Day 65 of Putin's war. Ukraine hopes to evacuate civilians from Azovstal factory in Mariupol, Russia slowly progresses in Donbas

29 April, 11:02 AM
A Ukrainian serviceman in Donetsk Oblast. (Photo:REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

A Ukrainian serviceman in Donetsk Oblast. (Photo:REUTERS/Serhii Nuzhnenko)

Today, April 29, is the 65th day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion. Ukraine has been fighting off Russian aggression for over two months.

2005: Russians have captured two British volunteers working in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, the Guardian has reported. 

British aid workers Paul Urey and Dilan Healy were helping to deliver humanitarian aid in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. 

According to the Guardian, Presidium Network, a UK-based NGO that carries out evacuations of families and individuals from war zones, identified Paul Urey and Dylan Healy as the captured men.

Видео дня

1908: The number of casualties in Russia's bombing of AzovStal makeshift hospital grew from 178 to 600 people wounded in the attack, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko has said at a briefing. 

Russians continue to destroy Mariupol residents, Boychenko said. 

Russian troops have already killed more than 20,000 Mariupol residents, which the mayor said, was a "genocide of the Russian-speaking population" of Ukraine by Russian troops.

"There is almost no food, almost no water, almost no medicine. They have been in such conditions for more than 60 days. And they are begging for help," Boychenko said about the situation in Azovstal.

1602: Invading Russian troops have started kidnapping men of conscription age in Melitopol, the city's mayor, Ivan Fedorov, has reported. 

"All men of military age are being abducted," Fedorov said during a telethon on Ukrainian TV.

"Two weeks ago, they began to offer them to join the Russian army, and today they are kidnapping them at checkpoints and taking them to unknown locations." 

1529: Russian proxies in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts have been forcing local students to donate blood to wounded Russian soldiers, Ukraine's Human Rights Ombudswoman Lyudmila Denisova has reported.

According to her, there were more than 700 cases of forced blood donations reported in the occupied territories of the Donbas. 

Students of the Donetsk National University, Donetsk National Technical University, Donbas National Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Donbas Law Academy, M. Gorky Donetsk National Medical University, Luhansk Medical University, Luhansk Agrarian University, Luhansk Pedagogical University, Luhansk Academy of Internal Affairs were forced to give their blood to soldiers.

Denisova said that this is a violation of the Geneva Convention on the protection of the populations of occupied territories. 

1508: Ukraine's SBU security service has arrested a group of Russian soldiers that were aiming to seize Pivdennoukrainska Nuclear Power Plant in Mykolaiv Oblast, SBU press service has reported. 

Three Russian soldiers were hiding in an abandoned building near Voznesensk. 

In March Russian invading forces attacked Mykolaiv Oblast, trying to seize the NPP.

1456: Ukrainian forces have liberated Ruska Lozova, a strategically important village in Kharkiv Oblast, the Ukrainian Land Forces Command has reported.

"A Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) squad under the command of the Commander of the Land Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrsky have liberated Ruska Lozova. Currently, it is completely under the control of the Armed Forces, "the statement reads.

According to the Ukrainian military, this is a strategically important village on the Kharkiv-Belgorod highway. The Russians used their positions in Ruska Lozova to shell Kharkiv.

1228: Yesterday's Russian missile strike on Kyiv killed RFE/RL Ukrainian Service journalist Vira Hyrych, her colleagues have reported.

A Russian missile hit the building where she had an apartment. Her body was found in the morning of April 29.

Morning Digest

Yesterday evening Russia shelled Kyiv's downtown, killing at least one person and injuring more than 10. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who was speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky not far from the place of the attack, said he was shocked that Russia dared to attack Kyiv during his visit, BBC has reported.

President Zelensky has said the incident says a lot about "Russia's true attitude towards the international diplomatic institutions."

The international community needs to react, he added.

The U.S. House of Representatives has finally supported a bill on a lend lease for Ukraine, which should significantly speed up the supply of weapons, transport, and other assistance to Ukraine from the United States.

The bill must now be signed by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Overnight, Russian invaders strengthened their push against Ukrainian forces all over the war front in Ukraine's east and south.

The occupiers have been shelling Kharkiv Oblast with artillery. Two people were killed and four more wounded in Kharkiv, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synehubov said. One person was wounded in the village of Khroly , one person died and one person was wounded in the village of Kotliary, and five people were wounded and two people killed in the village of Pokotylivka in Kharkiv Oblast.

The Russian army has been progressing in Donbas, but the progress is slow and uneven, US officials told CNN. 

Meanwhile, Ukraine's General Staff reported that Russia has been shelling Ukrainian positions all over Donbas and in the south of Ukraine, preventing Ukrainian forces from regrouping. 

Ukraine aims to evacuate people from Azovstal today, Reuters has reported, citing the President's Office of Ukraine.

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