Live Conflict Conflict in Ukraine

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Biden-Putin meeting: Austria contacted the USA and Russia

Vienna is only one of the possible cities for the meeting of the presidents of the United States and Russia, which may take place in the summer.
The Austrian authorities have already contacted the United States and Russia about holding a meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Vienna. This was stated by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in an interview with the German portal Pioneer.


“We should not overestimate our role, we do not play the role of a mediator. But there are always neutral countries that choose for dialogue and negotiations. We are already in contact with the Russian and American sides. Joe Biden, and I believe that this is always the right way - dialogue is always better for all participants than anything else - then we would be extremely happy if this all takes place in Austria, "said Kurz.

He added that Vienna is just one of the cities being discussed as a venue for the meeting.

As you know, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Iceland also expressed a desire to hold a Biden-Putin meeting.

Recall that Biden a few days earlier said that Washington and Moscow are currently considering the possibility of holding a meeting of the leaders of the Russian Federation and the United States this summer in Europe.

Russia received the proposal positively. Now they are studying various aspects of a possible meeting.
 

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Macron plans to negotiate with Putin

The French president intends to discuss with his Russian counterpart the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
French President Emmanuel Macron intends to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the near future. This was reported by the press service of the Elysee Palace on Saturday, April 17.

"The President of the Republic and President Zelensky exchanged views with German Chancellor Angela Merkel through a video conference. They jointly noted that the conclusions of the Paris summit, held on December 9, 2019, remain fully relevant and require Russia to interact with Ukraine to facilitate their implementation. The President of the Republic is coming soon. will discuss this with President Putin, "the message says.
 

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Russian special forces are preparing provocations in Donbass, - JFO headquarters

Special units of the Russian Federation are preparing provocations in the Donbas. Their task is to inflict maximum losses on personnel.

This was stated by the Deputy Commander of the Joint Forces, Major General Viktor Ganushchak during a trip to the JFO zone, Skeptic reports with reference to Ukrinform.

According to him, an escalation of the situation in Donbass is possible in the future.

“There will be provocative shelling, the enemy will provoke. Their task is to inflict maximum losses on personnel. This is proved by the sniper fire, where the special forces of the Russian Federation are used directly, ”Ganushchak said.


He added that the special forces of the Russian Federation are used to provoke return fire and use it in the information plane.

“They come here, they work, and sometimes the militants who are in the trenches do not know that specialists come in and work separately on the tasks of the leadership of the 1st and 2nd army corps. Their task is to inflict damage in order to provoke return fire, ”the JFO headquarters explained.
 

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The concentration of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine is now much less than it was in 2014 - Turchinov

Now the number of Russian troops near the border of Ukraine is much smaller than it was in 2014. Oleksandr Turchynov, former secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, said this in an interview to Radio Svoboda, published on April 17.
"When we analyze the situation on our borders, it really is a danger. An objective, real danger. Yes, [this is] the concentration of Russian troops. But it is much less than it was in 2014. When in the north of our country there are now about 40 thousand Russian troops, then in 2014 there were more than 200 thousand. It was a completely different format, "Turchinov said.

He noted that in 2014 Ukraine "was virtually unprotected."
We did not have an efficient army. We had a colossal economic crisis. The account at that time in the treasury was about UAH 100 thousand. Such a resource for the whole Ukraine! The army was disarmed and demoralized. There was a very difficult political crisis. Plus, the agents of the Russian Federation worked out a large-scale sabotage project called "Russian Spring", when they organized separatist riots from Kharkov to Odessa. That is, the entire east and south of our country were engulfed in separatist riots. It was a real danger, "the former head of the NSDC recalled.

Turchynov added that now in the Russian-occupied Crimea, Russian troops are "no more than there were in 2014", but the Ukrainian army is an order of magnitude stronger than it was then
 

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You know the problem with the west is that they have too many leaders and can’t walk in the same direction with same speed. Putin makes a decision and moves all of Russia. If EU was a dictatorship with current economy, Russia would be a at deaths doorstep.

Putin doesn’t care about his people. The buildup could be to scare so a conquest can be done with minimal losses. Still having the manpower behind / close by to back up any issues.
 

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In the JFO zone, 17 attacks in a day, a soldier was wounded

The enemy used the MT-12 anti-tank gun, mortars, grenade launchers, heavy machine guns and small arms.

Separatist units in Donbass violated ceasefire 17 times over the past day. Ukrainian soldiers were not injured, the press center of the Joint Forces operation headquarters reported in the morning report on Sunday, April 18.

So, not far from the village of Novomikhaylovka, the enemy opened fire towards the positions of our defenders from the MT-12 anti-tank gun.



Near the settlements of Mayorskoye, Novgorodskoye, Zaitsevo, Yuzhnoye, Shumy and Luganskoye, the enemy fired from 82 and 120 caliber mortars prohibited by the Minsk agreements, grenade launchers of various systems, large-caliber machine guns and small arms.

In the suburbs of the settlements of Peski, Shirokino, Avdeevka and Vodyanoe, in the Donetsk region, the enemy fired from under-barrel, automatic easel and anti-tank grenade launchers, large-caliber machine guns and small arms.

As a result of enemy shelling, one Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier was wounded by shrapnel. His condition is moderate.

The Ukrainian side of the JCCC promptly informed the OSCE SMM of all the facts of violations.

“Ukrainian defenders opened fire on shelling of the Russian occupation forces,” the headquarters said.

Since the beginning of the current day, one shelling has been recorded. Near Avdeevka firing was conducted from under-barrel grenade launchers, large-caliber machine guns and small arms. The Ukrainian military did not suffer.

We will remind that on April 16, the separatists opened fire 15 times in Donbass. Then the Ukrainian Armed Forces suffered no losses.

It also became known that the enemy fired mortars at the private sector. Mines of 120 caliber fell near residential buildings in the village of Zaitsevo.
 

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eight attacks in the JFO, a dead and a wounded

One Ukrainian soldier was killed in one day, one was wounded

On Sunday, the separatists fired at the positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces eight times. Since the beginning of the current day - already three times.

Over the past day, separatists in the Donbas violated the ceasefire eight times, a Ukrainian serviceman was killed and another one was wounded. Since the beginning of the current day, there have already been three attacks. On Monday, April 19, the press service of the General Staff of the JFO reported.

"In particular, not far from the village of Vodyanoye, in the Donetsk region, the enemy opened fire from 120-caliber mortars and automatic heavy-duty grenade launchers prohibited by the Minsk agreements," the message says.

In the suburbs of Starognatovka, Peskov, Katerinovka and Avdeevka, the enemy fired from grenade launchers of various systems, large-caliber machine guns and small arms.

Near the settlement of Shyrokyne, the separatists fired from heavy anti-tank grenade launchers.

As a result of enemy shelling, one Ukrainian defender was injured incompatible with life, another soldier was wounded by shrapnel. The soldier was promptly provided first aid and was evacuated to a hospital.

Since the beginning of the current day, separatists in Donbas have violated the ceasefire three times, and Ukrainian servicemen have not suffered.

Soldier from Georgia killed in Donbass - media

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A soldier of the 128th Separate Mountain Assault Brigade David Shartava died during the shelling of the separatists.
 

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EU calls on Russia to withdraw troops from Ukraine

Today the ministers of foreign affairs of the EU countries will discuss the situation with the Russian troops near the borders of Ukraine.
The European Union calls on Russia to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border. This was stated on Monday, April 19, by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

"We will discuss the situation on the Ukrainian border, where Russian troops are deployed for field exercises. This is a very dangerous situation, we call on Russia to withdraw its troops from the border with Ukraine," the EU foreign ministers said in a video message before the video link talks.

He also noted that tensions are growing in relations between the EU and Russia in many areas.
 

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Ex-President of Estonia proposed to ban Russian citizens from entering the EU

Former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves proposed to freeze entry visas to the EU for all citizens of the Russian Federation.

According to Ilves, it is about the security of the EU countries.
He wrote about this on his Twitter page.

“Probably, a temporary ban on all visits from Russia is needed, I'm talking about any visits. Before the invasion of Crimea, these people arrogantly demanded a visa-free regime with the European Union. You just need to freeze all visas, except for emergency cases in the family. Europe's security is at stake. That's enough, ”Ilves noted.

Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, in connection with the scandal and accusations of Russian agents in blowing up warehouses with weapons in 2014, which, according to media reports, were intended for Ukraine, they plan to prevent the Russian company Rosatom from participating in the tender for the construction of a new power unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Karel Gavlicek, the participation of a Russian company in the tender is unlikely.
In March, the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade began assessing the security of companies that applied for participation in the tender. However, the story of the destruction of warehouses radically changes the situation.

 

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Weapons for Ukraine. Russia's conflict with the Czech Republic


Explosion seven years ago

Explosions at the ammunition depot in the village of Vrbetice in the Zlín region in southeastern Czech Republic occurred on October 16 and December 3, 2014. The first explosion killed two people.

Czech law enforcement officials assume that Russian special services were involved in the explosions. Two men with Russian passports issued in the name of Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov were put on the wanted list.

These are the same men who were shown in 2018 by the British police as suspects in the Skripal poisoning and who gave interviews to Margarita Simonyan from RT channel, explaining that they went to Salisbury to admire the sights.

These two people were from October 11 to October 16, 2014 in the Czech Republic - first in Prague, and then in the Moravian-Silesian and Zlín regions. In addition to Russian passports in the name of Boshirov and Petrov, they used a Moldovan passport in the name of Nikolai Popa and a Tajik passport in the name of Ruslan Tabarov.

Ukrainian trace

According to the Czech media, the exploded warehouses contained ammunition from one of the largest Bulgarian arms dealers Emelyan Gebrev, who later planned to sell them to Ukraine. Gebrev collaborated with the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Guard. The explosion occurred in 2014, during active battles in the Donbass.

In 2015, Gebrev was poisoned twice with Novichok poison. The Insider and Bellingcat found out that a Russian intelligence officer under the name of Sergei Fedotov was involved in Gebrev's poisoning. He also directed the operation to poison the Skripals in Salisbury.

Big scandal

Due to the scandal, the Czech Republic decided to expel 18 Russian diplomats suspected of working for two Russian special services - the GRU and the SVR. They were "clearly identified by our secret services," said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Hamacek.

Hamacek admitted that their expulsion would seriously undermine Prague's relations with Moscow. “But we have to react,” he said. "We are in the same situation as the UK in the attempt to poison [the Skripals] in Salisbury in 2018," the minister said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed a strong protest in connection with the "hostile step" of Prague and announced the return expulsion from the country of 20 Czech diplomats.
 

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Ukraine agrees to buy mine minesweepers - media

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Photo: FleetMon

Minesweeper Admiral Cowan Estonian Navy

Funding for the project is planned from a loan provided by Great Britain for the development of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian military wants to buy two Sandown-class minesweepers from the UK and are already negotiating this. This was reported by the Ukrainian Militar Portal on Monday, April 19.

It is alleged that the project is planned to be financed from loans provided by the UK for the development of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

For the needs of the national fleet, it is planned to purchase Sandown-class anti-mine ships, which became part of the British fleet in the period from 1989 to 2001.

Brief technical characteristics of the Sandown class ships:

Displacement: 600 tons (full)

Length: 52.6 meters

Width: 10.5 meters

Draft: 2.4 meters

Speed: up to 13 knots on diesel power plant

Speed: up to 6.5 knots on electric traction

Crew: 34 people

Armament: three 12.7 mm machine guns

Special equipment: Atlas Elektronik IMCMS automated mine action control system

Earlier, ships of this type were added to the Naval Forces of Estonia and Saudi Arabia. Now these countries operate three such minesweepers.

As you know, in October 2020, it became known that London will allocate 1.25 billion pounds to Kiev for defense. A significant part of these funds will be spent on the development of the Ukrainian Navy.

In particular, then it was reported that Britain would help Ukraine create a new missile boat, compatible with NATO standards.
 

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Russian military build-up near Ukraine numbers more than 150,000 troops, EU's Borrell says​


Russia has concentrated more than 150,000 troops on Ukraine's border and in annexed Crimea, the EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday after EU foreign ministers were briefed by Ukraine's foreign minister.

"It is more than 150,000 Russian troops massing on the Ukrainian borders and in Crimea. The risk of further escalation is evident," Borrell said, declining to give a source for the figure.

He said no new economic sanctions or expulsions of Russian diplomats were planned for the time being, despite saying that the military build-up on Ukraine's borders was the largest ever.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, after addressing EU foreign ministers, called on the EU to impose new sanctions on Russia.


Tensions between Moscow and Kyiv have been rising amid the military build-up and clashes in eastern Ukraine between the army and pro-Russian separatists.
 

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Day in the JFO: seven attacks, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have no losses


The positions of the Ukrainian army were fired from anti-tank missile systems, anti-aircraft guns, grenade launchers, machine guns, mortars.
In the Donbass, in the area of the Joint Forces Operation, six violations of the "silence" regime were recorded over the past day. There are no combat losses among the Ukrainian defenders. This was reported in the morning report of the JFO headquarters.

“So, not far from Avdiivka, the enemy opened fire from 120-caliber mortars, and near the village of Yuzhnoye, from anti-tank missile systems, anti-aircraft guns, grenade launchers of various systems and heavy machine guns. and small arms, "the message says.

The headquarters added that not far from Sand, the enemy used large-caliber machine guns, under-barrel and heavy anti-tank grenade launchers. And at Zaitsevo, the enemy carried out remote mining from hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers with POM-2 mines.

As of 7:00, April 20, one violation of the ceasefire regime was recorded - not far from Zolote-4, where separatists opened fire from grenade launchers of various systems
 

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Ukrainian Armed Forces banned from responding to separatist provocations



Ukraine military was banned from responding to the provocations of the separatists in the Donbas

The situation in Donbass continues to remain tense - the separatists are doing everything possible to provoke the Ukrainian military, the minister added.

The Ukrainian military was ordered not to respond to the provocations of the separatists in the Donbas. This was stated by Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba at a press conference on Tuesday, April 20.

"The Ukrainian troops have been ordered not to react to provocations (in the Donbass - ed.). Unfortunately, the other side is doing everything possible to provoke them," Kuleba said.

The minister added that the situation on the contact line continues to remain tense - since the beginning of the year, 30 Ukrainian soldiers have died in the Donbas, most of whom were killed by snipers.

"A sniper shot is a premeditated murder," Kuleba stressed, adding that they were "Russian snipers."

"Ukraine is not planning any armed offensive, escalation or provocations to resolve the conflict in Donbass. We are putting all our efforts into a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict," Kuleba said.

"One of the first signs of de-escalation will be a renewed commitment by the Russian side to abide by the ceasefire. The TCG's joint statement of its commitment to the ceasefire will be a sign that Russia is at least ready to talk, and not just build up its military force near the borders. would be a ray of hope, "the minister explained.

At the same time, only Moscow is engaged in escalation in the Donbass, says the head of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

"Moscow should hear from every corner that it is not two sides - Ukraine and Russia - that are responsible for the escalation. It is only Moscow that is building up its military force on a large scale, only Moscow is escalating," Kuleba said, adding that the cost of preventing further escalation from the RF side will always be less than the price of stopping it and mitigating its consequences.

“I hope our friends and partners understand this,” the minister stressed.

At the same time, no negotiations are being held behind the backs of France, Germany, the United States, the Foreign Minister assured.

"We do not conduct negotiations outside the existing formats," the minister added and summed up that the peaceful solution is based on the Minsk agreements and negotiations in the format of the TCG and the Normandy Four.
 

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US plans to transfer weapons to Ukraine if Russia attacks - WSJ

The United States is developing a plan for the transfer of weapons to Ukraine in the event of an attack by the Russian Federation
The deliveries could include "anti-tank, anti-ship and anti-aircraft systems," the journalists learned.
US officials are developing a plan to transfer weapons to Ukraine in the event of a Russian attack, but these measures have not yet been approved by President Joe Biden. It was reported by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, April 20.

According to the source of the publication, "Biden's administration officials are preparing an opportunity to provide lethal and non-lethal military aid to Ukraine in the event of a Russian attack." According to the publication, such supplies may include "anti-tank, anti-ship and anti-aircraft systems."

In turn, the plan has not yet been submitted to Biden for approval. At the same time, the administration is also considering the possibility of introducing additional economic sanctions against Russia.

The US authorities assume that there are now about 80 thousand Russian military personnel near the Ukrainian border - the material quotes Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba that in a few weeks the total number of Russian military personnel at the border will exceed 120 thousand.
 

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Aprox 110k RU soldiers. I bet those are the well equipped units. Ukraine may not have that many standing ready. So Ukraine is trying to soak up the provocations.

I think sooner or later RU will sneak over and do some good old wolf in sheep clothing.
 

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The regime of protection of the border with Belarus has been strengthened

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Border with Belarus is heavily guarded

The enhanced mode involves an increase in the number of outfits. The subdivisions have also been maximally activated to monitor the situation in the border areas.

The border with Belarus is heavily guarded. No accumulation of troops on this section of the Ukrainian border has been recorded. On Wednesday, April 21, RBC-Ukraine writes about this.

According to the State Border Service, the enhanced regime involves an increase in the number of orders. The subdivisions have also been maximally activated to monitor the situation in the border areas.

According to the speaker of the State Border Guard Service Andrey Demchenko, considerable attention is paid to this area.

“Considering the close cooperation of this country with Russia, especially in the context of mentioning the external border of the Union State of Belarus and the Russian Federation,” he said.

According to Demchenko, the situation on the border with Belarus remains calm.

"At the moment, directly on the border line or near the border, we do not record the movement of military equipment or the accumulation of military units. There have not been any unusual situations either," the spokesman for the State Border Guard Service noted.

As previously reported, The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, April 20, published satellite images of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border.
 
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