Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, April 2

How Czechia busted Russian propaganda network targeting European elections -- Ukraine has attack drones with range of over 1,000 kilometers -- Fire breaks out at industrial facility in Russia's Yekaterinburg -- Experts warn UN court’s approach in Ukraine versus Russia genocide cases may lead to more instability -- Russia looking to remove Taliban’s designation as terrorist organization -- and more

Tuesday, April 2

Russia’s war against Ukraine

President Volodymyr Zelensky holds a meeting on drone production and electronic warfare systems on April 1, 2024. (Zelensky / Telegram)

Authorities: Russia uses 5 Zircon hypersonic missiles against Kyiv in 2024. Russia has launched against Kyiv five 3M22 Zircon hypersonic cruise missile within the last three months, Kyiv City Military Administration reported on April 1.

Ukraine considering following suit if US bans TikTok. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in March 2024 requiring Chinese TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell its stakes in the company within six months or lose access to U.S. markets.

Mayor: Russia destroys ‘almost all’ energy infrastructure in Kharkiv. Russian attacks destroyed “almost all” of critical energy infrastructure in Kharkiv, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said in an interview with media outlet published April 1.

SBU detains kindergarten employee over allegedly aiding Russian attacks on Kharkiv. The detainee was remotely recruited by Russian intelligence in the autumn of 2023, according to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

FSB says it arrested 4 suspected accomplices of Moscow shooting in Dagestan, allegedly planning another attack. The Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that the four suspects, who were arrested in the southern Russian republic of Dagestan, were plotting another attack in the Dagestani city of Kaspiysk.

Poll: Most Ukrainians say they understand motivation of draft evaders. Most Ukrainians say they understand the motivation of those who try to avoid mobilization, according to a poll by Ukraine’s Institute of Social and Political Psychology published on April 1. At the same time, almost 43% of respondents said they were ashamed of men who evade mobilization.

SBU detains man alleged of supplying Russians with materials for anti-tank defenses. A Ukrainian man who allegedly supplied Russia with building materials used for anti-tank “dragon’s teeth” defenses has been detained in Kyiv, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) said on April 1.

NABU says it closed corruption case against brother of Zelensky’s chief of staff.

A corruption case against the brother of presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak has been closed, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) told the Kyiv Independent. The case, which was investigated under the abuse of power article, was closed on Dec. 14, 2021 but the closure wasn’t publicly announced.

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Mayor: Kharkiv reconstructions requires over $10 billion. More than $10 billion is needed to rebuild everything that Russian forces have damaged in Kharkiv, city mayor Ihor Terekhov said in an interview with media outlet published on April 1.

Ukraine has attack drones with range of over 1,000 kilometers, says Fedorov. “Most of the drones that attacked Russian oil refineries have a range of 700 to 1,000 kilometers, but now there are models that can fly over 1000 km,” Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said.

WSJ: Russia using cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions. Russian smugglers are using the cryptocurrency tether to circumvent Western sanctions and purchase weapons and drone parts, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on April 1.

Ukraine’s anti-corruption bureau makes progress yet doesn’t take on top presidential allies. As Ukraine’s civil society and the country’s Western partners call on the authorities to fight corruption amid Russia’s full-scale invasion, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) is showing mixed results. A year has passed since Semen Kryvonos became the head of the NABU in March 2023, replacing the bureau’

Car bomb kills Moscow-appointed official in occupied Starobilsk, Luhansk Oblast. Valeriy Chaika died after a homemade explosive device was planted on his car, the head of the Starobilsk occupational administration, Vladimir Chernev, said in a post on Telegram.

CNN: Anti-Kremlin hackers stole Russian prisoner database after Navalny’s death. A group of anti-Kremlin hackers stole a Russian prisoner database containing hundreds of thousands of names after the death of Alexei Navalny and are hoping it can be used to glean more information about how he died, CNN reported April 1.

Zelensky holds meeting on drone production, electronic warfare. President Volodymyr Zelensky held a three-hour meeting on April 1 to discuss drone production and electronic warfare systems with senior members of the military and government.

NYT: Murder of Russian pilot in Spain bears similarities to earlier Moscow-linked killings. The murder of Maksim Kuzminov, a Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine, is similar to previous attacks in Europe linked to Moscow, but no evidence of direct Kremlin involvement has emerged so far, the New York Times (NYT) reported on March 31, citing unnamed senior police officials.

Russian propagandist Simonyan charged in absentia for promoting genocide. Margarita Simonyan is the head of RT, formerly known as Russia Today, a Russian state-owned media outlet seen as one of the key outlets of Russian propaganda worldwide.

Reuters: Iran warned Russia about ‘major terrorist operation’ ahead of Moscow shooting. Iran warned Russia of the possibility of a major “terrorist operation” on Russian territory ahead of the shooting outside Moscow last month, Reuters reported on April 1, citing three unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Fire breaks out at industrial facility in Russia’s Yekaterinburg. Uralmashzavod, based in the major Russian city east of the Ural Mountains, produces equipment for the metallurgy, mining, and energy industries.

Ukrainian forces intercept Russian sabotage group near border in Sumy Oblast. Border guards repelled an attack by Russian saboteurs in Sumy Oblast, Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service reported on April 1.

FT: Over 50% of Russians blame Ukraine for Moscow terrorist attack, survey shows. Around 27% of respondents blamed the Islamic State (ISIS), while another 6% pointed to the U.S., U.K., and NATO, according to a survey by OpenMinds, an Anglo-Ukrainian online pollster.

ISW: Russia may focus its potential offensive only in one operational direction. Russia may focus its potential late spring or summer offensive against Ukraine on the western part of Donetsk Oblast, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) wrote in their April 1 report.

Bloomberg: Russia plans reduction in diesel exports due to drone attacks. Russia is planning to reduce diesel exports from its Black and Baltic Sea ports in April to the lowest level in five months due to Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian oil refineries and the upcoming maintenance season, Bloomberg reported on April 1.

Read our exclusives

How Czechia busted Russian propaganda network targeting European elections

The Czech government announced on March 27 that it had uncovered a Moscow-financed propaganda network that sought to influence European politics and turn public opinion against aiding Ukraine.

Photo:Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

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Experts warn UN court’s approach in Ukraine versus Russia genocide cases ‘may lead to more instability’

The UN’s International Court of Justice, or ICJ, is currently hearing cases related to genocide in Ukraine as the country looks to seek justice for Russia’s ongoing crimes against it. Experts interviewed by the Kyiv Independent are worried that the Hague-based court, which is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, might not be up to the job.

Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

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Interview: Swedish defense minister on stepping up Ukraine aid and a new era in European security

Swedish defense minister on stepping up Ukraine aid and a new era in European security. In March 2024, Sweden became NATO’s 32nd member state after a lengthy application process triggered by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Photo: Olena Zashko / The Kyiv Independent

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Ukraine war latest: Russia destroys ’almost all energy infrastructure in Kharkiv, mayor says

Russian attacks destroyed “almost all” of energy infrastructure in Kharkiv, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said in an interview with Liga media outlet published on April 1. The current situation for the energy industry in the city is “very difficult,” according to the mayor.

Photo: Yan Dobronosov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Russian attack on Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast injures woman. Russia launched an attack against the town of Vovchansk in Kharkiv Oblast on April 1, injuring a 27-year-old woman, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.

Russian attacks over past day kill 1, injure at least 6. Russian forces also attacked Odesa, Dnipropetrovsk, Sumy, and Mykolaiv oblasts, causing damage but no casualties.

General Staff: Russia has lost 442,880 troops in Ukraine. This number includes 710 casualties Russian forces suffered over the past day.

International response

USAID provides emergency equipment, over 100 generators to Ukraine. The U.S. has donated emergency equipment, vehicles, and over 100 generators to multiple regions of Ukraine, through USAID.

Zara, other fashion brands to re-open in Ukraine starting April 3. Inditex, the Spanish parent company of popular clothing brands including Zara, Bershka, and Pull&Bear, will gradually resume operations in Ukraine.

Russia looking to remove Taliban’s designation as terrorist organization. The announcement came on the same day that Russian state news agency TASS said the Taliban had been invited to participate in the “Russia - Islamic World: KazanForum,” scheduled for May.

Japan provides Ukraine with $118 million grant for healthcare, reconstruction. Japan provided Ukraine with $118 million in aid as part of two World Bank projects, Ukraine’s Finance Ministry reported on April 1.

Moldovan military holds JCET drills with US, Romania. Moldovan, Romanian, and American troops are holding joint exercises JCET-2024 (Joint Combined Exchange Training) in Moldova between April 1 and 19, the Moldovan military said.

French FM wants ‘China to send very clear messages to Russia’ over Ukraine war. Following an inconsistent start, France, under the leadership of the increasingly outspoken President Emmanuel Macron, has become one of Ukraine’s strongest supporters.

Estonia’s ruling Reform Party introduces legislation to ban non-citizens from voting. The proposal would only impact local elections.

Johnson says vote on Ukraine aid will be held ‘right after’ Easter recess. President Volodymyr Zelensky held a one-on-one phone call with House Speaker Mike Johnson on March 28, in another indication that the aid was moving forward.

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Today’s Ukraine Daily was brought to you by Nate Ostiller, Martin Fornusek, Katya Denisova, Elsa Court, Chris York, Oleksiy Sorokin, Olena Goncharova, Sonya Bandouil, and Rachel Amran.

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