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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 797. Russia resumes offensive operations on Kupiansk, Lyman axes after troop rotations; Pentagon chief Austin rallies allies to deliver Patriot systems to Ukraine

Besides, Ukraine’s PM Denys Shmyhal said Ukraine now allocates $392 million more to purchase 300,000 drones.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 797. Russia resumes offensive operations on Kupiansk, Lyman axes after troop rotations; Pentagon chief Austin rallies allies to deliver Patriot systems to Ukraine

Exclusive

Has appeasement won the Olympics?. A group of 40 countries initially threatened to boycott the Paris 2024 Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes were to participate. But the steam appears to have run out.
Ukrane’s top economist: Polish border blockade a “litmus test” for EU integration. Hennadiy Chyzhykov, president of Ukraine’s Chamber of Commerce, says resolving the trade dispute with Poland over agricultural exports is crucial for Ukraine’s EU accession process, revealing deeper issues around competition and solidarity.

Military

Official: Kupiansk axis sees renewed Russian assaults following troop rotations. After a lull to regroup, Russian troops have completed rotation and resumed offensive operations, conducting multiple assaults on the Kupiansk and Lyman sectors, the Kharkiv Oblast head says.

Russian morning attack on Kharkiv with air bombs kills 24-year-old man, injures nine people. Four of the nine injured people reportedly were hospitalized; the rest suffered from acute stress reactions and are being treated at the site.

Frontline report: Ukrainian drones neutralize Russian air defenses, stall offensive near Robotyne. Ukrainian forces have systematically eliminated 9 Russian air defense systems and 3 electronic warfare assets near Robotyne, paving the way for drone dominance that has stalled the Russia’s offensive operations in the area.

Ukraine to launch all-female drone unit amid Russian manpower advantage. Women aspiring to join the unit will have to undergo a strict selection process, including competitive evaluations, combat mission assessments, extensive training, and more.

As of 30 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: 468720 (+1250)
      • Tanks: 7307 (+22)
      • APV: 14046 (+39)
      • Artillery systems: 12011 (+26)
      • MLRS: 1053 (+2)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 779 (+1)
      • Aircraft: 348
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 9531 (+3)
      • Cruise missiles : 2126 (+2)
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 16142 (+33)

Intelligence and technology

UK intel: Ukraine’s disruption of Russian tactical air likely to force Russia to further disperse aircraft. Ukraine’s April 27 drone strike on Russia’s Kushchevskaya airfield disrupted Russian air operations, likely forcing Russia to disperse its aircraft and reallocate air defenses, impacting its aerial bombardment campaign against Ukraine, per UK intelligence.

Ukraine’s government allocates additional $ 392 mn for drone purchase. Ukraine allocates additional $392 mn to purchase 300,000 drones. Total drone spending now $1 bn

Reuters: UN sanctions monitors confirm Russia using North Korean missiles in Ukraine despite arms embargo. A UN report reveals that the debris from a Russian missile strike on Kharkiv on 2 January 2024 belongs to a North Korean Hwasong-11 series ballistic missile, violating the arms embargo imposed on the country since 2006.

International

Pentagon Chief Austin rallies allies to deliver Patriot to Ukraine. The Pentagon chief has intensified efforts to persuade European nations to part with their Patriot batteries amid growing concerns over Ukraine’s dwindling air defense supplies.

Latvia announces new aid package to Ukraine, including anti-aircraft guns, tactical unmanned surveillance systems. Latvia has consistently provided military aid to Ukraine during Russia’s invasion, allocating approximately 0.25% of its gross domestic product annually, Latvian PM said.

Xi Jinping plans 5 day tour to European countries with economic opportunities. Xi Jinping’s visit to France, Serbia and Hungary starting on 5 May aims to deepen economic ties with Europe and drive a wedge between the EU and the US.

Red Cross chooses not to suspend Russian membership despite allegations of support for Russian aggression in Ukraine. Despite evidence of the Russian Red Cross’s (RRC) breaches of neutrality, the Red Cross opted to create an oversight body and requested the RRC to address the identified challenges rather than suspending its membership.

Reuters: “Clean up your house,” Ursula von der Leyen calls on far-right parties to eliminate Kremlin influence ahead of EU election. In a recent debate organized by Politico, von der Leyen criticized these parties for their ties with the Kremlin and urged them to “clean up their house” from Russian propaganda.

Iceland’s Parliament adopts resolution on long-term support for Ukraine. Iceland’s Parliament approves long-term support for Ukraine 2024-2028. The proposal aims to support Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, borders, civilian safety, humanitarian aid, and reconstruction work amid the ongoing Russian invasion.

On UK royalty’s first visit to Ukraine, Duchess Sophie stands with victims of Russia’s sexual crimes. Sophie, the UK Duchess of Edinburgh, met Ukraine’s President and First Lady in Kyiv, focusing on support for survivors of sexual violence, and visited Bucha to pay respects to victims of Russia’s occupation.

Charles Michel: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reinvigorates EU’s enlargement strategy. Russia’s Ukraine invasion boosts EU expansion case, chairman says, aiming for reforms by 2030 to admit new members like Ukraine, citing historical call for reuniting continent.

Lithuania’s top officials support Ukraine’s move to recall Ukrainian men of conscription age. A proposal by Ukraine to repatriate its male citizens aged 18 to 60 currently living overseas has found backing from top Lithuanian officials, with President Nauseda stating that Vilnius must cooperate with Kyiv “in all senses.”

Humanitarian and social impact

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General: Russia used Iskander missile with cluster munitions in April 29 Odesa attack. Russian forces used an Iskander ballistic missile with a cluster warhead in the Odesa attack on 29 April, killing 5 civilians and injuring over 30, including children and a pregnant woman, as per Ukraine’s Prosecutor General.

Pro-Russian military instructors bring rifles to Belarus schools to prepare children for war against EU. Concerns rise over the “Lessons of Courage” program, militarizing children in Belarus.

US authorizes Russian bank transactions for energy payments amid sanctions. The US Treasury has temporarily authorized transactions with several major Russian banks for energy-related payments, according to a recent license by the US Treasury

Russian court sentences Ukrainian man to 25 years in prison for alleged railway sabotage. Apart from railway sabotage, the Russian Military Court also charged Serhii Karmazin with espionage, training in sabotage and terrorist activities, and preparation for a terrorist act, while denying him access to a human rights lawyer during the investigation.

Ukraine temporarily deviates from human rights convention amid war with Russia. Meanwhile, Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić condemned Russian war crimes, denouncing deliberate attacks on Ukrainian facilities and civilians.

Member of EU Parliament says Ukraine lacks opposition representation in government. In an interview with the Interfax-Ukraine, Viola von Cramon-Taubadel emphasized the need for inclusivity and transparency.

New developments

Insider: Family of illegal immigrants helped Russian intelligence organize explosions, poisonings in Europe. Russian illegal immigrants Nikolai and Elena Shaposhnikov allegedly coordinated explosions and poisonings in Europe for Russia’s military intelligence GRU while living under refugee cover in Czechia, per an investigation by The Insider.

Media coalition demands end to attacks on Ukraine’s public broadcasting company. Ukraine’s public broadcasting company, Suspilne, is facing a series of “informational and institutional attacks,” according to a statement released by a group of journalists and media organizations.

White House says US aid arriving in Ukraine but provides no further details. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirms that US military aid is reaching Ukraine, with limited public details due to operational security, aiming to bolster Ukraine’s defensive capabilities against Russia’s aggression.

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