Day 41 of Putin's war. Russia 'preparing to take Kharkiv,' invaders struck nitric acid tanks in Luhansk Oblast (UPDATED)

5 April, 10:36 AM
A woman greets Ukrainian soldiers in recently liberated Chernihiv. (Photo:REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

A woman greets Ukrainian soldiers in recently liberated Chernihiv. (Photo:REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine is now well into its second month. Today, April 5, is the 41st day of Putin's war. Here, NV tracks the main events of the day.

UPDATE (1937): During a UN Security Council meeting on April 5, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky detailed Russian war crimes in Ukraine and said Russia has turned its UN veto right into the right to commit murder.

"Where is this security that the Security Council must guarantee?" Where is the world for which the UN was created to guarantee? It is obvious that the key institution of the world, which should ensure that any aggressors are forced to accept peace, simply cannot work effectively, "Zelensky said.

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He also said UN Security Council should seriously think about reforming the institution.

UPDATE (1730): Some 95% of Ukrainians believe Ukraine is going to win the war started by Russia, according to a new poll published on April 5 by the Rating Group sociological research firm. 

At the same time, only some 30% of Ukrainians still believe the war will last no longer than few weeks. For comparison more than 39 percent of Ukrainians believed in a short war at the beginning of March. 

UPDATE (1712): Ukrainian forces have taken full control of the Ukrainian border with Belarus in Chernihiv Oblast, Ukrainian Army Operation Command North reported in a Facebook post on April 5.

Meanwhile the European Union has imposed new sanctions on Russia:

  • A ban on coal imports from Russia worth EUR 4 billion a year.
  • A complete ban on the transactions with four key Russian banks, including VTB.
  • A ban on Russian vessels entering EU ports.
  • A ban on exports to Russia of semiconductors, machinery and transport equipment worth EUR 10 billion .
  • New bans on imports of Russian goods worth EUR 5.5 billion.
  • A ban on Russian companies from participating in public procurement in the EU, and a ban on the provision of any financial support to Russian government agencies.

UPDATE (1525): Ukrainian Human Rights Ombudswoman Liudmyla Denisova has published witness testimony she says confirms that Russian soldiers were raping Ukrainian women in occupied towns in Kharkiv Oblast.

"Every day of the war in Ukraine there are more and more cases of sexual violence by the Russian invaders," Denisova wrote on Facebook, detailing several cases in her post.

"Rape has become another weapon of the racist army against civilians in the occupied territories," she wrote.

UPDATE (1517): EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen and  EU Commission Vice President Josep Borrell are to visit Ukraine this week.

The two European leaders are planning to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky ahead of the #StandWithUkraine rally in Warsaw on April 9, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer wrote on Twitter on April 5.

UPDATE (1449): In Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast, Russian invaders have hit a tank of nitric acid, local governor Serhiy Haidai has reported.

Haidai asked locals not to leave shelters and prepare face masks soaked with baking soda to protect against acidic fumes.

Nitric acid blast caused by Russian shelling in Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast (Фото: Serhiy Haidai)
Nitric acid blast caused by Russian shelling in Rubizhne, Luhansk Oblast / Фото: Serhiy Haidai

Morning digest

Today Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak during a UN Security Council meeting called by the United Kingdom to discuss Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Mykolaiv city council has reported that 10 people were killed and 46 were wounded in an April 4 Russian attack against the city. Russian forces used cluster munitions to attack Mykolaiv and two settlements in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. One woman died there as she picked up a cluster bomblet, local government has reported.

Overnight, Russian warplanes fired four cruise missiles on Ukraine from Belarus. Ukrainian Air Force Command reported that Ukrain's air defense systems shot down three of them and hit the fourth one. Invading Russian troops also shelled a phenol plant in Donetsk Oblast.

- The Ukrainian Army General Staff has reported Russia has already lost 18,500 soldiers killed in action in Ukraine, as well as more than 4,700 armored vehicles.

- Some 165 children have been killed in Russia's war against Ukraine, and more than 266 were wounded, the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine said.

- The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has also registered 1,200 war crimes suspected to have been committed by Russians in Kyiv Oblast.  Kyiv Oblast authorities have imposed a long curfew in the recently liberated territories and urged citizens not to return there yet, as the territory has been mined by Russian soldiers and is potentially dangerous. 

- Ukraine's Defense Ministry has reported that invading Russian troops have been regrouping and preparing to intensify attacks in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and also to attack Kharkiv.

Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Synehubov reported Russians have attacked settlements in Kharkiv Oblast 54 times in the last 24 hours, using various types of weapons. Four people died and three were hospitilized in Kharkiv, and two peopled died and five were wounded in Chuhuiv, the governor said.

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