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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 784: Russian strike kills 17 in Chernihiv as US House readies $ 61B Ukraine aid vote

President Biden supported a $61 billion Ukraine aid bill, set to be voted on by the US House of Representatives on 20 April, as nation reels from a deadly Russian missile strike in Chernihiv that claimed 17 lives and injured 78 others.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 784: Russian strike kills 17 in Chernihiv as US House readies $ 61B Ukraine aid vote

Exclusive

Slovaks join Czechia-led effort to supply Ukraine with ammo, defying Slovakia’s pro-Russian PM. In defiance of their Russia-friendly PM, Slovaks have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise 1,000,000 euros for ammo for Ukraine, aligning with an international Czech-led initiative.
Rescuing art while the world burns: Prymachenko’s paintings survive Russian invasion. Invasion As Russia’s “special military operation” turned Ivankiv into a war zone, a ragtag band of museum staff and locals decided that saving some folk art was more important than staying alive.

Military

Russian morning attack on Chernihiv kills 14, injures 61, including 3 children – UPDATED. Russian forces hit the civilian infrustructure on the center of the city of Chernihiv on 11 April with three missiles, Governor said.

ISW: Ukrainian ammo shortages hinder defense against even depleted Russian forces. ISW reported even earlier that low Russian morale affected the prospects of Russian offensive operations. However, the report said, “Ukraine’s current material shortages may make it difficult for Ukrainian forces to defend against Russian forces — even those that are exhausted and unmotivated.”

Politico: Chasiv Yar emerges Ukraine’s last stronghold line of defense in Donetsk. The strategic city of Chasiv Yar, located just 10 kilometers from the embattled town of Bakhmut, has become the latest focal point in Russia’s offensive, with Ukrainian officials warning that its fall could jeopardize the security of the remaining Ukrainian-held cities in the Donetsk region.

Dzhankoi airfield in occupied Crimea targeted in strikes. The Dzhankoi military airfield, home to Russia’s 39th Helicopter Regiment deployed in occupied Crimea, came under attack overnight with a series of explosions reported at the site.

As of 17 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: 456050 (+710)
      • Tanks: 7193 (+4)
      • APV: 13827 (+18)
      • Artillery systems: 11624 (+15)
      • MLRS: 1046
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 760 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 9279 (+2)
      • Cruise missiles : 2093 (+1)
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 15587 (+24)

Intelligence and technology

Germany unveils initiative to bolster Ukraine’s air defenses. The initiative is planned to enhance the capabilities of Ukraine’s air defenses amid intensified Russian attacks on energy infrastructure.

Netherlands sends three more F-16s to Romania for Ukrainian pilot training. Ukrainian pilots are set to begin training in Romania on these jets.

Media: SBU hits costly Russian long-range radar “Nebo-U” in Russia’s Bryansk Oblast. Ukraine destroyed a critical Russian radar Nebo-M in Bryansk Oblast, significantly diminishing Russia’s capability to surveil and bomb Ukrainian territories, Suspilne sources say.

Defense Ministry: Ukraine to receive 450 SkyRanger unmanned aerial systems from Canada in summer. Additionally, the Netherlands and Germany will jointly purchase RQ-35 Heidrun reconnaissance drones worth €200 million, while Germany will send VECTOR 211 reconnaissance UAVs to Ukraine.

International

Dutch PM offers buying Patriot systems for Ukraine from reluctant countries. The Netherlands has also promised to provide their Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine, though Mark Rutte has not confirmed the exact number of batteries.

Biden backs $ 61B Ukraine aid bill and funding for key US allies. On 20 April, the US House of Representatives will vote on a $61 billion Ukraine aid bill and separate legislation supporting Israel, Taiwan, and US national security.

$ 61B and ATACMS: US House unveils Ukraine aid bill. The House plans to consider Ukraine aid bill, along with separate legislation for Israel, Taiwan, and national security, on 20 April.

Ukraine makes debut in NATO’s Locked Shields 2024, world’s largest cyber security exercise. Estonia will host Locked Shields 2024 from 22-26 April.

US House set to vote on Ukraine aid bill on Saturday evening, 20 April. Speaker Mike Johnson has proposed four separate bills on aid to Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and US national security, diverging from the comprehensive legislation approved by the Senate in February.

Ukraine-NATO Council convenes emergency meeting on 19 April at Zelenskyy’s request. Defense ministers from Ukraine and NATO countries will discuss bolstering Ukraine’s air defense capabilities and ensuring a steady supply of ammunition.

Denmark allocates new aid, calls for increased Western support for Ukraine . The $313 million military aid package includes funds for maritime capacity, drones, and the production of missile components.

US House Intelligence Committee: “critical need” for Ukraine aid this week. Key House committees are backing Republican Speaker Johnson’s plan to split foreign aid, which has run into stiff far-right Republican opposition.

Czechia finds funds to purchase 500,000 shells for Ukraine. Facing a six-month delay in US military aid and unfulfilled EU promises, an initiative by the Czech Republic has garnered support from approximately 20 countries, collectively pledging to provide 500,000 rounds of much-needed shells.

The Telegraph: “Hit back twice as hard,” Ben Wallace calls for firm position on Iran and Russia. Former UK Secretary of State for Defense Ben Wallace called on the West to send a message to Russia and Iran that there would be a response to their actions.

Ukraine’s defense minister discusses air defense needs with Pentagon chief. Ukraine’s defense minister speaks with the Pentagon chief, emphasizing the urgent requirement to reinforce Ukraine’s air defense system to address the evolving military situation.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russian missile strike in Chernihiv kills 17, injures 78; City declares day of mourning. Preliminary reports indicate the three missiles were Russian-fired Iskanders.

FM Kuleba decries Ukraine’s lack of air defense after deadly Chernihiv attack. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba highlighted the country’s insufficient air defense capabilities following a Russian missile strike that killed 13 and injured over 60 in Chernihiv on April 17

Bloomberg: Russia tries to force Ukrainians from Kharkiv. Amid fears of destabilization fueled by a disinformation campaign, Ukraine reinforces defenses and seeks military aid while the US debates support in Congress.

Reuters: Man tortured by Russian troops in southern Ukraine seeks justice in Argentina. If accepted by an Argentine court, the complaint could mark the first case of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine filed outside of Europe and the US.

Audit reveals massive violations in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry exceeding $ 251 mn. The audit, part of the routine and standardized process within the Ukrainian government, identified various issues, including ineffective management decisions and asset management risks.

Reuters: Macron to ask for help from Beijing in establishing truce between Ukraine and Russia during Olympics 2024. Despite a tradition of peace, Russia reacted cautiously to French President Macron’s proposal for a truce during the Paris Olympics, citing concerns over potential Ukraine’s violation, although no evidence of Kyiv breaching peace agreements was provided.

Romania launches investigation into unknown drone activity over NATO base construction. Drones spotted flying near Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, where NATO’s largest European base is being built to host up to 10,000 troops.

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