Day 49 of Putin's war. Ukraine captures Putin ally Medvedchuk, Ukrainian marines joined Azov in Mariupol (UPDATED)

13 April, 10:07 AM
Ukrainian serviceman somewhere in Kharkiv Oblast. (Photo:REUTERS/Marko Djurica)

Ukrainian serviceman somewhere in Kharkiv Oblast. (Photo:REUTERS/Marko Djurica)

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine is more than halfway through its second month. Today, April 13, is the 49th day of Putin's war. Here, NV tracks the main events of the day.

UPDATE (1825): The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has confirmed that Russian soldiers have committed war crimes in Ukraine, the OSCE's latest report reads.

According to the report, the OSCE has managed to confirm that both sides have committed war crimes.

However, the Russian crimes can be considered more serious, the OSCE said. While Ukrainian servicemen have violated the rules of behaving with POWs, Russia has committed numerous crimes against civilians. Those crimes are much more sinister by their nature.  

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The mission has investigated attacks on a maternity hospital and theater in Mariupol and found no confirmation of Russia's claims that Ukraine attacked both. The mission managed to confirm Russia had conducted deliberate attacks against the maternity hospital and theater without even giving a prior warning to civilians to evacuate. This can be considered a war crime, the OSCE said.

UPDATE (1735): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has published a video address calling on Ukraine's partners to provide weapons to the country as soon as possible, detailing what kind of weapons Ukraine needs. 

UPDATE (1724): The European Union agreed to increase its financial help to Ukraine by EUR 500 million, to EUR 1.5 billion. 

The allocated funds will be used to support the supply of military equipment to the Armed Forces of Ukraine by EU member states.

"The coming weeks will be crucial. As Russia prepares for an offensive in eastern Ukraine, it is very important that we continue and increase military support to Ukraine to protect its territory and population and prevent further suffering," said Josep Borrell, the EU Commission vice president.

UPDATE (1716): The presidents of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia visited Kyiv  to demonstrate their support for President Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukrainian Army. 

The presidents were met by Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and visited liberated towns in Kyiv Oblast.

UPDATE (1447): Ukrainian forces shot down two Russian fighter jets that were bombing cities and towns in Kharkiv Oblast, Kharkiv governor Oleh Synehubov has said in a statement.

Synehybov said that Russian invading forces are continuing to attack Kharkiv Oblast almost non-stop.  Heavy fighting is going on in Izyum, where Ukrainian forces have been battling to prevent the Russians from advancing into Donetsk Oblast, where they aim to encircle Ukrainian troops fighting in the Donbas. 

The Russians have attacked Kharkiv Oblast at least 53 times in the last 24 hours, killing seven people and injuring 22, including three children, Synehybov said.

UPDATE (1351): Ukraine's Defense Ministry has once again urged citizens of Kyiv and liberated towns and villages of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Zhytomyr oblasts not to return to their homes yet.

There's a great risk that Russia might use chemical weapons, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar has said.

Earlier Ukrainian officials called people to stay out of Kyiv and liberated regions until at least the beginning of May.

UPDATE (1340): Russia's command has ordered the invaders to destroy all evidence of Russian war crimes in Mariupol, Ukrainian Defense Ministry Intelligence Main Directorate has reported.

According to Ukrainian intelligence, after the world discovered evidence of Russia's genocide of Ukrainian people in Bucha, Kyiv Oblast, Russian troops started using mobile crematoria to cover their crimes against civilians in Ukraine. In particular, 13 mobile crematoria were seen in Mariupol clearing the streets of the bodies of dead civilians.

"The occupiers are trying to identify all potential witnesses of the atrocities through filtration camps (in Donetsk Oblast and in Russia) and destroy them,” Ukraine's military intelligence stated.

UPDATE (1330): Most of the remaining soldiers of the 36th Ukrainian Navy marines brigade have managed to break through and link op with soldiers of the Azov Regiment in Mariupol, the Azov Regiment has reported.

According to Ukrainian defenders, this reinforcement will boost the chances of the Ukrainian troops still fighting for Mariupol against overwhelming enemy forces.

Morning Digest

Late on April 12 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that Ukraine's SBU security service had captured Viktor Medvedchuk, the closest ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. Soon after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine Medvedchuk, already a suspect of state treason, escaped from house arrest and disappeared.

He was captured on April 12 in western Ukraine, disguised as a Ukrainian serviceman. Zelensky said the SBU had carried out a special operation and offered to exchange Medvedchuk in the next prisoner swap with Russia.

"Well, Medvedchuk made a choice, wearing a military uniform. Now we can treat him accordingly by the rules of the wartime. Therefore I offer to exchange him for our servicemen and servicewomen captured by Russia," Zelensky said in a late night statement.

Meanwhile the number of Russian war crimes in Ukraine is rising day by day.  Ukrainian authorities have so far recovered 720 bodies of civilians killed by Russians in Kyiv Oblast. Donetsk Oblast Council and Mariupol City Council have reported an estimated 22,000 Ukrainians were killed in Mariupol since the start of the invasion.

Ukraine's Army General Staff has reported Russian military loses in Ukraine are getting closer to 20,000 soldiers killed in action. 

There will be no evacuation corridors today in Ukraine, Reintegration Minister Iryna Vereshchuk has reported. Russian invading forces have blocked evacuation buses in Zaporizhzhia Oblast and has been violating the ceasefire regime needed for evacuation in Luhansk Oblast, she said.

Today Kyiv again expects visits by high profile guests, with the presidents of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia heading to the Ukrainian capital. 

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