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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 785: Patriot quest for Ukraine picks up steam

EU, NATO leaders urge Allies not to stockpile their air defense systems but send them to Ukraine; Germany hopes to find seven
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 785: Patriot quest for Ukraine picks up steam

Exclusive

Ukraine destroys Russia’s Dzhankoi helicopter base air defenses, enabling further deep strikes on occupied Crimea. Ukraine’s ATACMS missile attack on Russia’s airfield in northern Crimea on 17 April reportedly destroyed multiple air defense assets, potentially enabling future air attacks on the occupied peninsula from the north.

Military

Frontline report: Ukraine hammers Russian supply lines as Kupiansk offensive loses steam. Seizing on a lull in Russia’s months-long offensive, Ukrainian forces have launched a series of punishing strikes on ammunition depots, bridges, and command posts, aiming to starve the invaders of vital supplies.

ISW: US can either help Ukraine or face emboldened Russia at NATO’s door. There is no third option, Fredrick W. Kagan warns: sans US aid, Russia will keep advancing in Ukraine

Ukraine downs all 13 Russian explosive drones last night as Russian missiles kill at least one civilian. Ukrainian military forces shot down all 13 Russian drones that attacked Ukraine overnight and into the morning. Meanwhile, one of the Russian missile strikes killed a 63-year-old Donetsk Oblast woman.

Drones attack Russian factory that produced missile fuel. Geolocated footage suggests a workshop was on fire at the Kamensk chemical factory

Reuters: Russia increases use of prohibited riot control agents against Ukrainian forces on battlefield. Ukrainian troops on the eastern front face a new threat as Russian forces increasingly resort to tear gas attacks, violating international conventions.

As of 18 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: 456960 (+910)
      • Tanks: 7196 (+3)
      • APV: 13835 (+8)
      • Artillery systems: 11637 (+13)
      • MLRS: 1046
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 760
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 9284 (+5)
      • Cruise missiles : 2093
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 15618 (+31)

Intelligence and technology

UK intel: Russia improved naval infrastructure in Novorossiysk, where it relocated its ships from Sevastopol away from Ukraine’s strikes. To avoid Ukrainian sea-borne attack, Russia largely moved its Black Sea Fleet from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk, where it is improving infrastructure to support long-term basing, per UK intelligence.

Istories: Russia’s arms industry still importing vital foreign CNC machines despite sanctions. Türkiye, the UAE. and China are acting as key conduits for Western technology feeding Russia’s arms production, an investigation has found.

Denmark breaks new ground, funding domestic Ukrainian arms production. Denmark becomes the first donor of Ukraine’s ZBROYARI initiative, which aims to boost domestic arms production

Ukraine increases domestic Bohdana howitzer production to 10 units per month. Zelenskyy announced that Ukraine has increased its monthly output of the indigenous Bohdana self-propelled howitzer from 6 units to 10 this month backed by domestic contracts, with plans for further increases.

Ukraine’s National Resistance Center: Russian teens to manufacture 10,000 Shahed drones annually.

Over 2,000 imported components found in Russian Su-series fighter jets – Ukraine intel. Russian fighter jet manufacturer Sukhoi uses electronic components from American companies like Texas Instruments and Analog Devices, as well as Japanese firm Murata Manufacturing.

International

EU launches task force to combat Russian interference in European elections. The task force will be temporary, but leaders are eyeing permanent measures. The Russian influence network reportedly aimed to appoint agents as employees of MEPs

German authorities thwart suspected Russian sabotage plot targeting military aid to Ukraine. Two men described as German-Russian dual nationals were suspected of spying for Moscow and arrested.

Borrel, Stoltenberg urge NATO to stop stockpiling Patriots, put Ukraine’s needs first. EU foreign policy chief and NATO Secretary General urge Allies to prioritize sending anti-missile systems to Ukraine over stockpiling them at home

Scholz hopes to find six more Patriot systems in NATO countries. German chancelor calls upon other countries to follow Berlin’s example

“Biolabs” and “persecution of Christians”: GOP Congresswoman spreads Russian propaganda to oppose Ukraine aid bill. Marjorie Taylor Greene suggests that Congress members who support the aid bill should go fight in the Ukrainian military.

Lithuania President: Double standards in assistance to Israel and Ukraine are unacceptable. Lithuanian President Nausėda criticizes the West for applying double standards in aiding Israel and supporting Ukraine, emphasizing the need for equal support for both nations.

G7 ministers fail to agree on Russian asset use for Ukraine aid. Lagarde said it was not possible to transition from freezing assets to potentially confiscating and reallocating them, a process she described as fraught with legal peril.

Zelenskyy tells EU Russia has almost entirely destroyed Ukraine’s thermal power capacity, asks for air defense help. President Zelenskyy warned EU leaders that Russia could target nuclear facilities after nearly destroying Ukraine’s thermal power generation, calling for urgent Western support with air defenses.

UK House Speaker Johnson moving forward with Ukraine aid bill despite GOP hardliner opposition. US House Speaker Mike Johnson, endorsed by President Biden, advances separate foreign aid bills, including for Ukraine, despite strong opposition from far-right Republicans.

Humanitarian and social impact

​​Ukrainian NGO repatriates six more children from Russian occupation. Save Ukraine returned 290 children from Ukraine’s Russian-occupied territories in total, while the official number of illegally deported children stands at 19,546, representing only the documented cases.

OSCE urges Russia to release three Ukraine’s mission employees illegally held in Donetsk and Luhansk by its soldiers. The OSCE secretary general said that unjust imprisonment by Russian soldiers under harsh conditions has taken a severe toll on their employees health.

Polish citizen charged with aiding Russian plot to assassinate Zelenskyy. Ukrainian and Polish law enforcement cooperated to detain the Pole, who volunteered to work for the Russian military intelligence

Ukrainian mayor, ex-councilor sentenced to 9-10 years in prison for corruption . The High Anti-Corruption Court (HACC) of Ukraine found a mayor and a former deputy guilty of requesting a $100,000 bribe.

PACE: Putin illegitimate, Russian Orthodox Church propaganda instrument. The Russian Orthodox Church, led by Patriarch Kirill, has been denounced as an “ideological extension” of Vladimir Putin’s “totalitarian regime” in a resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

New developments

The Washington Post: Secret Russian document reveals plan for weakening West. A secret Russian Foreign Ministry document obtained by The Washington Post reveals Russia’s intention to leverage its war in Ukraine to challenge what it perceives as American dominance and reshape the global order.

Ukraine warns of WW3 amid delay in crucial aid vote. “If we will not protect… Ukraine will fall. So the global, the global system of security will be destroyed,” Ukraine’s PM Shmyhal warned.

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