Day 40 of Putin's war. Russians attack Odesa, Mykolaiv and Ternopil while world reacts to Bucha massacre (UPDATED)

4 April, 10:45 AM
Ukrainian servicemen pictured in the recently liberated town of Bucha, Kyiv Oblast. (Photo:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

Ukrainian servicemen pictured in the recently liberated town of Bucha, Kyiv Oblast. (Photo:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine is now well into its second month. Today, April 4, is the 40th day of Putin's war. Here, NV tracks the main events of the day.

UPDATE(2041): Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova has claimed that the situation in Bucha is not the worst one in Kyiv Oblast. In nearby town Borodianka Russians have killed even more civilians.

She also urged not to forget about dozens of other settelments recently liberated by Ukraine where Ukrainian prosecutors started investigation war crimes of Russian soldiers."We got more than 7000 messages about war crimes committed by Russians on our state portal

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Meanwhile Russians have been preparing to seize and occupy Kharkiv, Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has said in a statement.

Kherson Oblast Council has reported about shortages of flour and other food supplies in Kherson, occupied by Russian invaders. 

The US President Joe Biden has called to invastigate war crimes committed by Vladimir Putin and impose new sanctions against Russia for Bucha massacre. At the same time he hasn't call it a genocide.

UPDATE (1624): Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel still thinks she made the right decision when she opposed Ukraine joining NATO in 2008, her press service said.  

Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the Ukrainian President's Office head, criticized Merkel's position in a tweet, saying the former German chancellor's reaction to the offer for her to view for herself the Russian atrocities in Bucha indicates that Western elites are still under dangerous delusions.

"A possible solution is to send photo documents about the Bucha massacre and the conclusions of forensic experts to European politicians," Podolyak said.

UPDATE (1609): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Bucha on April 4.

Zelensky said Russia was committing genocide against Ukrainians, saying that Russian soldiers were treating Ukrainians worse than animals. However, Ukraine still needs to talk to Russia as it needs peace, the president said.

UPDATE (1309): Russian army has already lost 18,300 soldiers killed in action in Ukraine since the start of Russia's full scale invasion on Feb. 24, Ukraine's Army General Staff reported on April 4.

The Russian invading forces have also lost more than 4,700 pieces of military equipment, including 647 tanks, 1,844 armored vehicles, 147 planes, 134 helicopters, 7 ships and a great deal of other military equipment.

UPDATE (1253):  The number of civilians that Russian soldiers murdered in Bucha, Kyiv Oblast exceeds the number of victims in the Vukovar Massacre in Croatia in 1991, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said in a post on Facebook.

In 1991 Serbian volunteer fighters killed some 255-264 Croatian civilians and POWs in Vukovar, Croatia. In Bucha, Kyiv Oblast alone, Ukrainian authorities have already found 340 murdered civilians.  And the search is still going on.

"Shots in the back of the heads of men and women with their hands tied are utterly inhuman. These killings are not perceived as part of the war," Reznikov said. 

Morning Digest

The week starts with the world's reaction to the Russian army's massacre of Ukrainian civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, with numerous world media publishing photos and stories about the hundreds of Ukrainian civilians found murdered in this and other towns of Kyiv Oblast after Russian occupiers were driven away.

The Financial Times reports that the EU is getting ready to impose more harsh sanctions against Russia and even plans to discuss a full embargo on Russian oil and gas as early as April 6.

The Russians deny committing any war crimes, publishing claims that "crisis actors were used as corpses" and calling the pictures of numerous civilian bodies found killed on the streets of formerly Russian-occupied towns in Kyiv Oblast "a provocation against Russian soldiers."

However, a large amount of evidence, including Maxar Technologies latest satellite images, show that the first mass graves appear in Bucha as early as March 10, when the town was fully controlled by the Russian army.

Many EU leaders have called for the search for compromise with Russia to end, and for sanctions against the Kremlin to instead be intensified. 

The chief of the UK's MI6 intelligence service, Richard Moore, has said UK intelligence knew that the Kremlin was planning executions of civilians.

Meanwhile Russian invading forces have changed location and have been concentrating their efforts attacking in the east and south of Ukraine. 

Ukrainain Interior Minister Advisor Vadym Denysenko has said the heaviest fighting has been going on in Mariupol, Kreminna, Volnovakha, Popasna, Rubizhne and Izyum.

"The enemy's key goal now is to encircle our troops in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts," Denysenko said on Ukrainian national television.

"Those will be the key battles of the upcoming weeks that will define the whole next stage of Russia's war against Ukraine, or maybe the war itself," Denysenko added.

The General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces reported the Ukrainian forces have repelled seven enemy attacks in Donbas in the past 24 hours.

While concentrating most of its invading forces in the east of Ukraine, Russia continues to attack cities and towns all over Ukraine. Overnight Russians struck Vasylkiv, a town in Kyiv Oblast and hit Odesa for the fourth time in 24 hours missiles.  The invaders carried out a missile strike on an infrastructure object in Ternopil, in western Ukraine, and shelled several settlements in Dnipropetrovsk and Kherson Oblasts.

Early in the morning of April 4 the Russian military launched several missiles against Mykolaiv, local authorities reported. So far, Mykolaiv Mayor Oleksandr Synkevych has refused to reveal any details.

This is the second day in a row that the Russians have attacked Mykolaiv. One person was killed, and 14 were injured, including a 15-year-old boy, in the April 3 Russian missile strike against Mykolaiv. Eleven people were taken to a hospital for treatment.

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