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Russian forces are operating at a decreased rate and its offensive in Ukraine is reaching “culmination”, according to an assessment from the Institute for the Study of War.
Military sources have contributed to the analysis which indicates that Vladimir Putin’s forces in the country are now focused more on distracting and dispersing the Ukrainian army.
Council of Reservists of the Ukrainian Ground Forces Head Ivan Tymochko has said that “Russian forces are not making serious advances anywhere on the frontline” and that attacks have slowed down.
It comes as a 50-year-old man and his 11-year-old daughter were killed after Russian forces struck a residential building in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia early on Sunday, authorities said.
Ukraine‘s State Emergency service also reported that a 46-year-old woman, who it described as the wife and mother of the victims, was pulled from the wreckage.
City council secretary Anatoliy Kurtev said two missiles had destroyed one building and damaged dozens of others during the overnight strike.
US department of justice starts investigation into crucial leak
The US Department of Justice has started an investigation to check the source behind the leak of significant US intelligence documents shared on social media platforms like Twitter, Discord and Telegram among others in recent weeks.
It will also investigate if the documents were altered.
These documents have been labelled secret and resemble routine updates that the US military’s joint staff would produce daily but not distribute publicly.
They are dated ranging from 23 February to 1 March, and provide what appears to be details on the progress of weapons and equipment going into Ukraine with more precise timelines and amounts than the US generally provides publicly.
The US officials have said that this leak is being taken seriously as they look to probe and work toward a more formal assessment of what is in the documents and how they were leaked.
Arpan Rai10 April 2023 05:54
Russia trying to take Bakhmut fortress ‘at any cost’ as heaviest fight rages
The heaviest fighting was seen along the western approaches leading to Bakhmut, the general staff of Ukraine’s armed forces has said.
“The enemy is trying to take our city-fortress at any cost,” Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s eastern military command, said.
He added: “Although it is extremely difficult, we are still in control of the situation. Our units are holding back the enemy and inflicting a maximum of damage.”
Volodymyr Zelensky and his military have said that the Ukrainian forces will keep defending Bakhmut against repeated Russian attacks, though Mr Zelensky last week acknowledged that if troops risked being encircled they could be pulled back.
Bakhmut has been the setting for the longest single battle of the Ukraine war so far, and has been besieged by Russian forces for many months.
Arpan Rai10 April 2023 05:27
Russia fired 40 airstrikes overnight, says Ukraine
Between Saturday and Sunday mornings, Russian forces launched 40 airstrikes, four missile strikes and 58 attacks from multiple-rocket launchers on various parts of Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces reported.
According to the General Staff, Russia focused attacks on the Donetsk province communities of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka.
Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Sunday morning that two civilians were wounded on Saturday.
Officials in Kherson province, where Ukrainian forces forced a partial Russian retreat in November, said the southern region also received numerous attacks. They did not report any casualties.
Liam James10 April 2023 05:00
Russia carrying out cultural genocide in occupied Ukraine, systematic religious persecution – ISW
Russian occupation authorities are likely conducting a campaign of systematic religious persecution in occupied Ukraine, the Institute for the Study of War has said in its special assessment.
It added that Russian religious persecutions are likely also part of an ongoing Russian cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing campaign by Vladimir Putin’s forces looking to “extirpate the idea of an independent Ukrainian nationality or Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
“Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February last year Russian soldiers or occupation authorities have reportedly committed at least 76 acts of religious persecution in Ukraine,” the US-based think-tank monitoring the war said.
It added: “Russian authorities have closed, nationalised, or forcefully converted at least 26 places of worship to the Kremlin-controlled Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, killed or seized at least 29 clergy or religious leaders, and looted, desecrated, or deliberately destroyed at least 13 places of worship in occupied Ukraine.”
These cases of religious repression are likely not isolated incidents but rather part of a deliberate campaign to systematically eradicate “undesirable” religious organisations in Ukraine and promote the Moscow Patriarchate, the ISW said.
Arpan Rai10 April 2023 04:57
Ukraine has altered military plans after leak – CNN
A source close to Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Ukraine has already altered some of its military plans after a large leak of classified documents, reported CNN.
The documents also show the degree to which the US has penetrated the Russian defence ministry and its proxy mercenary Wagner Group, mostly through intercepted communications and human sources, while also likely raising their chances of being cut off.
Among the leaks was information on key weaknesses in Ukraine’s weaponry, air defence, and battalion sizes and readiness at a crucial point in the war as Ukraine seeks to turn the corner with its spring offensive.
Arpan Rai10 April 2023 04:01
South Korea to raise classified doc leak with US
South Korea is aware of news reports about a leak of several classified U.S. military documents and it plans to discuss “issues raised” as a result of the leak with the United States, a South Korean presidential official said on Sunday.
Several classified US military documents have recently been posted on social media offering a partial, month-old snapshot of the war in Ukraine, three US officials told Reuters on Friday, adding that Russia or pro-Russian elements were likely behind the leak.
The US Justice Department said it is investigating the leak.
One of the documents, obtained by Reuters, showed details about internal discussions among top South Korean top officials about US pressure on Seoul to help supply weapons to Ukraine, and its policy of not doing so.
Liam James10 April 2023 04:00
Is the world on the precipice of a second cold war? | Voices
In the space of just one week, the influential American news and opinion outlet Foreign Policy published no less than six pieces demanding US and Western policymakers confront China more forcefully on human rights, shipping, finance, climate change, quantum computing, and microchips.
Just in case anyone missed the point, another called on Washington to create an “economic war council” to add a financial component to the military posture against China.
A new cold war is being thrust upon the world – one that could shape lives and nations for decades to come.
Liam James10 April 2023 03:00
Seven civilians killed in weekend attacks, says Ukraine
Weekend shelling by Russian forces killed at least seven civilians, Ukrainian officials reported on Sunday. Kharkiv governor Oleh Syniehubov said two men died Sunday in shelling in Kupiansk, a city that Russia held before Ukrainian forces regained control of almost all of the province.
The city remained under attack later Sunday as Russian forces targeted residential areas with multiple rocket launchers, Syniehubov said. Elsewhere in the province, a 30-year-old man was hospitalized in serious condition after Russian shelling of the city of Chuhuiv, he said on Telegram.
Shelling also killed two people overnight, one of them a child born in 2012, in the city of Zaporizhzhia, the capital of that province, according to City Council Secretary Anatoliy Kurtev.
The Zaporizhzhia region’s governor, Yurii Malashko, said 18 communities in all were shelled. Three people were killed and five were wounded on Saturday, Malashko said.
Liam James10 April 2023 02:00
Pentagon reviewing whether Ukraine war documents were leaked
The Defense Department is reviewing a handful of documents that were released on several social media sites and appear to detail U.S. and NATO aid to Ukraine, but may have been altered or used as part of a misinformation campaign.
The documents, which were posted on sites such as Twitter, are labeled secret and resemble routine updates that the U.S. military’s Joint Staff would produce daily but not distribute publicly. They are dated ranging from Feb. 23 to March 1, and provide what appears to be details on the progress of weapons and equipment going into Ukraine with more precise timelines and amounts than the U.S. generally provides publicly.
They are not war plans and they provide no details on any planned Ukraine offensive. And some inaccuracies — including estimates of Russian troops deaths that are significantly lower than numbers publicly stated by U.S. officials — have led some to question the documents’ authenticity.
Joe Middleton10 April 2023 01:00
Russia loses election to three UN bodies over Ukraine
Russia lost elections to three United Nations bodies this week, a sign that opposition to its invasion of Ukraine over a year ago remains strong.
The votes in the 54-member U.N. Economic and Social Council follow approval of six non-binding resolutions against Russia by the 193-member U.N. General Assembly. The latest — on Feb. 23, the eve of the first anniversary of the invasion — called for Moscow to end hostilities and withdraw its forces and was adopted by a vote of 141-7 with 32 abstentions.
In the ECOSOC votes, Russia was overwhelmingly defeated by Romania for a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women. It lost to Estonia to be a member of the executive board of the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF. And it was defeated by Armenia and the Czech Republic in secret ballot votes for membership on the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.
Joe Middleton9 April 2023 23:59