62nd day of Putin's war. One person killed in shelling in Zaporizhzhyia, Ukrainian air defenses shoot down 10 enemy aircraft in a day

26 April, 09:52 AM
A school in Kramatorsk destroyed by Russian missile strikes and bombing. (Photo:REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

A school in Kramatorsk destroyed by Russian missile strikes and bombing. (Photo:REUTERS/Jorge Silva)

Today, April 26, is the 62nd day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion. Ukraine has been fighting off Russia aggression for over two months.

1951: The defense ministers of 40 countries will meet every month to discuss the needs of Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said after a meeting today at Rammstein Air Force Base in Germany.

"… I know that we are all determined to do more to strengthen the coordination of our efforts…” Austin said. “I'm pleased to announce that today's meeting will become a monthly meeting of the Contact Group on the Self-Defense of Ukraine. The contact group will allow countries to step up their efforts, coordinate our assistance and focus on winning the current struggle and (overcoming) future difficulties.”

Видео дня

1922: Russia is preparing missile strikes on unrecognized Transnistria with the aim of causing civilian casualties, according to the General Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

"Residents of the unrecognized" Transnistrian Moldavian Republic "have received SMSs alleged to be from Armed Forces and special services of Ukraine. They contain a warning about a ‘missile and artillery’ strike on the territory of the "Transnistrian region," the Ukrainian military intelligence agency, the GUR, said in a statement on the Telegram messenger service.

The GUR said the message is being actively covered by Russian propaganda information resources, and emphasized that Ukraine has nothing to do with this or similar provocations.

"Such fakes and incidents, which probably took place on the territory of the Transnistrian region, are nothing more than another provocation by the Russian special services against Ukraine and Moldova," Ukraine’s ministry of Defense said.

1921: Russia has brought its troops in Transnistria to full combat readiness, Ukraine’s General Staff said. The main points from the General Staff’s report as of 1800 are:

·        the enemy is advancing in eastern Ukraine, its main goal being to surround and defeat Ukrainian forces, establish control over Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, and secure a land corridor to the occupied Crimea. Russia continues to launch missile and bomb strikes on Ukraine's military and civilian infrastructure;

·        in the Slobozhansky area, the invaders continue to partially block Kharkiv and shell it. In the Izyum area, enemy units, with the support of artillery, are advancing in the direction of Barvinkov;

·        in the border areas of Ukraine with Russia’s Belgorod Oblast there are field camps for the restoration of combat capability and training of Russian units. According to the General Staff, there are up to five enemy battalion tactical groups near the Ukrainian border;

·        in the Donetsk area, the invaders are active along almost the entire line of contact, with their main efforts being aimed at taking control of Rubizhne, Popasna and Mariyinka;

·        in the Severodonetsk area in the area of Kreminna the Russians have transferred a tank battalion and pontoon-bridge unit;

·        the invaders are building up troop numbers for an offensive in the direction of the Lyman, are continuing their artillery shelling and air strikes on Mariupol, and continue to surround the defenders of the city near the Azovstal steel mill;

·        in the South Buh and Tavriya areas the enemy retained its positions, in some areas attempting unsuccessfully to improve its tactical position, while firing on the positions of Ukraine’s forces;

·        in Russian-occupied Transnistria, units of Russian troops have been brought to full combat readiness, and security forces were switched to an enhanced regime;

·        in the Volyn, Polissya and Seversky areas, the Belarusian military is stepping up defenses of the Ukrainian-Belarusian border.

1845: U.S. diplomats have returned to Ukraine for the first time since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, U.S. cable news channel CNN reported. A source told the TV channel that the diplomats arrived in Lviv from Poland for the day. According to the source, the diplomatic mission will constantly review the security situation. Shortly before the start of the full-scale war, U.S. diplomats spent the night in Poland and returned in the morning to work in Lviv.

1843: Russia's Defense Ministry has said it will strike at "British advisers" who, according to the aggressor country, are in Kyiv. The threat from the Russian Ministry of Defense came in the wake of statements by UK Deputy Defense Minister James Heappey that Ukraine has a legal right to attack targets on Russian territory.

1813: Shipping companies may stop hiring Russian and Ukrainian sailors because of the war, according to media reports. The Japan Maritime Daily reports that it is becoming increasingly difficult to hire sailors from both countries due to increased sanctions, and there are also difficulties with the planned rotation of crews.

1811: Russia has halted gas supplies to Poland, according to the Polish portal Onet, citing sources. It said a crisis group has gathered at the Polish Ministry of the Climate and Environment.

1743: Mayor of Kherson Ihor Kolykhayev has refused to cooperate with the occupation "administration" and has decided to stay in the city.

"I remain in Kherson and with the people of Kherson, who more than a year-and-a-half ago entrusted me with the management of our city,” Kolykhayev said. “I refuse to cooperate with the new administration. Kherson is Ukraine!”

1714: Supplies of Western artillery will give Ukraine the opportunity to "grind down" the Russian offensive in the Donbas, military observer Yuri Karin, coordinator of the Informprotiv group, has said. He said new weapons from NATO would strengthen the Ukraine’s armed forces.

1644: In Moscow, visiting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres proposed the establishment of a Ukraine-Russia-UN contact group to discuss humanitarian corridors. "Humanitarian corridors that are safe, effective and adhered to by all, are urgently needed to evacuate civilians and deliver much-needed assistance,” Guterres said. “To this end, I proposed the establishment of a contact group on humanitarian issues, which would unite the UN, Russia and Ukraine, to find ways to open safe corridors with local ceasefires, and to ensure that the corridors are effective."

1614: More than eight million people may leave Ukraine by the end of the year, according to a new UN forecast. "The human impact and the suffering already caused by this war are staggering," said Shabia Mantoo, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

1606: Invading Russian forces have “appointed” collaborators to the occupation administration in Kherson Oblast, Kherson Governor Hennadiy Lahuta said. He said the Russians had appointed Volodymyr Saldo and Oleksandr Kobets to the occupation administration in Kherson. Lahuta said that after Ukraine's victory, the collaborators could be held to account.

1552: Kyiv authorities have dismantled the monument under the Arch of "Friendship of the Peoples" in Kyiv. During the work to take down the bronze sculptures, the head was knocked off one of the figures.

1546: Russia has become a weakened state with a weakened army, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said before a meeting of NATO allies and partners in Germany. "They have a weaker army. They are now a weaker state, and they are isolating themselves again," Kirby said.

1457: Turkish President Recep Yayyip Erdogan has invited Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Turkey. Erdogan made the proposal during a telephone conversation with the Russian dictator.

1452: The bridge across the Dniester estuary in Odesa Oblast has been blocked after a missile attack by Russian forces. Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for Odesa regional administration, said the Belgorod-Dniester District Council had closed the bridge to traffic due to damage to the bridge. Bratchuk did not provide any other information about the location, nature and cause of the damage to the road, which leads to Odesa, citing security.

1431: Poland has announced that it is imposing sanctions against 35 Russian companies and 15 Russian citizens. The list includes Gazprom and truck maker KamAZ, along with Rosneft oil company chairman Igor Sechin.

1427: Two people have been killed and six more are wounded in enemy shelling attacks in Donetsk Oblast, according to Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. He said at least two civilians are known to have died in the attacks, in Niu York and Travlene, and six had been wounded, in Maryinka, Velyka Novosilka, Niu York, and Lyman.

1349: Russia struck the Azovstal steel mill 35 times overnight, trapping civilians in rubble, reports the Azov Regiment, one of the Ukrainian units defending the plant in Mariupol. "Azov Regiment servicemen are providing first aid and making every effort to free civilians from the rubble," the regiment said in a statement.

1342: Invading Russian forces have again attack residential areas of Kharkiv, killing three civilians and wounding seven more, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synegubov reported. According to him, information about the victims is still being clarified. Two of the wounded civilians are in a critical condition.

1334: Luhansk Governor Serhiy Haidai, in an interview with U.S. broadcaster the Voice of America, explained why invading Russian forces managed to capture Kreminna. He said that the Russian invaders had been holding positions near the city for almost two months, "and the enemy has been firing on every meter of ground (in the town.)"

"No one fled or surrendered, it just didn't make sense to hold on to the ground that was so shot – shells were already flying into the trenches,” Haidai said. “To die without harming the enemy is pointless. Our soldiers have retreated to new positions and are already killing the enemy from there, and destroying his equipment.”

He said it may also be necessary to move away from some other settlements.

1326: The Kremlin has said it is “worried” by reports of a series of explosions in Transnistria, a Russian-occupied part of Moldova. Earlier, on April 25,  it was reported that Ministry of Security building in Tiraspol had been attacked with grenade launchers. On April 26 two radio towers that broadcast Russian radio stations were attacked and damaged.

“We’re watching very closely how the situation is developing there,” said Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. “The news coming from there is worrying.”

1312: The German government plans to allow the supply of Gepard anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine, media have reported. Arms company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KWM) has already received the green light for the sale of modernized Gepards from the former Bundeswehr arsenal to Ukraine, and the government's decision in principle has already been made, media reported.

1238: U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said he is confident that Ukraine will achieve a military victory over Russia. "Ukraine certainly believes that it can win, like everyone else here," the Pentagon chief said during a meeting with representatives of more than 40 countries at the U.S. Air Force base in Rammstein, Germany.

1223: An explosion in Kreminna City Hall killed “many occupiers and collaborators,” according to Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration.

"The orcs (Russian soldiers) were holding a meeting, there was a so-called power bloc, a so-called mayor of the "LPR" and other collaborators,” Haidai said. “A lot of people were in the room. It blew up, and the explosion destroyed almost half of the building. Many collaborators, traitors and Russian occupiers were killed.”

1214: Following a series of explosions in the breakaway “republic” of Transnistria in Moldova, Moldovan President Maia Sandu has called a meeting of the country’s High Security Council. According to the press service of the head of state, the meeting is scheduled for 1300. On April 25 there were reports of an attack on a security service building in Tiraspol, the “capital” of the Russian-backed and unrecognized breakaway region of Moldova. Early on April 26 it was reported that explosions had damaged two radio masts that broadcast Russian radio. 

1152: In spite of everything, Kherson and Kherson region are Ukraine, the head of the Kherson regional military administration Hennadiy Lahuta has said in response to enemy troops seizing the premises of Kherson City Council on the night of April 25 and removing the flag of Ukraine.

"During two months of occupation, the city council remained one of the local authorities working under the yellow and blue (Ukrainian) flag,” Lahuta said. “I would like to express my gratitude to the staff of the institution and Mayor Ihor Kolykhayev. Unfortunately, the situation with the capture of the city hall was expected, because the ruscists (Russian fascists) follow a single plan and such actions have become commonplace for them. But we will never accept any tricolors or Soviet flags, because Ukraine is in our hearts."

1143: A "historic" meeting of the International Defense Advisory Group convened by the United States is taking place in Germany, Pentagon Chief Lloyd Austin. He said the meeting, which is being held at the U.S. Air Force base in Ramstein (Germany), was being attended by heads of defense agencies of more than 40 countries.

The meeting is also being attended by Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov. The flags of the United States and Ukraine were set behind the chairman.

"We are here to help Ukraine win the battle against Russia's unwarranted invasion and to build Ukraine's defenses for the challenges of tomorrow," Austin said.

He said he wanted those present at the meeting to agree a common and transparent vision of Ukraine's medium-term security needs, "because we will continue to do everything we can to respond to them."

"The existing coordination mechanism can become even stronger with your help, and we will be able to do more with our defense production bases to continue to help Ukraine defend itself in an even better way," Austin said.

1106: A Russian missile strike on Zaporizhzhya killed one person and damaged civilian infrastructure facilities, Zaporizhzhya Regional Military Administration reported. The administration said the death toll from the missile strike could rise.

1045: Ukraine has every right to attack the territory of the Russian Federation, UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace has said. He said that attacks of facilities in Russia by the Ukrainian armed forces would be regarded in London as a perfectly legitimate response to Russian military aggression.

1042: Two children who were forcibly deported from Mariupol by invading Russian forces have been returned to Ukraine, Ukrainian Parliamentary Human Rights Ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova said. She said the 12-year-old daughter of Yevhen Obedinsky Kir, who died in Mariupol, had been returned to the custody of her grandfather. The grandmother of 9-year-old Ilya Matvienko, whose mother died during the bombing of Mariupol, and who is now the only close relative of the child, also took custody of her grandchild.

1025: Russian army losses since the beginning of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces (change since previous day in parentheses):

·        Personnel – 22,100 (+200)

·        Tanks – 918 (+34)

·        Armored fighting vehicles – 2,308 (+50)

·        Artillery systems – 416 (+5)

·        Multiple rocket launcher systems – 149 (+0)

·        Air defense systems – 69 (+0)

·        Warplanes – 184 (+3)

·        Helicopters – 154 (+0)

·        Motor vehicles – 1,643 (+77)

·        Ships / boats – 8 (+0)

·        Tankers with fuel and lubricants – 76 (+0)

·        Drones (UAVs) of operational and tactical level – 205 (+4)

·        Special machinery – 31 (+3)

·        Launchers of operational-tactical and tactical missile systems OTRK / TRK / mobile SRBM systems – 4 (+0).

1023: A Russian missile strike on a residential building in Odesa killed a married couple, said Serhiy Bratchuk, the spokesman for the head of Odesa Regional Military Administration. He said that the woman had been pregnant.

0955: Two Russian missiles have flown directly over the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, Energoatom CEO Petro Kotin said. “The flight of low-altitude missiles directly above the nuclear site, where seven nuclear reactors with a huge amount of nuclear material are located, poses huge risks,” Kotin said. “After all, the missiles could hit one or more nuclear installations, which would threaten a nuclear and radiation catastrophe around the world.”

0911: Invading Russian forces are probably trying to surround well-fortified Ukrainian positions in eastern Ukraine, the UK’s Defense Intelligence said in its daily update. It said there was heavy fighting south of Izyum, and that Russia may attack Zaporizhzhya. The UK intelligence agency said the Ukrainian military in the city were preparing for a possible attack by Russia from the south.

0845: Russian forces have killed 217 children since the Kremlin launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office has reported. In total, more than 608 children have been injured by the Russian invaders.

0800: Ukrainian military said it had killed dozens of the enemy and an ammunition depot near Kherson, in the area of ​​the settlement of Velyka Oleksandrivka, Kherson Oblast. According to the General Staff, the invaders lost more than 70 soldiers killed.

0749: Invading Russian forces shelled the city Zaporizhzhya in the morning, Zaporizhzhya regional military administration reported. "In the morning (of April 26), at 0650, shell impacts were recorded. The circumstances are being clarified. Details later," the administration said in a statement.

0710: According to U.S. newspaper the Washington Post, Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko has said Ukraine will ask the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to provide the country with monthly financial assistance of U.S. $2 billion.

0528: According to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Russia fired on Sumy Oblast from Russian territory on the evening of April 25. The service said Russian troops fired heavy weapons from the Russian village of Tiotkino in the direction of the Ukrainian village of Rivne in the Konotop district of Sumy Oblast. According to the border guards, "15 impacts” were recorded. After a short period of time on the border, not far from the same village, small arms fire was heard.

0520: Four people were killed by enemy shelling in Kharkiv Oblast, while in the city of Kharkiv a shell hit a high-rise building, reported Oleg Synegubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration. He said that on April 25 the Russian invaders fired on the Kharkiv and Zolochiv districts of the oblast.

"In Dergachi and neighboring villages, three civilians were killed and another was injured, Synegubov said. “In Zolochiv district one person was killed, and four were wounded."

0429: Zaporizhzhya regional military administration reports that Russian occupiers have completely blocked entry and exit to the city of Melitopol. It said that the occupiers want to carry out a forced mobilization of the local population. The Russian occupiers also staged acts of terror in occupied Mikhailovka, and Russian soldiers are stealing the cars and valuables of civilians, the administration said.

0226: Ukraine’s General Staff said that the Chongar Bridge on the administrative border with Russia-occupied Crimea had been rigged with explosives during the full-scale invasion by the Russian army on Feb. 24. The General Staff was for the first time commenting on rumors that the bridge had not had explosives placed on it, and because of this the invaders had quickly moved into the south of Ukraine. The General Staff added that the invading forces exceeded Ukrainian forces in this area by 15 times.

0218: "Russia is losing its last hope of scaring the world away from supporting Ukraine, hence the talk of the ‘real’ danger of a Third World War,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted late on April 25, in response to comments from his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. “This (just) means that Moscow is losing in Ukraine. That is why the world must support us even more so that we can win and defend European and global security."

0101: The Ukrainian military said it destroyed 10 enemy aircraft on April 25, including:

·        3 warplanes (Su-34, Su-35, Su-30);

·        3 cruise missiles;

·        4 UAV UAVs (presumably Orlan-10).

00:39: Humanitarian corridors have saved about a million people in Ukraine, according to Iryna Vereshchuk, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories.  "Some 350,000 went in buses through the corridors that we organized. And they left in private cars. About a million people have already been saved during this time thanks to humanitarian corridors," Vereshchuk said.

0038: The United States and some other members of the G7 are calling on Indonesia to invite Ukraine to the G20 summit in November after Jakarta refused to withdraw an invitation to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. This was reported by Bloomberg, citing informed sources among officials. According to the agency, the United States and some other countries insist that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky be present during at least some G20 meetings. At the same time, the Indonesian government said that the country wanted to “remain impartial” as the current holder of the organization’s rotating presidency.

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