Thursday will mark 50 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and there has been a marked shift in the approach to Moscow. Ukrainian officials have been warning for days that they expect a major offensive by Russian troops in the eastern Donbas region.
The US and the EU have jointly pledged $1.3 billion more in military aid to Ukraine as Russia prepares for an eastern offensive.
Meanwhile, organizations such as the United Nations have warned that Ukraine’s protracted war could lead to more problems in an already struggling global economy, with food insecurity being a top concern.
These are the latest developments:
Victims of the war: On April 12, the death toll among civilians in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24 stood at 1,932, the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said Thursday. It warned that “the actual numbers are considerably higher”.
Global impact: The United Nations Secretary-General has warned the world is on the brink of a “perfect storm” as the war in Ukraine exacerbates an already struggling global economy. In a press release Wednesday, the UN said the war could lead to a “three-dimensional crisis” of food, energy and finance – areas already hard hit by Covid-19 and climate change. “We are now faced with a perfect storm that threatens to destroy the economies of developing countries,” Secretary-General António Guterres said. “The people of Ukraine cannot bear the violence being done to them. And the most vulnerable people around the world cannot suffer collateral damage in yet another disaster for which they bear no responsibility,” he said.
Key Russian warship damaged: One of the main warships of the Russian Navy is badly damaged in the Black Sea, a huge blow to an army fighting the Ukrainian resistance 50 days after the Russian invasion of its neighbor. Russian sailors have evacuated the guided-missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea fleet, after a fire that detonated ammunition on board, Russia’s defense ministry said. Ukraine’s Operational Command South claimed Thursday that the Moskva had begun to sink after it was hit by Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles. Russia’s defense ministry said on Thursday the Moskva “will remain afloat” and measures are being taken to tow it to port. The ministry said the crew had been evacuated to other Black Sea fleet ships in the area. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told DailyExpertNews’s Brianna Keilar that “there was an explosion” on the Moskva, but said the United States cannot say at this time if the ship was hit by a missile. Whatever the reason for the fire, analysts say the fire affects the heart of the Russian Navy as well as national pride, akin to the loss of a battleship during World War II or a US aircraft carrier today.
Ukraine’s national security adviser Oleksiy Danilov told DailyExpertNews on Thursday that the alleged attack on the cruiser was a very important mission for his country’s military and promised more such dramatic actions to come. “It is a very important mission for us. The Moskva was there near Snake Island and was hit by two powerful Ukrainian-made missiles yesterday,” Danilov told DailyExpertNews’s Frederik Pleitgen in an interview. †[Putin] came to kill our children, our women, our citizens. That’s our gift to him. And this is just the beginning. There will be more than one Moskva.” Ukraine’s national security adviser further praised the Ukrainian military for the way they defended the country, but warned against underestimating the Russian military. Danilov also reiterated his country’s request to the international community to “First of all, we’re grateful for what we’ve already got,” he said. “We need helicopters, planes, high-powered weapons, howitzers… We need a lot.”
Possible meeting between Zelensky and Putin: Turkey is still working to organize a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Turkish news channel NTV on Thursday. leaders together,” he said. Cavusoglu said Turkey continues to approach the negotiations with “cautious optimism”, especially after recent events of alleged war crimes in Bucha and Irpin that “negatively affected the process”.
The precondition for a possible meeting between Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky is an agreement document ready for the two leaders to sign, the Kremlin said on Thursday. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Zelensky has repeatedly called for talks with the Russian president, but so far there have been no top-level talks.
Russian opposition figure urges West to use social media against Putin’s regime: Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has in a series of tweets urged a new front of “truth and free information” against Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he calls the “Kremlin war criminal”.
Navalny, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence in a Russian penal colony after being convicted of fraud last month, said in his tweets that “truth and free information hit Putin’s insane regime as hard as Javelins,” the US anti-tank weapons. is used by Ukrainian troops against Russian armor.
Increased International Defense Aid to Ukraine: The Pentagon is working to move the $800 million worth of weapons, ammunition and other security assistance to Ukraine announced yesterday by US President Joe Biden to Ukraine as soon as possible, a senior defense official said Thursday. “We’re under no illusions about the size and scale of this thing. But we also watch the clock. We know that time is not our friend. And we’re going to do our best to move this, to move these shipments as quickly as possible,” the official told reporters during an off-camera briefing.
The European Union on Wednesday approved 500 million euros ($544 million USD) for military equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces, according to a press release from the European Council of the European Union.
“The next few weeks will be decisive. As Russia prepares to launch an offensive in eastern Ukraine, it is critical that we continue and increase our military support to Ukraine to defend its territory and people and prevent further suffering,” said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the United Nations. European Union for Foreign Affairs. Business and Security Policy.