#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Kuleba: F-16s to Ukraine will deter Russia changing military leadership. At the front “Wagner” cuts Ukrainian supplies to Bachmut


Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba stated that the Ukrainian army’s spring counter-offensive will take place and will allow the entire territory of the country to be “liberated”. “There will be a spring offensive by Ukraine, but I will not tell you when. Because I don’t want to make life easier for Russian intelligence. We are preparing, we are preparing our armed forces, the only goal of this counter-offensive will be the liberation of Ukrainian territory, that is, the return of what belongs to us,” he said in an interview with Italian TV channel Sky Tg24. According to Kuleba, the Kiev authorities will speed up preparations in terms of military equipment, ammunition and weapons, ‘so that this counter-offensive will be effective’.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Kuleba also says that the supply of American F-16 fighter planes to Kiev will not cause Russia to escalate the conflict. “The supply of F-16 fighter planes to Ukraine will deter Russia rather than ‘provoke’ it. The time has come to take this step,” the diplomat said.

Advisor to Vladimir Zelensky’s chief of staff, Mikhail Podolyak, said that US policy, along with a number of Western countries forcing Kiev to abandon nuclear weapons, led to the current conflict in Ukraine. “Unfortunately, the US, together with a number of Western countries, pushed Ukraine to give up nuclear and other weapons in order to ensure guaranteed security and stability in the region. This mistaken policy was misinterpreted by the aggressor and led to a major war in Europe,” Podolyak said.

Acting head of the DPR Denis Pushilin in response to Kuleba said, “I doubt that Kiev’s counteroffensive will be in early May, but it will definitely be there.”

The president of the ‘We are with Russia’ movement Vladimir Rogov announced a possible attempt to attack the Ukrainian armed forces in the south on the eve of 9 May. Kiev might try to mount an offensive in the direction of Zaporozhzhia a few days before Victory Day to divert attention from the situation in Bachmut.

It is reported that over the weekend Russia and Ukraine exchanged prisoners. For the Russians the war is over, for the Ukrainians it is not. After their stay they will return to the front. 44 Ukrainian militants were returned to the Ukrainian side: ‘Among them are 36 soldiers and sergeants and 6 officers. These are soldiers, border guards, national guardsmen, sailors,’ Yermak wrote. According to the Russian Defence Ministry: “As a result of the negotiation process, 40 Russian soldiers, whose lives were in danger while in captivity, were repatriated from the territory controlled by the Kiev regime.”

The correspondent of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica Corrado Zunino and his Ukrainian assistant Bohdan Bitik were targeted by Russian snipers on the outskirts of Kherson, the Italian was wounded in the shoulder, the Ukrainian died, remember that the front line at Kherson is frontline and is one of those areas from which the Russians expect a counter-offensive.

Fragments of an air-to-ground missile were found in Poland, according to the local newspaper RMF24. The Polish Ministry of Defence said that the situation does not threaten the safety of local residents. Media reports state that there are inscriptions in Russian on the wreckage, the rocket warhead is missing.

From the perspective of EU policy, ‘Ukraine has fulfilled all seven recommendations of the European Commission for the EU candidate country and expects an interim report from the European authorities by the end of spring,’ Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said.

A senior diplomat from the US Embassy was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday and handed over a note of protest. The Russian Federation rejected the US embassy’s request for a consular visit by journalist Gershkovich on 11 May.

NATO claims that Ukraine will receive western weapons to carry out the counteroffensive in time, the words are from the Commander of NATO Allied Forces in Europe, General Christopher Cavoli. The Pentagon said that Kiev has received almost all the tanks and armoured vehicles promised by Western countries.

Despite this, there seems to be no agreement on ammunition. The EU countries once again disagree on joint purchases of ammunition for Ukraine, according to the Polish radio station RMF FM: ‘The supply of ammunition from the EU to Ukraine is causing more and more embarrassment,’ a European diplomat said anonymously.

In Russia, General Mikhail Mizintsev has been removed as Deputy Defence Minister of the Russian Federation, reports VGTRK military correspondent Alexander Sladkov. RVNP sources confirm the dismissal of Mizintsev, who is in charge of logistics and previously headed the National Defence Management Centre of the Russian Federation.

According to Sladkov: ‘The deputy head of the main operational directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Stanislav Gadzhimagomedov is to be appointed head of the National Defence Control Centre in place of General Oleg Gorshenin. The head of the 8th General Staff Directorate (Protection of State Secrets) Yuri Kuznetsov is moving to the position of head of the Russian Defence Ministry’s Main Staff Directorate. Aleksey Kuzmenkov, Deputy Chief of the Russian Guard, has been transferred to the post of Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation for Logistics in place of Mikhail Mizintsev’.

“General Mizintsev, who was appointed to the post after Bulgakov, was removed as Deputy Defence Minister for Logistics. In exactly the same way, General Gorshenin, who, instead of Mizintsev, rose to the position of head of the National Defence Control Centre, appeared to have been removed from his post. The exact reasons are not yet clear, just as it is not clear whether it is removal from office, removal or transfer to a new duty station,’ he later said.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmtrij Peskov did not comment on the news about the resignation of Deputy Defence Minister Mizintsev

On the front line sources report that PMC ‘Wagner’ fighters have taken the most important intersection of Yubileynaya and Chaikovsky streets in the western part of Bachmut. These roads are a continuation of transport arteries, one in Khromovo, the other in Ivanovskoye. Thus, after occupying the crossroads, the Wagner units cut the remnants of the Ukrainian group in Bachmut in two. This means that the supply of Ukrainian fighters will become much more complicated. Although the Wagner continues to take small slices of Bachmut the offensive has slowed by 60% due to snipers on the rooftops. The advance is now 4% compared to 10% last week.

Aerial overflights of western aircraft over Crimea continue. The American RER RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft flew over the latitude of Sevastopol.

The Ukrainian armed forces attempted to attack the Kursk nuclear power plant, the attack was repelled by the Russian air defence. According to a social channel, the air defence system in the area of the largest nuclear power plant in the region exploded at around 23:00 on 26 April. At the same time, an alarm went off throughout the Bryansk region. According to as yet unconfirmed information, the attack was carried out using a UAV. Which were launched from the territory of the Sumy region in Ukraine. The drones flew at low altitude, but were nevertheless detected and shot down by air defence systems. There were no casualties or damage.

On the afternoon of 27 April Boris Rozhin published a video from the time of the attack on the Nikolaev airport. We are most likely talking about Kulbakino in the south-west of the city. Since the beginning of the NWO, the airport has functioned in a limited manner due to its proximity to the front. However, after the occupation of Kherson by Ukrainian forces, the infrastructure of the base started to be actively used again. Since autumn last year, a point for repairing, storing and flashing drones as well as a warehouse with fuel and ammunition has been organised on the territory of Kulbakino. From there, the Ukrainian armed forces periodically launched the Mugin-5 UAV. The airfield also housed foreign instructors and advisors. In particular, operations and sorties in the Kherson region were supervised by Canadian specialists. The Russian attack was aimed at destroying the airfield.

Still on the subject of battles from the sky, a video showing the destruction of an M777 of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near Orekhovo caused a stir. The video becomes important because the howitzer of American origin was located north of the city of Orekhov in the direction of Zaporozhzhia from where the Ukrainian counter-offensive is expected (which will also include attacks from Kherson and the left bank of the Dnpr). Among the Russian priority objectives is in fact the destruction of the Ukrainian artillery. Its successful implementation seriously reduces the combat potential of the Ukrainian formations.

The Ukrainian formations continue shelling border settlements in the Belgorod region.

In the morning in Melitopol, an improvised explosive device exploded at the entrance of an apartment building. As a result of the explosion, the head of the Priazovsky police department, Alexander Mishchenko, was killed and another police officer was injured.

Aerial attack on the headquarters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Nevsky. Yesterday, a video surfaced on the web of the Russian Armed Forces’ strike on the headquarters of the Ukrainian formations in the Kremennaya area. Judging from the footage, it was in a private house in Nevsky village near the administrative border with the DPR. A large crater was formed at the site. Presumably, the field checkpoint was destroyed by an aerial bomb with a planning and correction kit (UMPC), which the Russian Air Force has often used recently.

We close with a summary of the bombardment up to 08:00 on 27 April.

Ukrainian formations shelled the village of Klimovo in the Bryansk region: the power supply was cut off in the village for several hours. Civilians were not injured.

Russian troops struck positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Karpovichi, Yanzhulevka and Galaganivka, Chernihiv region, as well as in Znob-Trubchevskaya, Chernatsky and Bachevsk, Sumy region.

In the Kharkiv region, the Russian Armed Forces attacked enemy targets in Guryev Kazachka and Novomlynsk.

In the Starobilsk direction, Russian troops struck Ukrainian personnel and equipment of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in Kislovka, Berestovo and Terny.

In the Bachmut direction, Russian missile and artillery forces hit Ukrainian units’ concentration sites in Bachmut, Krasny and Chasovoy Yar.

In the direction of Donetsk, Russian forces attacked Ukrainian positions in Nevelskoye, Krasnogorovka and the outskirts of Maryinka. In turn, Ukrainian artillery formations fired at residential buildings in Donetsk, Mineralny and Yasinovataya.

In the Yuzhnodonetsk direction, Russian troops worked on targets in Novomikhailovka, Vugledar and Prechistovka. In the Zaporozhzhia region, Russian Forces attacked Ukrainian positions in Gulyaipole, Novoandreevka and Kamenskoe.

On the southern sector of the front, the Russian Armed Forces struck the concentration sites of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Berislav, Kazatsky and Tokarevka, in the Kherson region, and also worked on targets in Nikolaev.

On the night of 27 April, Ukrainian formations attacked civilian infrastructure in Nova Kakhovka and Kardashynka.

Graziella Giangiulio

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