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Russo-Ukrainian War, day 770: Russia understands nothing but force, says Zelenskyy, as Ukraine prepares F-16 pilots

President Zelenskyy stressed that “Russia understands nothing but force” after the UN condemned Ukraine’s strikes on a Russian drone factory. Meanwhile, Ukrainian F-16 pilots are training abroad, and technical crews are preparing to train others in Ukraine as the war persists.
Russo-Ukrainian War, day 770: Russia understands nothing but force, says Zelenskyy, as Ukraine prepares F-16 pilots

Exclusive

Why donations to the Ukrainian army are crucial for victory. The short answer is a lack of state budget to cover all needs as well as unwieldy bureaucracy missing relatively “small” but important issues, such as effective sniper rifles or even vehicles for particular units.
Can Russia take Kharkiv?. Russia is reportedly preparing an operation to take Ukraine’s second-largest city. Not so fast, say military experts

Military

Frontline report: Ukrainians recapture ground north of Synkivka from weakened Russians. Ukrainian forces conducted a successful counterattack near Synkivka in the Kupiansk direction, northeastern Ukraine, recapturing positions and establishing a buffer zone against weakened Russian troops.

Zelenskyy: Russia to mobilize 300.000 troops in June. Earlier, Russian exiled media reported that the Kremlin plans to mobilize 300,000 troops to capture Kharkiv.

As of 03 Apr 2024, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

      • Personnel: 444370 (+710)
      • Tanks: 7009 (+11)
      • APV: 13368 (+18)
      • Artillery systems: 11142 (+30)
      • MLRS: 1025 (+2)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 745 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 8796 (+17)
      • Cruise missiles : 2059 (+1)
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 14813 (+30)

Intelligence and technology

The Guardian: Ukraine plans to destroy Kerch bridge by June. According to The Guardian, Ukraine’s military intelligence is planning a third attack on the Kerch bridge during the first half of 2024.

Ukrainian intel: No Western weapons used in Russia’s Tatarstan attack. Tatarstan officials claimed the drones used in the attack were “equipped with NATO-country equipment.”

UK sends “mine plows” to aid Ukraine in demining. Ukraine, heavily mined due to the war, urgently needs sophisticated demining equipment for land clearance and citizen safety.

Air Force: Ukrainian F-16 pilots hone skills, technical crew preps for peer training. Ukrainian pilots are training in allied countries to fly F-16s, with two groups already honing their skills on the aircraft; training for technical personnel is also underway to prepare them to train others in Ukraine, as per Ukraine’s Air Force.

Ukraine’s ex-President presents new EW system Ay-Petri SV. Petro Poroshenko funded the development of the “Ai-Petri SV” electronic warfare system, created with Ukrainian engineers to counter modern Russian threats, including drones and guided bombs, showcasing advanced capabilities and rapid development.

International

Zelenskyy to UN: Russia understands nothing but force. UN Secretary-General spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric condemned Ukraine’s strikes on a drone factory in Russia’s Tatarstan region, calling for an end to attacks on what he termed “civilian infrastructure.”

Ukraine, Finland sign security cooperation agreement. Ukraine and Finland signed a security cooperation agreement in Kyiv, with Finland pledging a 188 million euro aid package, including air defense systems and ammunition.

Politico: NATO eyes $100 billion Ukraine fund and Ramstein group takeover amid looming Trump presidency. Amid a stalled $60 billion US military aid package and a looming Trump presidency in the US, NATO aims to formalize its support for Ukraine, per Politico sources.

Kuleba to NATO: allies are not giving enough air defense. Ukraine’s partners are not providing enough air defense to protect against Russian missile attacks even though they have more than 100 Patriot systems in their own arsenals, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday.

Humanitarian and social impact

US leading neurosurgeons arrive in Lviv to treat patients affected by Russia’s war. On 2 April, 12 leading US surgeons came to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv with the unique mission to perform complex surgeries and provide consultations to Ukrainians affected by the war, announced the Lviv First Medical Association.

Pope prays for people slain in war over rosary and Bible of fallen Ukrainian soldier. The Vatican held a moment of silent prayer for Oleksandr, a young Ukrainian soldier who lost his life in the war, as Pope Francis called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Politico: China, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia lobby EU to protect €200B in Russian assets. The European Union finds itself in the midst of a tug-of-war between countries pressuring it to confiscate Russian frozen assets, against those who are trying to persuade it from doing so.

Reuters: Russia reports surge in military enlistments after concert hall attack. Following a deadly attack on a concert hall near Moscow, Russia has experienced a surge in military enlistments in the past 10 days.

ISW: US sanctions continue to impact Russian financial ties to neighboring countries. As Russia is trying to find ways to circumvent the sanctions applied to its economy, it is experiencing difficulties because of the impact of Western sanctions in neighboring states.

Official: Russia returns worst forms of Sovietism to occupied areas. Occupied Ukraine sees the return of Soviet-era practices, including coercion in recruitment, unpaid wages, long lines for services, and suppression of rights, as reported by a Zaporizhzhia Oblast official.

New developments

France’s defense chief Lecornu breaks 1.5-year silence, calls Russia’s Shoigu. Despite Russian officials being largely barred from the West due to the war in Ukraine, Lecornu’s call stands out as a significant gesture.

Zelenskyy: Ukraine needs more Patriot systems to protect Kharkiv, other cities. Amid escalated Russian aerial attacks, President Zelenskyy urges the need for more Patriot missile systems to protect Ukrainian cities, communities, and infrastructure.

Ukraine launches military ombudsman to safeguard troops’ rights. Ukrainian soldiers have long been complaining about a number of issues, including rotation and demobilization.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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