Ukraine celebrates Orthodox Easter, Belarusian bus problem, Kyiv Security Forum report

17 April, 02:51 PM

Your slice of the headlines in Ukraine. Daily. Monday, April 17, 2023.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy greeted Ukrainians on Easter Sunday, April 16, in a video address recorded near the main church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, one of the holiest sites in Eastern Orthodox Christianity – the Assumption Cathedral.

Video of day

On April 16, Ukraine marks the Orthodox Christian holiday of Easter, celebrating the Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and, for Ukrainians, represents the triumph of life over death and the renewal of the spirit.

An Easter prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia resulted in the return of 130 Ukrainian defenders, the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andriy Yermak, reported on Telegram on April 16.

Russian occupation authorities are spreading rumors about forced evacuations in schools and kindergartens in the occupied town of Enerhodar, home to the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom reported on April 16.

Hungary has temporarily banned the import of grains, oilseeds, and some other agricultural products from Ukraine, Hungarian news outlet reported on April 15, citing Hungarian agricultural minister Istvan Nagy.

The Russian government has been using the Russian Orthodox Church for intelligence and subversive activities in other countries for decades, according to retired General Victor Yahun, a former officer of Ukraine’s SBU security service, in an interview with Radio NV on April 16.

Long before the full-scale war, Ukrainian cities were occupied by Belarusian heavy equipment. No, we are not talking about tanks and armored personnel carriers, but about Belarusian-made public transport vehicles operated by municipalities across the country. Of course, they will need to be replaced, but who is set to benefit from it?

With Russia’s annual Victory Day celebrations less than one month away, the Kremlin has taken the highly unusual step of canceling a number of military parades in regional capitals. Scheduled parades to mark the World War II Soviet victory over Nazi Germany have been called off in Kursk and Belgorod Oblasts, which both border Ukraine. Victory Day celebrations in Russian-occupied Crimea have also reportedly been scrapped.  – Dickinson

Vladimir Putin expected to use gas exports this winter to blackmail Europe and weaken Western support for Ukraine. Instead, this tactic appears to have backfired disastrously and critically undermined Russia’s position on European energy markets. – Sabadus

Moscow should end the war against Ukraine and focus on consolidating the territorial gains it still holds on to, the owner of Russian private military company Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said on April 14.

At least 70% of Ukrainians would support a complete ban of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in the country, according to a survey conducted by Ukrainian polling company Gradus Research on April 13-14.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Vatican, Andrii Yurash, spoke to Radio NV about how Pope Francis receives information about Russia's war against Ukraine.

Russian authorities are planning to develop a new strategy to fight Ukrainian guerrillas in the temporarily occupied territories because the current measures are not producing the desired results, the Sprotyv National Resistance Centre reported on 15 April.

The West doesn't provide Ukraine with all of the supplies it needs because it has long been guided by a rule to avoid provoking Russia, Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said in an interview with Spanish outlet La Razon on April 16.

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Over the past week, Russian forces have increased the number of airstrikes in frontline areas, psychological confrontation heats up between Russia, Ukraine, and the West, and a low-intensity guerrilla war is brewing in Russia.

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