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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 775: EU trade limitations could cost Ukraine €331 million; Russian airstrikes claim civilian lives

The European Union’s decision to extend free trade with Ukraine comes with a catch – increased limitations that could lead to €331 million in losses for Ukraine. Russia has allegedly reached out to Kazakhstan for gasoline supplies as it faces shortages due to Ukrainian drone attacks.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 775: EU trade limitations could cost Ukraine €331 million; Russian airstrikes claim civilian lives

Military

Ukraine downs Russian missile, 17 drones overnight. Ukraine’s air defense destroyed 17 Russian Shahed-131/136 drones over Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kirovohrad, Khmelnytskyi, and Zhytomyr oblasts.

The Telegraph: Russia uses prohibited chemical weapons in Ukraine nearly daily. Ukrainian Support Forces Command recorded 371 cases of Russians using chemical weapons in March 2024 alone.

The Economist: Russia aims to make Kharkiv “gray zone” uninhabitable for civilians. Despite repeated “double-tap” strikes and the prospect of up to 420K additional Russian troops being mobilized, Kharkiv’s mayor vows the city has no intention of surrendering. However, fears are growing that Russia may resort to destroying Kharkiv if its forces cannot capture it.

As of 08 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: 448400 (+890)
      • Tanks: 7087 (+13)
      • APV: 13575 (+24)
      • Artillery systems: 11356 (+40)
      • MLRS: 1039 (+3)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 751 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 8996 (+40)
      • Cruise missiles : 2065 (+1)
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 15110 (+39)

Intelligence and technology

Intelligence: Russia has enough missiles for one or two massive attacks in the coming weeks. “We were expecting attacks at the start of winter, but now we see that the missiles they were using were made recently,” Chernyak said and added that now Russia is able to make another massive attack soon

FT: Russia shifts tactics, targets Ukraine’s less protected power plants:. Officials say some facilities may not recover before next winter, with a goal to restore 50% of damaged units by October if no further attacks

British Defense Ministry: Russia faces doctor shortage, recruits from Africa with minimal credential checks. Up to 2 % of Russian doctors and healthcare professionals left Russia to avoid the draft.

International

EU reportedly agrees to extend free trade with Ukraine with more limitations. The limited imports of some products will be the average volumes observed from mid-2021 to the end of 2023. Including the 2021 year in the limitations calculation will cause nearly EUR 331 million in losses for Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military aid hangs in balance as US House reconvenes tomorrow. After returning from recess tomorrow, the US House may consider a critical $60 billion Ukraine aid package, stalled for six months. British FM is traveling to the US to press Speaker Mike Johnson for its passage.

UK foreign secretary Cameron heads to US to lobby for Ukraine aid. Britain’s top diplomat is making a fresh push for the US to provide more military aid to Ukraine.

Humanitarian and social impact

Denmark allocates $ 5.8 million to restore Ukraine’s power grid. Financial help goes to the Energy Support Fund for Ukraine, to which Denmark has contributed around $11,9 million over the past two years.

Russia destroys over 60,000 hectares of Ukrainian forests worth over $ 360 mn – investigation. About 80% of the protected natural area of the Svyati Hory National Nature Park in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast has been devastated due to the intense combat.

Russian airstrikes on Sumy and Zaporizhzhia regions leave civilians dead and injured. Russian glide bombs hit the center of a Ukrainian northern town and other infrastructure objects, killing at least four people.

Ukraine’s largest electricity producer says damage after Russian March missile attacks two times higher than after 2022 winter. The DTEK Group says missile attacks destroyed critical equipment at six main thermal power plants, and $230 million will be needed to replace it. The company hopes to repair five of six plants before winter.

Energy Minister: Russia damaged 80% of Ukraine’s thermal power plants, half of hydroelectric ones. Russia has damaged 80% of Ukraine’s non-nuclear power plants, including half its hydroelectric ones, and multiple substations over recent weeks, Ukraine’s Energy Minister says.

Ukrainian optimism is high but waning: 88% still believe in victory over Russia, down from 94% in 2023. Survey reveals that Ukrainians consider corruption among their state authorities even a bigger threat to Ukraine’s development than Russia’s military aggression.

Trump’s advisor slams news about a plan to force Ukraine to surrender territories as “fake”. A Trump campaign adviser slammed the Washington Post report as “fake news,” insisting that his boss will not settle on a peace plan until he is in office and can properly weigh all the options.

Reuters: Russia has allegedly started talks with Kazakhstan about gasoline supplies amid shortages. Russia has requested Kazakhstan to reserve 100,000 tons of gasoline in case of shortages caused by Ukrainian drone attacks and outages, according to three industry sources.

Ukraine launches criminal probe into “weaponized draft” against SBU whistleblower. A public uproar and a statement by a media watchdog group appears to have given fruit

Read our earlier daily review here.

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