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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 791: Biden signs $61B Ukraine aid bill, as US confirms sending ATACMS missiles to Kyiv

After months of intense debate, President Joe Biden has finally signed a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine. The signing comes after White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed that the US sent “significant number” of long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine, ending a two-year-long request from Kyiv.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 791: Biden signs $61B Ukraine aid bill, as US confirms sending ATACMS missiles to Kyiv

Exclusive

Obey to pray: Russia’s ruthless crackdown on faith in occupied Ukraine. From a Protestant pastor imprisoned for his American citizenship, to an Orthodox bishop pressured to embrace the “”Russian World,”” to an evangelical church shuttered after sheltering the displaced, the stories of religious persecution in occupied Ukraine are as diverse as they are devastating.

Military

Frontline report: Ukrainian defensive line breached by Russian flanking maneuver near Avdiivka. In a daring move, Russian forces have exploited a gap in Ukrainian defenses near Avdiivka, breaking through along the railway line to establish a foothold in the town of Ocheretyne

Russian media: Drone attacks hit Russian Smolensk, Lipetsk, Voronezh oblasts. Drones hit industrial zone, oil refinery, and fuel & energy infrastructure facilities in three Russia’s oblasts.

Russian missile attack on Kharkiv, Odesa injured 7 people. Russian troops hit Kharkiv with a S-300 missile & damaged 3 residential buildings, 2 office builidngs & gas pipelines.

As of 25 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: 462980 (+1040)
      • Tanks: 7255 (+13)
      • APV: 13942 (+14)
      • Artillery systems: 11836 (+28)
      • MLRS: 1049 (+1)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 772 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 348
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 9449 (+10)
      • Cruise missiles : 2118 (+1)
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 15949 (+57)

Intelligence and technology

Ukrainian pilots undergo six-month basic training in France before advancing to F-16. Young Ukrainian pilots, aged 20 to 22, are undergoing a six-month initial training phase in France, preparing for subsequent specialized F-16 training in the USA or European nations with these aircraft.

US secretly supplies Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles – media. Having long-range ATACMS allows Ukraine to threaten Russian assets throughout Crimea and the Black Sea Fleet.

Pentagon officially announces rumored $1 bn military aid for Ukraine. The Pentagon declared a $1 billion military aid package for Ukraine, including air defense, artillery, and armored vehicles. Some items are expected to be delivered within days.

Ambassador to US Markarova: Ukraine negotiating local Patriot system production. Ukraine negotiates with the United States over the potential joint production of Patriot air defense missile systems, according to Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova, as Kyiv seeks to bolster its air defenses against Russian attacks.

US sets up “robust logistics network” for rapid delivery Ukraine’s $ 60 mn aid. According to Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder, the US, in collaboration with its allies and partners, has created “”a robust logistics network”” to facilitate the swift delivery of defense aid to Ukraine.

International

Biden signs $95 billion war aid measure with aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The announcement marks an end to the standoff over military aid for Ukraine in the US Congress.

Sullivan: US arms Ukraine with “significant number” of ATACMS missiles. This followed Russia’s use of North Korean ballistic missiles against Ukraine.

US provides Ukraine with ATACMS missiles for use within its borders, State Department confirms. The US did not announce this development at the Ukraine’s request.

Ukrainian President grateful for US support, emphasizes need for swift action. President Zelenskyy thanks Biden and the US for adopting aid, saying, “”everything should be done now to ‘compensate for the six months that have passed in the debate’,”” after the six-plus-month aid delay facilitated some Russian advancements on the battlefield.

Kuleba: “”Hallelujah”” for US aid, but Ukraine needs more to defeat Russia. Ukrainian FM stressed that although the renewed US military aid is vital, only a united front of Ukraine and its allies can stop Russia.

Reuters: Canada allows Airbus to use Russian titanium to circumvent sanctions. Despite Canadian sanctions on Russia’s VSMPO-Avisma Corporation, the world’s largest titanium producer, the Canadian government has granted Airbus permission to continue using Russian titanium in its aircraft production.

UK sends largest fire and rescue aid convoy to Ukraine. In the largest convoy, 33 British fire and rescue vehicles loaded with over 2,800 pieces of firefighting equipment set off for Ukraine

Reuters: US has no immediate sanctions plan for China, sources say. Today, US Secretary of State Blinken is starting three days of talks with senior Chinese officials in Shanghai and Beijing, during which he will personally warn China of potential economic measures after reports found it has been supporting Russia’s defense industry with vital comptonents.

Denmark allocates new funding for renewable energy infrastructure in Ukraine, strengthening green initiatives. On 23 April, Ukraine and Denmark signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at fostering long-term cooperation and facilitating the reconstruction of Ukraine.

Humanitarian and social impact

Defiant 88-year-old man flees Russian occupation in Donetsk, refusing to obtain Russian passport. In an astonishing act of defiance, an 88-year-old Ukrainian man fled Russian occupation on foot after refusing demands to obtain Russian citizenship.

UN identifies 85 cases of sexual violence committed by Russian troops in Ukraine in 2023. The UN report reveals that sexual violence was often used as a method of torture against Ukrainian men held captive by Russian armed forces and law enforcement authorities.

Media: Moscow court rejects US reporter Gershkovich’s detention appeal. A Moscow court has dismissed the latest appeal made by American journalist Evan Gershkovich against his pre-trial detention in an espionage case.

Ukraine’s security service detains Ukrainian man for guiding Russian missiles at Odesa. The man provided coordinates to Russian forces to strike SBU and prosecutor’s office sites in Odesa, driven by a desire for vengeance after a prior conviction.

Media: UN Security Council to vote on resolution against space weapons amid reports of Russia’s nuclear threat. In a potential face-off at the UN Security Council, the US and Russia are poised to debate the deployment of nuclear weapons in space, with the US proposing a resolution urging countries to prevent an arms race beyond Earth’s orbit.

New developments

Ukraine plans to adopt NATO medical standards for combat trauma treatment. Ukraine is forging closer ties with NATO as it adopts the alliance’s medical standards for combat trauma assistance and accelerates efforts to develop new clinical protocols based on the Joint Trauma System.

Russia arrests ally of Defense Minister Shoigu over Ukrainian cyber attack, not bribery – Media. Timur Ivanov, who has served as a deputy to Sergey Shoigu since 2016, was arrested on 23 April.

Top priest of Moscow-backed church accused of leaking Ukrainian military checkpoints to Russia. Metropolitan Arsenii, a Russian national, heads the historic Svyatogorsk Lavra monastery in Donetsk Oblast, one of Ukraine’s major Orthodox monasteries.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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