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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 779: Russia’s new Kh-69 missiles better than Kinzhals

Ukrainian Railways has begun constructing a European-gauge rail line to enable direct passenger routes from Uzhhorod to cities like Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. This development comes as Ukrainian soldiers continue to face Russian aggression, with some relying on a captured Soviet-era howitzer and makeshift shells in Kherson.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 779: Russia’s new Kh-69 missiles better than Kinzhals

Exclusive

Ukrainian soldiers hold back Russian onslaught with scavenged 1950s howitzer, DIY shells. Facing an overwhelming Russian force, Ukrainian fighters in Kherson have found a lifeline in a captured Soviet howitzer and their own makeshift shells amid a dire shortage of artillery
Ukraine’s new mobilization law falls painfully short of frontline expectations. While aiming to bolster the country’s defense, the long-awaited law betrays frontline soldiers by omitting key provisions for troop rotation and demobilization

Military

Lukashenka: 120,000 Ukrainian troops protect the border from Belarus, and it is “inaccessible”. Belarusian president said Belarus won’t attack Ukraine because the Ukrainian border is heavily fortified and mined with 120,000 troops stationed along it.

Ukraine intel: Russia sends its unused Far East troops to front lines in Ukraine to replenish losses. Russia is deploying its Far East troops not previously used in Ukraine to replace combat losses, per Ukrainian intelligence.

As of 12 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: 451730 (+840)
      • Tanks: 7146 (+9)
      • APV: 13698 (+19)
      • Artillery systems: 11486 (+34)
      • MLRS: 1042 (+2)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 755 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 9161 (+57)
      • Cruise missiles : 2087 (+18)
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 15339 (+41)

Intelligence and technology

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister: We are negotiating two Patriot batteries and one SAMP/T battery. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said “active negotiations” were underway with allies to obtain two batteries of the Patriot air defense system and one of the SAMP/T system.

Defense Express: Russia’s new Kh-69 cruise missiles, “worse than Kinzhal,” used in Trypilska power plant strike. Though its warhead is smaller and it is subsonic, the Kh-69 can be stealthily launched from small tactical jets

Russians hit Trypilska power station with five Kh-69 missiles on 11 April. Law enforcement sources say Russia used five Kh-69 missiles to hit the Trypilska power plant on 11 April; an energy company suggests potential EU-supported rebuilding, but ongoing Russian threats render reconstruction without air defenses “futile.”

UK may send DragonFire laser anti-air system prototypes to Ukraine, Shapps states. UK Defence Secretary Shapps suggests that Ukraine could receive DragonFire laser prototypes to aid in countering Russian drone and missile attacks.

International

Ukrainian World Congress delegation meets with President Zelenskyy. During the meeting, held in the Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi, they discussed key Initiatives and support for Ukraine.

Ukraine and Slovakia to expedite removal of unilateral restrictions on Ukrainian agricultural products. In 2023, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary had introduced import restrictions on Ukrainian grain.

Trump’s ex-advisor recalled how he thought Ukraine should be part of Russia. While in office, Donald Trump made it clear that he believed that Ukraine should be part of Russia, as stated by his former advisor Fiona Hill: ”He could not get his head around the idea that Ukraine was an independent state”.

The Netherlands allocates additional one billion euros for military aid to Ukraine. During a phone conversation with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy confirmed that the Netherlands has allocated another billion euros for military aid to Ukraine and 400 million euros for reconstruction.

“After Ukraine it’s the EU and many EU countries are scared,” French PM says. “It’s true that we need to do more, we need to do even more,” Attal added.

Belgium investigates Russian interference in EU election campaign. Belgian intelligence services have uncovered evidence of Russian influence groups meddling in European elections to bolster pro-Russian narratives and candidates, Prime Minister Alexander de Croo announced today.

US House Speaker in talks with White House over stalled Ukraine aid. US House Speaker Mike Johnson discusses a tailored Ukraine aid package with the White House, differing from the Senate’s version, AP source says.

Bloomberg: German Defense Chief Pistorius compares Putin to Hitler. At a book event on Winston Churchill, German Defense Minister Pistorius draws parallels between Russian President Putin’s war in Ukraine and Adolf Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovak territory, urging Europe to prepare for the possibility of a major Russian attack.

Humanitarian and social impact

Minister of Energy urges Ukrainians to buy generators and power banks to prepare “for any possible scenario”. Amid the depleted stockpile of air defense missiles, Ukraine didn’t manage to effectively repel recent Russian missile attacks against energy infrastructure throughout the country, including the largest thermal generating facility Trypilska power plant.

Ukraine downs 16/17 Russia’s explosive drones as fifth civilian dies after Russian missile strike on Mykolaiv. Russia deployed 17 Shahed drones against Ukraine, successfully downing 16. A civilian death increased Mykolaiv’s Russian missile attack casualties to five, amidst significant challenges in air defense capabilities due to stalled US military aid.

A car of a Ukrainian traitor exploded in Moscow. The car of Vasyl Prozorov, a former employee of the Security Service of Ukraine, exploded when he started an engine. He was injured.

New developments

UK-donated Ukrainian Navy minehunters to operate from base in England. Two former UK Royal Navy minehunters, now serving with the Ukrainian Navy and renamed Cherkasy and Chernihiv, will be based in England’s Portsmouth as they prepare for exercises with the Royal Navy, after Türkiye blocked their passage to the Black Sea back in January.

Ukrainian Railways begins construction of European-Gauge rail project. The project will enable direct passenger routes from Uzhhorod to Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, Bucharest & more.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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