Day 66 of Putin's war. Ukraine destroys enemy command post near Izyum, Russians fire on two evacuation buses near Popasna

30 April, 09:41 AM
A Ukrainian soldier examines a captured Russian armored vehicle. (Photo:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

A Ukrainian soldier examines a captured Russian armored vehicle. (Photo:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

Today, April 29, is the 66th day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion. Ukraine has been fighting off Russian aggression for over two months.

1915: Ukrainian forces regained control over four settlements in Kharkiv Oblast on April 30 – Verkhnya Rohanka, Ruska Lozova, Slobidsky and Prelesny – Ukraine’s General Staff reported.


1837: As a result of a missile attack in the Odesa region, the runway of the Odesa airport has been damaged, the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South reported. The airport runway has been put out of action, the military said.

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1756: Ukraine and Russia held another exchange of prisoners on April 30, with 14 Ukrainians returning home - seven soldiers and seven civilians. The prisoner exchange was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk.


1704: Almost all the buildings on the territory of the Azovstal plant, which is regularly attacked by the invading Russian forces and which has become a refuge for the residents of besieged Mariupol, have been destroyed. A new satellite images from the private U.S. company Maxar Technologies shows the level of devastation at the plant, writes CNN.

Maxar Technologies/CNN
Фото: Maxar Technologies/CNN

1552: Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has been spotted in Lviv, drinking coffee in a regular café in the Sykhiv district of the city, to the delight and admiration of city residents. The UN Goodwill Ambassador is involved in organizing assistance to Ukrainian refugees. 


1508: Invading Russian troops fired on a residential district in Dobropillya in Doneskt Oblast on April 30, injuring seven people, including three children. A photo from the scene shows a devastated apartment block.

Donetsk Oblast Civil Military Administration
Фото: Donetsk Oblast Civil Military Administration

1507: French President Emmanuel Macron promised to increase military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine during a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French media reported.


1450: The collaborating "authorities" in the temporarily occupied town of Kakhovka in Kherson Oblast plan to celebrate May 9 on a large scale, the town’s legitimate local authorities report. Pavlo Filipchuk, who was appointed "mayor" by the Russian invaders, announced a rally and a parade in the city. At the end of the "solemn rally" everyone will get some porridge and 100 grams of vodka, Filipchuk is said to have promised.


1418: One of two evacuation buses fired on by Russian troops near Popasna in Lukansk Oblast has been found, with blood in it, but not bodies, Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai reported. He said the location of the other bus is still unknown.


1354: Russian dictator Vladimir Putin refused three requests from Pope Francis to set up humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from Mariupol, according to the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero. The idea of ​​evacuating people by ship with the Vatican flag was even discussed, but Moscow made it clear three times that it would not guarantee their security, the newspaper reports.


1338: Another mass grave has been found in Kyiv Oblast with the bodies of civilians who appear to have been tortured to death, oblast police report.

The grave was found in the woods near the village of Myrotske, police said. The Russian soldiers tied people's hands, wound cloth around their faces, and some victims had gags in their mouths.

"Every man had been shot in the ear," said Kyiv Oblast Police Chief Andriy Nebytov.


1248: Russian soldiers start to panic as soon as the name of Chornobayivka in Kherson Oblast is mentioned, according to a Russian military communications intercept released by Ukraine’s General Staff.

Russian soldiers en masse refuse to go on the offensive in this area and look for "fools" who are ready to become "cannon fodder," according to the intercept.

The airport at Chornobayivka, which has been taken over by invading Russian forces, has been hit multiple times by Ukrainian artillery, destroying helicopters, warplanes, and other Russian military equipment.


1209: Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has not achieved any of the goals he set before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and has squandered all of Russia's achievements in the economy, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said during an online discussion at the Kyiv Security Forum.


1035: Ukraine has been destroying enemy tanks at a rate of more than 20 per day, with the total number of Russian tanks eliminated exceeding 1,000 after 66 days of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine’s General Staff reported in its morning summary of enemy losses. Russia has also lost about 23,200 soldiers, the General Staff said.


1011: Ukrainian resistance will foil Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s plans to create a “Kherson People’s Republic, Vadym Skibitsky, a representative of Ukraine’s GUR Defense Intelligence Agency, said on Ukrainian national television.

"Putin wants to show a victory by May 9 (Victory Day in Russia)," Skibitsky said. “He will do his best to hold a referendum by any means and say that the "people of Kherson region" have proclaimed the "Kherson People's Republic" and want to join Russia. This will be presented as one of the victories of the Russian occupation forces on the territory of Ukraine. 

However, resistance and the active position of the citizens of Ukraine in the temporarily occupied territories may disrupt the "referendum" in Kherson Oblast and the plans of the Russian occupiers to create a "Kherson People's Republic," Skibitsky said.


0958: After the failure of the invasion in northern Ukraine, the Russian military command is trying to correct its mistakes by concentrating its combat power, shortening supply lines and simplifying the management of troops, the UK’s Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence update on Russia’s war on Ukraine.


0911: The Ukrainian military destroyed a Russian command post near Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast, the General Staff reported. As a result of an artillery strike by Ukrainian forces, more than 30 units of Russian equipment were destroyed, most of which were tanks, the General Staff said.


0909: Russian troops fired on two evacuation buses on April 29 in the town of Popasna, and contact with their drivers has been lost, the head of Popasna city military-civil administration Mykola Khanatov reported.

"Yesterday we evacuated 31 people from Popasna. There were many more people interested, so two more buses were sent to the city. It is known that they reached the settlement and came under fire from an enemy sabotage and reconnaissance group. The buses were shot at. We’ve lost contact with the people who were in the vehicles and who organized the evacuation.”


0833: Invading Russian forces carried out 16 artillery strikes on towns and villages of Luhansk Oblast on April 29, killing at least one civilian, Luhansk Oblast Administration reported.


0700: Ukrainian forces have repulsed 14 enemy attacks in the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the previous 24 hours, according to Ukraine’s General Staff. It said the enemy had lost in the attacks 11 tanks, seven artillery systems, 28 armored vehicles and 14 motor vehicles.


0633: Russia has been tapping domestic dollar reserves to avoid defaulting on its debts, Bloomberg reported, citing a source in the U.S. Treasury.


0552: The number of missing in Ukraine due to the war is unprecedented in modern world history, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry. During the two months of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, law enforcement agencies have received more than 7,000 reports of disappearances, the ministry said.


0549: The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden may lift some visa requirements for highly educated Russians who want to come to the United States in order to lure Russia’s best innovators, according to Bloomberg, citing sources. One proposal is to abolish the rule that Russian specialists applying for a work visa must already have an employer. This simplification will apply to Russian citizens who have earned a master's or doctoral degree in technology, engineering or mathematics in the United States or abroad.


0515: Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Kremlin forces have fired more than 1,300 missiles worth at least $7.5 billion at targets across Ukraine, according to Forbes. The enemy has fired 235 Kaliber cruise missiles. In total, about 62% of missile launches were of Iskander ballistic missiles, 30% were Class X missiles and 8% Tochka-U ballistic missiles. Forbes said that $7.5 billion is more than 82 of Russiaʼs 85 annual local budgets.


0332: Russia’s war on Ukraine could last years, not months, a Ukrainian MP has warned.

"Of course, all of us Ukrainians want to win in the near future, and we don't even want to think about a long-term scenario that could last for years,” said David Arahamia, the leader of the Servant of the People party faction in the Ukrainian parliament.

“Unfortunately, world experience shows that there have been few wars that ended in a few weeks or months.”


0305: Ukrainian forces repulsed an enemy attack in Luhansk Oblast on April 29 with only seven Russian soldiers from the attacking group surviving, Luhansk Oblast Governor Serhiy Haidai said.

"Our defenders showed photos of personal belongings that the liquidated invaders had with them,” Haidai said. “It is noteworthy that there are Orthodox icons and charms. The racists (Russian fascists) came to Ukraine to kill with them." 


0221: The head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, Serhiy Deineko, published a video that Border Guard troops defending Mariupol recorded to mark Border Guard Day.

"The indestructible border guards are the defenders of Mariupol,” Deineko said. “Together with other courageous Ukrainian defenders, they are steadfastly defending the city, even when completely surrounded. All this time, they have been tight-lipped, but fought, fought and repulsed enemy attacks."


0213: The Ukrainian military reported that it had destroyed 10 enemy air targets on April 29: one Su-25 attack aircraft and nine Orlan-10 drones.


0144: Acting Commander of the 36th Marine Brigade Serhiy Volynsky (Volyn) appealed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urging him to evacuate the defenders of Mariupol to Turkey. Volynsky stressed that the Mariupol garrison had been fighting in a full Russian encirclement for 65 days. The Azovstal plant has about 600 servicemen with injuries of varying severity who need help. There are also wounded civilians, he said. In the shelters at Azovstal there are hundreds of civilians and dozens of children, the youngest of whom is four months old, he said.


0046: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said that the Russian concern Rosatom wants to take full control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in the captured Ukrainian town of Energodar. The IAEA confirmed that a group of eight Rosatom specialists has been sent to the plant to demand "daily reports on confidential issues" from the management.


0006: British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has suggested that Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin may announce a mass mobilization in Russia at a military parade on May 9. Wallace said that Putin has "suffered a series of failures" and may announce a mobilization to "fight world Nazism" and for the "last blow to Ukraine."

"I am not surprised that he is probably going to declare that (Russia is) currently at war with Nazis around the world, and (the Kremlin) needs to mobilize the Russian people en masse," Wallace said.

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