Day 47 of Putin's war. Russia appoints 'Butcher of Syria' to lead war against Ukraine, continues attacks in east (UPDATED)

11 April, 10:58 AM
Sappers carry out a controlled explosion of ammunition that has not exploded in Kharkiv (Photo:REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Sappers carry out a controlled explosion of ammunition that has not exploded in Kharkiv (Photo:REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine is halfway through its second month. Today, April 11, is the 47th day of Putin's war. Here, NV tracks the main events of the day.

UPDATE(2044):The United States has no evidence of Russia's destruction of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in Ukraine,   A US Department of Defense official has said at a briefing to the Western media on condition of anonymity.

- Part of the Russian troops withdrawn to Belarus after the fighting in the Kyiv region, are moving to eastern Ukraine.

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-The United States does not believe that this move indicates the beginning of a new escalation in the Donbass.

-Russia is likely to strengthen its position northwest of Donetsk.

-The United States has noted signs of replenishment and strengthening of Russian troops in the Donbass

UPDATE (1603): Ukrainian Army Commander in Chief Valery Zaluzhny has stated that Ukraine continues to defend Mariupol. Commanders are maintaining communications with the defenders on the ground.

"Such defensive operations must no be publicly discussed. We have been doing everything we can to carry on and save as many lives of our people as we can," Zaluzhny said in a statement.

His claim came after Azov Regiment and marines commanders reportedly stated that Ukrainian government has not been in contact with the defenders of Mariupol for two weeks. They said they no longer have enough ammunition and food left to keep fighting the overwhelming numbers of invading Russian troops.

UPDATE (1540): Izyum, a city in Kharkiv Oblast, has become a logistics center for Russian occupying forces, city mayor Valeriy Marchenko told NV Radio.

Marchenko added that the situation in the occupied city was very difficult. More than 15,000 civilians remain in the city. There is no power, water, or heating, and no mobile phone services. The city's hospitals are not working, and there is no medicine.

"Therefore, the situation is very difficult. The city is completely occupied, and isolated from the Ukrainian authorities: we can't bring in food, medicine, or get people out of there," Marchenko said.

UPDATE (1536): Almost half of Ukrainian territory needs to be cleared of mines and other explosives, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine has reported.

About 300,000 square kilometers of Ukraine needs to  be demined. "This is half of the territory of our state," the State Emergency Service statement reads.

UPDATE (1523): Invading Russian forces have started preparing for partisan warfare on their territory, Ukraine's Defense Ministry Intelligence Main Directorate has reported.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, the Russian Ministry of Transport has involved the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB in order to "increase security measures" on the borders of Rostov Oblast and the Krasnodar territory.

This increase in readiness is connected, in particular, with the actions of the Belarusian "rail partisans", who have been purposefully disabling railway connections with Ukraine in order to hamper the delivery of reinforcements to the combat zone. 

Recent explosions near Belgorod at an oil facility and an ammunition depot have caused panic in neighboring Russian regions.  "This marked the beginning of guerrilla warfare and the transfer of hostilities to the territory of Russia," the Ukrainian intelligence agency added.

UPDATE (1329): The Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine has already registered more than 5,889 war crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's large-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry reports. 

UPDATE (1304): Russia has been preparing a massive disinformation campaign to undermine vital weapons supplies from the West to Ukraine, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has reported.

Andriy Yermak, the head of President's Office of Ukraine, added that one of the disinformation messages Russia will try to spread among the Western media and officials will be the news reports of Ukrainian servicemen surrendering to Russian forces en masse, and giving the Russians Western weapons. 

Yermak has called on Western media not to believe those messages.

UPDATE (1104): A group of French gendarmes has arrived in Ukraine to investigate Russian war crimes in Kyiv Oblast, French Ambassador to Ukraine Etienne de Poncins announced in a tweet.

"We are proud to welcome a squad of technical and scientific gendarmes to Lviv. They came to help their Ukrainian counterparts in the investigation of war crimes committed around Kyiv," the ambassador tweeted.

Morning Digest

The heaviest fighting is now going on in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where invading Russian forces have destroyed 90 percent of the infrastructure, the governor of Luhansk Oblast has reported. Ukrainian forces have successfully repelled four enemy attacks in Donbas in the last 24 hours, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army has reported.

In a late night address to the Ukrainian nation, President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that invading Russian forces will intensify the attacks in Ukraine's east.

"They could use even more missiles against us, even more bombs," said Zelensky. 

"But we will answer. We will get even more weapons for Ukraine." 

Mariupol remains the main battlefield in Russia's war against Ukraine. In the next few days Russia will try to establish full control over the destroyed city. So far, Ukrainian forces continue to fight, maintaining control over the city's industrial area and port.

More than 100,000 civilians are still trapped in Mariupol. Russia has not allowed a Red Cross mission to come close to the city for more than five days. It is preventing people from leaving the besieged city to go to unoccupied Ukraine - instead, it is deporting Ukrainians to Russia by force.

Meanwhile Russia has reorganized the military leadership of its war against Ukraine, the BBC has reported. The Kremlin has appointed a new general, Aleksandr Dvornikov, to lead its offensive campaign against Ukraine. Dvornikov is known as "the Butcher of Syria".  The commander of Southern Military District of the Russian Army, Dvornikov is an experienced general,  who used to command Russian military operations in Syria. He got his nickname for leading Russian offenses in Syria that caused large numbers of casualties among the civilian population. His main task will be to achieve a significant victory in Ukraine for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin before May 9, the day Moscow celebrates "its victory over Nazism in WWII."

Besides the fresh attacks in the Donbas, the Russians have intensified attacks against Mykolaiv and Kharkiv.

Mykolaiv Oblast Governor Vitaly Kim reported that a Russian missile struck a Qatari-owned enterprise in Mykolaiv. It was empty, and the only casualties were two security guards wounded by shattered glass. At the same time, Hanna Zamazeyeva, the Mykolaiv Oblast deputy governor on humanitarian issues, has reported that 25 people have been wounded in Mykolaiv Oblast in the last 24 hours. More than 367 people are still being treated in region's hospitals after pervious Russian attacks in the region.

In Kharkiv Oblast the situation also remains tense. Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synehubov has reported that Russian artillery struck the region over 66 times in the last 24 hours, in Saltivka Piatykhatky, Holodna Hora, Pisochyn, Zolochiv, Balakalia and Derhachi. The Russian artillery strikes caused fires and killed 11 people, including a seven-year-old child. Fourteen people were wounded.

Invading Russian troops have also started planting mines and booby traps in suburban areas around Kharkiv.

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