Day 56 of Putin's war. Ukraine says Russia approved a humanitarian corridor from Mariupol, repels 10 Russian attacks in Donbas

20 April, 10:47 AM
Mariupol residents in the destroyed city (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Mariupol residents in the destroyed city (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Today, April 20, is the 56th day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion. The battle for Donbas, marking the second stage of the invasion, has begun.

UPDATE(2040): Humanitarian corridor from Mariupol did not work today, Iryna Vereshchuck, Ukraine's Reintegration Minister has reported. 

Although Russia has approved the corridor straight from Mariupol, the lack of control over Russian soldiers has made it impossible for Ukrainians to evacuate people today. 

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The occupiers just had not brought the evacuees to the meeting point from Mariupol as they agreed to do after they again had not allowed Ukrainians to enter Mariupol.

Meanwhile, deputy commander of Azov regiment in Mariupol Sviatoslav Palamar has said civilians did not have a chance to escape to safety from AzovStal factory due to ongoing shelling in the city. Russias did not stick to the agreed ceasefire.

" People were scared to go out. We do not keep them here by force," Palamar said in a video statement. "We urge Russians to stick to the agreed conditions."

Mariupol city council has added that tomorrow Ukraine will try again.

UPDATE(2033): Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed he did not get any new proposals from Russia. 

Earlier today Russia stated it has passed the new peace document to Ukraine and now "Kyiv has to make a move". Zelensky said he has not seen any documents from Russia.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian evacuation column of busses, that is able to take several thousand citizens, has arrived in Orikhiv, an occupied town in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, close to Mariupol.  Ukrainian authorities have said they were waiting for Russians to stick to their promises and allow them to enter Mariupol and take people from there.  

UPDATE(1656): Russia has lost three times more military equipment than Ukraine in the war, Oryx analytical media project has reported.

According to Oryx, Russian invading forces have lost 3002 pieces of military equipment so far. At the same time, Ukraine has lost 848. About 400 Ukrainian military machines have been captured by Russians.

Oryx has been using OSINT methods, counting only those war machines that can be seen in videos and photos.

16:43 Russian occupiers continue attacking Ukrainian positions near Izium, a city in Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine's President's advisor Oleksiy Arestovych has said during a press briefing.

They have accumulated a large number of forces near Izium, and now they are trying to advance there. For now, the Russians have no success," Arestovych said.

Meanwhile, the UN has reported more than 5 million people have left Ukraine since the start of the active phase of the Russian invasion. 

13:18 All the attempts of Russian invading forces to breach Ukrainian defense in Luhansk Oblast have so far failed, Luhansk governor Serhiy Haidai has said in a statement. 

He said all the remaining hospitals in the war-torn oblast are filled with wounded Russian soldiers. 

Meanwhile Charles Michel, the head of European Council has visited Borodianka, one of the towns in Kyiv Oblast, devastated by Russian troops. "History will not forget the war crimes that have been committed here," Michel wrote on Twitter.  "There can be no peace without justice."

11:56 Russia's FSB security service has arrested a top Russian proxy from Luhansk Igor Kornet, the interior minister of the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic", Ukraine's Defense Ministry Main Intelligence Directorate has reported. 

According to Ukrainian intelligence, now Kornet is being held in a detention center in Rostov-on-Don.

This is the second high-profile proxy arrested by FSB in a month. Earlier Russians abducted Eduard Basurin, a proxy leader from Donetsk. He was soon returned to the war front.

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Russia is continuing to intensify its attacks all over Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, concentrating its maximum effort on Mariupol.  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has reported that Russia has massed almost all of its active military forces in and near Ukraine's borders. Meanwhile, more and more countries are agreeing to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine.

Today Ukraine and Russia agreed to open a humanitarian corridor straight from Mariupol, Ukraine's Reintegration Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a statement. According to her, only women, children, and the elderly would be allowed to leave, Vereshchuk said. All earlier attempts to evacuate people from Mariupol were disrupted by the Russians. 

The Ukrainian army has repelled ten attacks by invading Russian forces in the Donbas in the past 24 hours, Ukraine's General Staff has reported.

In the occupied parts of Zaporizhzhia Oblast, Russian soldiers have rioted due to a lack of payment from the Russian government, Zaporizhzhia Governor Ivan Arefiyev wrote on Telegram on April 20.

According to him, three unidentified Russian soldiers threatened to lay down their weapons and return to Russia. They were shot dead by some Chechen Kadyrov fighters. 

The Russians have been pressing hard in the Popasna district and in Mariupol, where they are heavily bombing the Azovstal factory. There, several thousand Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are hiding in an underground shelter. Late on the night of April 19 Serhiy Volyna, the commander of the 36 marine brigade, which is defending Mariupol, published a video statement, calling on the leaders of the world to save people trapped in Azovstal and take them to a third country. He said this might be the Mariupol defenders' last appeal to the world.

The occupiers have forcibly moved more than 500,000 Ukrainians to the Russian Federation, with 121,000 of them being children.

The Russians have lost more than 20,900 soldiers killed in action in Ukraine since Feb. 24, Ukraine's General Staff has reported.

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