Bakhmut buckling in the rain of firecrackers
Ukraine’s military said on April 19 that within 24 hours Russia had launched 60 air strikes on Bakhmut. However, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said that the Russian side suffered high losses in the city of Donetsk.
“For them (the Russians), this is probably one of the most expensive operations because of the loss of so many weapons and equipment,” Maliar said.
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On the same day, Russia deployed Iranian-made Shahed drones for the bombardment of the port city of Odessa. General Mykola Oleshchuk, commander of the Ukrainian air force, later said that the country’s air defense forces destroyed 10/12 suicide drones in the attack. Russia has not yet commented on the incident.
Currently, Germany has delivered a Patriot anti-aircraft missile system to Ukraine and the system has entered the war. In southern Spain, six Leopard 2 tanks are waiting at the port for shipment to Ukraine.
Also on April 19, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived at Ukraine’s northwestern border, bordering Poland and Belarus. Here, the leader observes the defensive activities of border guards.
Across the border, the Bealrus Defense Ministry announced the organization of a military exercise from April 19-22 with the participation of air defense battalions equipped with S-300 and Tor-M2K, according to TASS.
What did the South Korean president say about the possibility of supplying weapons to Ukraine?
Russia sends weapons to North Korea if South Korea helps Ukraine
Moscow can provide advanced weapons to North Korea if South Korea starts providing military aid to Ukraine, RT news agency quoted Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s National Security Council on April 19.
Earlier in the day, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol hinted at the possibility of changing Ukraine’s aid policy. In an interview with Reuters ahead of his visit to the US next week, Mr. Yoon said the Seoul government may change its stance from financial or humanitarian aid to the most appropriate form in case Russia organizes many events. large-scale attacks on civilians.
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Regarding the South Korean President’s remarks, the Kremlin said that the Seoul government has turned to an unfriendly position with Russia on the Ukraine war. At the same time, the Moscow government warned that Russia would consider South Korea’s weapons aid to Ukraine as an act of war.
South Korea’s presidential office later asserted that what Mr. Yoon said did not mean that South Korea wanted to change its policy on Ukraine.
Sweden joins NATO before July?
During a visit to Sweden, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin expressed the expectation of President Joe Biden’s administration that the host country would join NATO before the bloc’s summit in July. Mr. Austin also committed to persuading Turkey and Hungary to ratify Sweden’s accession.
Along with Finland, Sweden applied to join NATO in May last year. Finland’s approval process was approved at a record pace and the country was officially a member of the bloc’s 31st member earlier this month.
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Meanwhile, the Swedish effort was delayed by objections from Türkiye and Hungary.
“We look forward to welcoming Sweden soon as the 32nd member (of NATO). To be clear, we expect this to happen before the meeting in July,” Reuters quoted Minister Austin as saying at a press conference with his host country counterpart Pal Jonson.
The visit by the US defense secretary happened to come at a time when Sweden was hosting the largest-scale military exercise in more than 25 years, Aurora 23.
About 700 US Marines took part in the exercise with troops from Britain, Finland, Poland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Denmark, Austria, Germany and France.
Taking place from April 17 to May 11, Aurora 23 witnessed the participation of about 26,000 military personnel from all over the world in exercises on land, sea and air.
Russian Airborne Forces strengthen role in Ukraine conflict hotspot
Also on April 19, the inspection of cargo ships carrying Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports resumed after the United Nations brokered the restoration of the agreement. However, Kyiv still faces the challenge of prolonging the agreement as more and more European countries decide to ban Ukrainian agricultural products from transiting through their territory.
Bulgaria is the fourth member of the European Union to temporarily ban Ukrainian grains to protect the livelihoods of farmers in the country.