Ukrainian Armed Forces is necessary to cover their backs, preventing the possibility of shooting at them during the retreat.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, airborne units blocked Bachmut from the northern and southern periphery.

And now a look at the entire front line at 00:01 on 19 April.

Bryansk Region: The Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the border village of Kurkovichi, Starodub district: a residential building was damaged, there were no civilian casualties.

In the Starobilsk Direction the situation at the front has not changed significantly: the sides are conducting mutual reconnaissance and artillery clashes.

In the Soledar direction, on the northern outskirts of Bachmut, the fighters of the PMC ‘Wagner’, after occupying the former building of the city hospital No. 2, started to storm the Ukrainian fortifications on Tolbukhin Street. In the central part of the city, the “Wagnerites” overran the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of the railway exchange and advanced along Kraynaya Street: fighting for the building of the Garage Cooperative is ongoing. On the southern periphery, the Ukrainians continue to hold a strategically important defence centre on the outskirts of the Bachmut-Konstantinovka highway at the cost of high human losses.

Donetsk direction: In the Avdiivsky area, Russian troops continue to fight west of Novobakhmutovka. In the south, Russian artillery launches targeted attacks on the strongholds of the Ukrainian armed forces north of Vodiane. Russian units continue to conduct position battles in the area of Druzhby Avenue in Marinka. Artillery and tanks provide fire support to the advancing forces. In the Vuhledar sector, the Ukrainian command, after a failed attack, transferred additional forces to the front line. Along the entire front line, the Ukrainian armed forces use small UAVs to search firing positions of the Russian armed forces. Ukrainian formations continue shelling the Donetsk agglomeration: residential buildings were hit in the DPR capital, three people were killed, another man was wounded.

Zaporozhzhia direction: in the Orekhovsky sector, the Ukrainian army is moving additional units and military equipment to the front line, and is also spreading false information about the alleged offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Lobkove and Rabotino.

Southern Front. Cherson direction: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin visited the Kherson region and the LPR, where he spoke with Russian troop commanders and supported military personnel taking part in the hostilities. Russian troops attacked Ukrainian armed forces facilities in and around Kherson, while Ukrainians fired on settlements on the left bank of the Dnieper.

In the Kup’yans’k sector, Russian aerospace forces launched air strikes on Ukrainian positions in the Masyutovka area. Precision-guided munitions based on FAB-500 aerial bombs were again used to destroy Ukrainian deployment sites.

Russian ‘Geran-2′ drones attacked military facilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Slovyansk. The Ukrainian units’ deployment point, located in the technical school of energy construction, was hit.

Graziella Giangiulio

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