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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 796. NATO chief invites Zelenskyy to summit amid uncertainties about Ukraine’s membership, discuss idea of € 100 bn NATO fund for Ukraine’s defense

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg invites President Zelenskyy to the upcoming summit, despite lingering questions about Ukraine’s membership prospects. In a separate development, Poland has ended its border blockade with Ukraine, signaling a step towards easing bilateral tensions that have arisen during the war.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 796. NATO chief invites Zelenskyy to summit amid uncertainties about Ukraine’s membership, discuss idea of € 100 bn NATO fund for Ukraine’s defense


All Russian movements toward Chasiv Yar getting destroyed, Ukraine drone unit commander says. Russian troops aim to capture Donetsk Oblast’s Chasiv Yar by May 9, deploying all available units, while Ukrainian forces destroy Russian attempts, denying territorial gains, as per a Ukrainian drone unit officer fighting in the area.

Ukraine downs Russian drones with Soviet-era training plane in WWI-style dogfight. Amateur aviators from Odesa have recreated a World War I tactic of the second pilot shooting with small arms to down a Russian recon drone

Russian strike on Odesa with shrapnel missile aimed at civilian targets. The attack killed four, injured 32, including a 5-year-old child and a pregnant woman. One man died as a result of a stroke that provoked the shelling

As of 29 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: 467470 (+1320)
      • Tanks: 7285 (+6)
      • APV: 14007 (+16)
      • Artillery systems: 11985 (+37)
      • MLRS: 1051 (+1)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 778 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 348
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 9528 (+21)
      • Cruise missiles : 2124
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 16109 (+44)

Intelligence and technology

Berlin boosts Ukraine with air defense, armor in latest aid. Germany will transfer 10 Marder infantry fighting vehicles and IRIS-T air defense missiles to Ukraine as part of its newly announced $1.1 billion military aid package.

Ukraine to protect future F-16 fleet by dispersing it in underground bunkers. Ukraine is set to protect its future F-16 fleet using strategic underground bunkers and dispersal tactics, complicating Russian efforts to locate these aircraft. This approach includes significant investments in infrastructure.

Ukraine advances weapons regulation bill: Amendments aim to formalize ownership of three million trophy guns. The proposed bill mandates firearm declaration, imposing penalties for illegal possession, while officials address concerns over short-barreled firearm use and collaborate with the EU to prevent weapon smuggling.


Stoltenberg invites Zelenskyy to NATO summit amid membership uncertainties. Ukraine’s place is in NATO & it will become member one day, but no invitation expected at July summit in Washington as consensus of all 32 allies needed.

Zelenskyy, Stoltenberg discuss idea to create €100 bn NATO fund for Ukraine defense. NATO may initiate a €100 billion fund to support Ukraine’s defense for five years, President Zelenskyy said after his meeting with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv.

Polish farmers terminate border blockade with Ukraine, easing tensions. After months of protests, Polish farmers have ceased their blockade of the last border crossing with Ukraine, a move welcomed by both Kyiv and Warsaw as a step towards resolving bilateral strains.

Latvia donates high-voltage equipment to bolster Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. A 250 mega-volt-amper transformer will contribute to the restoration of Ukraine’s energy grid, repeatedly damaged by Russia’s escalating assaults on Ukrainian power generation facilities.

Assistant of German far-right AfD top candidate for EU elections arrested in China spy case. An individual linked to the far-right AfD party’s leading candidate for the EU elections was among those arrested for alleged spying for China, raising concerns about its political ties.

Humanitarian and social impact

UK: Civilian deaths increase amid intensified Russian bombardment. The UN reports a 20% rise in civilian casualties in Ukraine in March 2024 from February, with 604 people impacted by intensified Russian missile and aerial strikes, the UK intelligence highlights.

Ukraine to pay urgent reparations to victims of Russian wartime sexual violence . This groundbreaking initiative is the first case in the history of reparations measures that addresses the needs of survivors without waiting for the aggressor country to pay damages.

HRW, Truth Hounds document Russia’s destruction of Mariupol. Satellite imagery analysis of mass graves in Mariupol suggests at least 10,284 people were buried between March 2022 and February 2023, according to a new report

FT: Western banks handed €800mn to Kremlin in taxes in 2023 despite promises to exit. Top European banks in Russia paid the Kremlin more than €800mn in taxes last year, four times more than before the all-out war, FT finds.

Polish FM: If Putin wins, he’ll mobilize Ukraine’s people and industry to continue war, like Hitler did with Czechoslovakia. Polish FM Sikorski warns that a victorious Putin might mobilize Ukraine’s industry and people for war, similar to Hitler’s use of Czechoslovakia, potentially escalating to a direct threat against NATO countries including Poland.

New developments

Telegram blocks then unblocks chatbots used by Ukraine’s security services to get info on Russian activities. Telegram messaging app initially blocked then unblocked chatbots utilized by Ukraine’s security agencies to gather intelligence on Russian aggression. Similar Russian channels were reportedly never blocked.

Read the daily review for Mon Apr 29 2024 here

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