Day 37 of Putin's war. Russians withdrawing from Kyiv and Chenihiv Oblasts, Ukraine refuses to confirm attack in Belgorod, Russia

1 April, 11:32 AM
Destroyed buildings in Hostomel, Kyiv Oblast. (Photo:REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

Destroyed buildings in Hostomel, Kyiv Oblast. (Photo:REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been going on for more than a month. Today, April 1, is the 37th day of Putin's war. Here, NV tracks the main events of the day.

UPDATE(2119): Ukraine managed to evacuate 6266 people to safety on April 1, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukrainian President's Office has said in a statement.

Some 3070 people have managed to get out of Mariupol on their own and get to Berdyansk and nearby villages, where Ukrainian buses took them.  Red Cross has reported the planned evacuation corridor straight from Mariupol hasn't worked.

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1735 evacuees left war-torn Luhansk.

1460 people left the occupied towns and cities of Zaporizhzhia Oblast.

UPDATE (1817): Another prisoner swap has been carried out in Zaporizhzhia today, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, one of the deputy heads of President's Office of Ukraine, said in a video statement on April 1.

According to him, Ukraine has managed to retrieve 86 Ukrainian soldiers from Russian captivity. Fifteen of them were women.

UPDATE (1814): Invading Russian troops have been trying to establish full control over Mariupol, Ukrainian ombudswoman Liudmyla Denysova has said in a Telegram statement.

According to her, since yesterday, the invaders have not allowed residents to escape from Mariupol. 

According to eyewitnesses, the invaders set a period of 5-7 days, during which the city will remain blockaded .

"Depriving civilians of the opportunity to save their lives is nothing but genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide," Denisova said.

"I appeal to the UN Commission on Investigating Human Rights Violations during the Russian Military Invasion of Ukraine and the expert mission set up by the OSCE participating states in accordance with the Moscow Mechanism to (investigate) these human rights violations in Ukraine."

UPDATE (1749): Ukraine evacuated more than 1,735 people from war-torn towns and villages in Luhansk Oblast on April 1, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, one of the deputy heads of Ukraine's President's Office, said in a statement.

Meanwhile the Ukrainian parliament has supported a law with a list of rewards for Russian military equipment. From now on, Russian soldiers defecting to Ukraine with a warship or a jet can claim up to $1 million. A tank or an artillery piece would be worth a $100,000 reward.

Ukrainians wait for evacuation in Luhansk Oblast (Фото: Kyrylo Tymoshenko)
Ukrainians wait for evacuation in Luhansk Oblast / Фото: Kyrylo Tymoshenko

UPDATE (1545): Ukraine's Defense Ministry refuses to confirm or deny Russian claims that Ukrainian military choppers attacked an oil depot in Belgorod, Russia.

Earlier this morning, Russian authorities claimed that two Ukrainian helicopters fired rockets at an oil depot in Belgorod, causing a massive fire. Later, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesperson Oleksandr Motuzianyk said in a statement that the Ukrainian government can neither confirm nor deny the Ukrainian armed forces' involvement in the attack.

“I want to emphasize that as of today, the Ukrainian state is carrying out a defensive operation to repel armed Russian aggression on the territory of Ukraine," Motuzianyk said.

"This does not mean at all that Ukraine should be responsible for all miscalculations and for all catastrophes that occur in Russia. This is not the first time we have heard such accusations." 

Morning digest

Today, Russo-Ukrainian peace talks will continue via video conferencing.

Also today, the Ukrainian authorities expect to evacuate a record number of citizens from Mariupol, Berdyansk, Melitopol and Enerhodar. The Russians, who previously agreed to open a green (evacuation) corridor, did not let the evacuation buses come close to Mariupol. In the morning, Mariupol city council reported that buses with more than 2,000 people on board had left for safety. Dozens of private vehicles joined the evacuation column. 

Invading Russian troops have been withdrawing from Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts. However, the Ukrainian Army General Staff has warned Ukrainians living in those regions that the danger of missile attacks remains. The Pentagon also states that Kyiv is still in danger as a potential target of Russian airstrikes.  The invading Russian forces have been regrouping and intensifying their attacks in the Donbas. Russian repressions and psyops in the occupied territories continue. The Russians have been restricting the movement of civilians and only allow them to evacuate to Russia or Ukraine's Russian-occupied Crimea. 

The occupiers have withdrawn from Brovary District of Kyiv Oblast, Brovary Mayor Ihor Sapozhko reported. Borvary District borders Kyiv city on one side and Chernihiv Oblast on the other. The invaders have retreated in the direction of Chernihiv, Sapozhko said. Ukrainian forces continue clearing and demining the area, which is thus still not safe for civilians.

Chernihiv governor Viacheslav Chaus reported that the Russians are retreating from Chernihiv as well. "We still don't know why are they retreating. But if they regroup and come back we will be ready to meet them," Chaus said in a video statement.

In late night video address on April 1, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that that the Russians are retreating from around Kyiv and Chernihiv, and from Sumy Oblast. But at the same time the invaders are preparing for a new powerful strike in the Donbas, Zelensky said. 

"We have to understand that they are retreating from the directions where we hit them hard. Instead they are concentrating their forces in those areas (where the situation is) very difficult for our forces," Zelensky said.

- In Luhansk Oblast, the enemy shelled Severodonetsk, Kryminna, Lysychansk, Rubizhne, and Ivanivka. The local oblast council has reported that the invaders have destroyed 18 houses. Two people were killed and two others were wounded in enemy attacks. More than 30 settlements have no gas or water. 

- Meanwhile the number of casualties in Russia's March 29 missile strike on Mykolaiv Oblast Council Building has risen to 27 people killed.

- Russia continues to shell Kharkiv with artillery, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synehubov reported.  Over the past 24 hours, the Russians have carried out 46 artillery strikes against Kharkiv Oblast cities and towns, he said.

- 153 children have been killed and more than 245 wounded in Russian attacks against Ukrainian cities and towns, Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office has reported.

- Russia has already lost 17,700 soldiers killed in action in Ukraine, Ukraine's Army General Staff reports.

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