Ukrainian government urges citizens to stay home for Easter, fearing Russian provocations, Russians attack Odesa

23 April, 10:49 AM
A Ukrainian soldier jumps of a tank (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

A Ukrainian soldier jumps of a tank (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

Today, April 23, is the 59th day of Ukraine's defense against a full-scale Russian invasion. 

2028: Ukraine will withdraw from any kind of negotiations with Russia in case the invading forces destroy Ukrainian soldiers remaining in Mariupol or in case Russia decides to conduct a sham referendum in Kherson Oblast, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky told NV during his press conference in Kyiv subway on April 23.

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2023: Russian forces are preparing an offensive against Severodonetsk, a city in Luhansk Oblast, General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has reported.

The enemy has been also trying to take full control over the towns Popasna and Rubizhne. Streetfighting has been going on in both settlements.  Overall the invading forces cannot achieve their goals so far, General Staff has reported.

1858: Ukrainian army destroyed two Russian generals in Kherson Oblast, another one has been wounded, Ukraine's Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate has reported.

According to Ukrainian intelligence on April 22 Ukrainian forces struck a forward operating location of the 49th combined arms army of Russia in Kherson Oblast. 

"As the result, two occupying army's generals were destroyed, one was heavily injured and evacuated," the intelligence report reads. 

1838: Ukrainians Air Force Command South has published an update on today's Russian shelling of Odesa that killed at least five and injured 18 people.

According to the Air Force, Russian TU-95 bombers carried out the attacks on Odesa from the Caspian Sea. Earlier it was reported about at least six missiles. Air Force Command said Ukrainian air defense systems in Odesa shot down two Russian missiles and two drones that were used to guide the missiles.

Ukraine's President's Office Head Andriy Yermak has reported a 3-months-old child was killed in the Russian attack.

1707: Russian occupying forces have started forceful conscription of local men and medics to the Russian army in the occupied territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine's Defense Ministry Main Intelligence Directorate has reported. 

In Kharkiv Oblast, the occupiers have been sending Ukrainian medics on the frontlines to treat wounded Russians. Most of the forcefully conscripted  Ukrainians have pro-Ukrainian views. But the occupiers aim to throw them in the most dangerous directions as cannon fodder. "So they aim to force Ukrainians to kill each other on a battlefield," Ukrainian intelligence says.

1657: Russians have shot at least six cruise missiles on Odesa, the local council has reported.

The authorities have warned Ukrainians not to reveal any details about the attack yet, claiming it could help the invading forces to correct their fire. 

Earlier Western media reported Russia has been using submarines to fire missiles against Odesa.

However, Andriy Yermak, the head of the President's Office, reported about five people killed and 18 wounded in today's attack against Odesa. 

1403: Russian occupiers have deported 308 Mariupol residents to Russia's far east, local media website has reported.

According to the publication, 308 Mariupol residents were brought to Nakhodka, a town in the Primorsky Kray district, near the Pacific Ocean.

"They are clearing Mariupol of people. The occupiers don't need people there, they just need the territory of the corridor to Crimea," Mariupol City Council has said in a Telegram statement.  "First Russians totally destroyed the city. They let out only half of the population and they deport the rest to the most depressive regions of Russia."

Mariupol authorities in exile have opened a contact line, collecting information about the deported residents.

1346: Most of the Russian proxy soldiers of the so-called "DPR" have died during a battle for Mariupol, Ukraine's military intelligence has reported. 

More than 1500 Russian proxies were killed in action during a siege of Mariupol.

1314: Russian Ministry of Defense has accused the United States of preparing "a nuclear provocation" in Kyiv or Kharkiv.

Russian defense officials have claimed the U.S. wants to blame them for using nuclear or chemical weapons in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Armed Forces liberated three villages in Kharkiv Oblast after a successful counterattack – Bezruky, Slatane, and Prudianka of the Derhachi territorial community.

Morning Digest

Ukraine is getting ready to celebrate Easter during the war with Russia. Every year thousands of Ukrainian believers gather in churches for overnight service. However this time Ukrainian authorities urged people to stay away from churches, claiming Russia might be preparing bloody provocations with multiply victims on the Easter night. Earlier numerous Russian media and Telegram channels reported "Ukraine is preparing bloody provocations on Easter night in the south of the country, and will blame Russia for that."

In Kyiv, the authorities have imposed a curfew for Easter night and urged citizens to watch nightly services online. Mykolaiv Oblast Governor Vitaly Kim asked Ukrainians to stay home on Easter weekend and announced a curfew starting from 7 p.m on Saturday.  "Please stay home. Orcs(Russians) might be preparing something for us," Kim said in a morning address on April 23.

"I know it is hard, I am a believer myself.  I've never missed Easter service before. But we are at war," Kim added.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to repel Russian attacks in the east and south of the country. Over the past 24 hours, more than 38 Russians were killed in action in southern Ukraine, Ukrainian Command South has reported.

In Donbas, Ukrainians repelled eight Russian attacks and destroyed nine tanks and several dozens of other war machines of the occupiers.

Overall Russia has already lost 21600 soldiers killed in action in Ukraine, as well as several thousands of military vehicles, more than 177 planes, 154 helicopters, 69 air defense systems, and eight vessels, the General Staff of Ukraine's Army has reported.

The European Union has been preparing a new package of sanctions against Russia, Politico has reported. Citing four EU diplomats Politico has claimed the new package of sanctions will include the partial ban of Russian oil and cut some major Russian banks from SWIFT.

Today Ukraine also aims to renew the evacuation of women, children, and elderly from Mariupol. More than 80 people have managed to get out of Mariupol and arrived in Zaporizhzhia on April 23. 

Despite Putin's order Russians continue shelling the AzovStal district of Mariupol, where several thousands of Ukrainian civilians and servicemen found shelter in the underground corridors of the stronghold steel mill.

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