Day 48 of Putin's war. Russian invaders deport more than 700,000 Ukrainians to Russia, continue burning dead civilians of Mariupol

12 April, 11:06 AM
A Russian rocket next to the damaged building of Kharkiv Oblast Administration. (Photo:REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

A Russian rocket next to the damaged building of Kharkiv Oblast Administration. (Photo:REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine is more than halfway through its second month. Today, April 12, is the 48th day of Putin's war. Here, NV tracks the main events of the day.

UPDATE (1826): Invading Russian forces have deported more than 700,000 Ukrainians to Russia, Ukrainian Human Rights Ombudswoman Liudmyla Denysova has said in a comment to Radio Liberty.

According to Denisova, about 20,000 people are deported to the territory of the aggressor country every day, and there are now deported Ukrainians in 35 regions of Russia.

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The fact that more than 700,000 Ukrainians and more than Ukrainian 130,000 children were deported to Russia is confirmed by Russian ombudsman Tatiana Moskalkova.

UPDATE (1811): Today Russian dictator Vladimir Putin met Belarus dictator Aleksandr Lukashenka. Both made a series of dubious claims about their war in Ukraine after the meeting.

Lukashenko has said that if Russia had not attacked Ukraine, "it would have become the victim of a powerful strike." And Putin has said that "Ukrainian nationalism made the clash with Russia inevitable". He also claimed the key goal of his war in Ukraine was to protect Ukrainian people. 

Many in Ukraine saw his latest claims as truly sadistic. “Russia claims it wants to protect people in the Donbas. Right now, mobile crematoria are burning people’s bodies in Mariupol, the second largest city of the region,"Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the Ukrainian President's Office Head, said in a tweet.

"Those who survived are dying from starvation. What are you 'protecting' them from? From life?"

UPDATE (1311): If Russia manages to capture Ukraine's east and south, it might try to seize the rest of Ukraine afterwards, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar has said during a Ukrainian TV interview.

Meanwhile, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko has said that more than 10,000 residents of Mariupol have been killed since the start of Russia's full scale invasion of Ukraine.

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Last night Ukrainian soldiers defending Mariupol, who continue to fight for the Ukrainian port city against an overwhelming force of about 10,000 invading Russian troops, published a statement claiming the Russians had used an unknown chemical substance against them and the remaining civilians in Mariupol.

The invaders have dropped the unknown substance from a drone, the report said. Those, affected, had symptoms of chemical poisoning such as respiratory failure, and "vestibule-atactic syndrome," the Azov Regiment reported on Telegram.

Mariupol city council reposted the soldiers' message.  Earlier Eduard Basurin, one of the leaders of the DNR, a Russian proxy group, said the Russians should use chemical weapons against the remaining Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol.  

In his traditional video address on the night of April 12, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine would take statements from the invaders proxies about the possibility of the use of chemical weapons in Mariupol seriously. He also recalled that in this case, the West had previously promised to "respond to Russian aggression much more toughly and quickly."

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has already stated that London, together with Western partners, will urgently begin checking information on the possible use of chemical weapons in Mariupol. The Pentagon will also closely monitor any additional information.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has been also checking this information, Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar has said.  "We have been trying to figure out what it was. According to preliminary data, I can say that there are speculations that these might have been phosphorus munitions. But the final official information will be (released) later, "she said on Ukrainian television on April 12.

Meanwhile, the Guardian has reported Russia has been using weapons smuggled by Iran from Iraq to wage its war against Ukraine. 

While British Intelligence predicts intense fighting in the Donbas region, Ukraine has been trying to evacuate as many people as possible from areas of active fighting. Late on April 11, Donetsk Oblast governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said most civilians have evacuated from Donetsk Oblast.

Today Ukraine opened nine humanitarian corridors for evacuations from Mariupol and other occupied towns to Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and from Luhansk Oblast to Bakhmut, Donetsk Oblast.

Russia has already lost 19,600 soldiers killed in action in Ukraine, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army reported on April 12.

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