We’re also giving Ukraine a bunch of money and equipment.
Day 50: It’s been 50 days since Russia launched its full-scale invasion to take over Ukraine.
Russia wants Mariupol, but it has already made it known it also wants Odesa. They lost footing in that port city when Ukrainian forces damaged the Moskva, a famed cruiser ship.
Also, do not call Ukrainians and Russians “brotherly peoples.”
Moskva has Sunk
Russian warship, what are you sinking?
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) April 14, 2022
Russia admitted that Moskva, the flagship of their Black Sea fleet, has sunk:
Russia’s defence ministry said the missile cruiser Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, sank as it was towed back to port in stormy weather following an explosion and fire, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday.
The defence ministry had said earlier on Thursday that the Soviet-era ship had been badly damaged by the fire, which Ukraine said was a result of its missile strike.
The Russian Warship
Here’s an update on the flagship of the Russian fleet. Ukraine officers said Moskva started sinking after they hit it with Neptune missiles.
It is the same ship that attacked Snake Island.
Russia still says ammunition exploded on the ship and Ukraine didn’t do anything:
“The fire on the cruiser Moskva is under control. There are no flames visible. Ammunition supplies are no longer exploding.
“The cruiser Moskva is still afloat. The main missile armoury has not been damaged.
“The crew of the cruiser were evacuated to Black Sea Fleet vessels nearby. Measures are being taken to tow the cruiser into port.
“The causes of the fire are currently being established.”
Biden Authorizes $800 Million in Military Aid to Ukraine
Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that he authorized $800 million more in military aid, including heavier weapons:
“We cannot rest now. As I assured President Zelenskyy, the American people will continue to stand with the brave Ukrainian people in their fight for freedom,” Biden said in a written statement.
The new package includes 11 Mi-17 helicopters that had been earmarked for Afghanistan before the U.S.-backed government collapsed last year. It also includes 18 155mm howitzers, along with 40,000 artillery rounds, counter-artillery radars, 200 armored personnel carriers and 300 additional “Switchblade” drones.
This was the first time howitzers have been provided to Ukraine by the United States.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said some of the systems, like the howitzers and radars, will require additional training for Ukrainian forces not accustomed to using American military equipment.
“We’re aware of the clock and we know time is not our friend,” Kirby said when asked about the speed of deliveries.
Russia Shells Kharkiv at Least 53 Times 24 Hours, Possibly With Cluster Munitions
Kharkiv is about 30 miles from the Russian border. Cluster munitions are banned:
Four civilian residents of Ukraine’s eastern second city Kharkiv were killed and ten were wounded on Wednesday as Russian forces stepped up their bombing campaign of the city, local officials said.
“The enemy is bombing residential homes, residential areas. Unfortunately, there are civilian casualties – the worst thing is that children are dying,” Kharkiv mayor Ihor Terekhov told Ukrainian national television.
Kharkiv region Governor Oleh Synehubov later wrote on the Telegram messaging app that four people were killed and ten wounded by strikes on the city on Wednesday.
Kharkiv has already come under significant Russian strikes, with Terekhov saying there hadn’t been a single day without strikes since the start of the invasion on Feb. 24.
“Clear Patterns of International Humanitarian Law Violations”
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) found that Russia violated numerous humanitarian laws:
“If they had respected their IHL obligations in terms of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack and concerning specially protected objects such as hospitals, the number of civilians killed or injured would have remained much lower,” it says. “Similarly, considerably fewer houses, hospitals, cultural properties, schools, multi-story residential buildings, water stations and electricity systems would have been damaged or destroyed.”
“The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), monitoring the situation in Ukraine, has indicated having received reports of numerous cases of torture in the Temporary Detention Centre of Kherson under the control of Russia,” the OSCE report also said. “Persons detained there, mostly Ukrainian veterans of military operations in eastern Ukraine and civilians, are severally beaten, subject to mock executions and denied access to food, water and medical care.”
Dear Macron: Ukrainians and Russians are not Brothers
French President Emmanuel Macron said we have to be careful when applying the word genocide because “the Ukrainians and Russians are brotherly people.”
Putin’s excuse to absorb Ukraine is based on that argument! They see Ukraine as part of Russia.
I knew the minute I read Macron’s comments that crap was about to go down. Oh, boy:
In response to his comments, Ukraine’s government said he did not appear to understand Russian forces’ deliberate attacks on civilians during the war.
“Brotherly people don’t kill children, don’t shoot civilians, don’t rape women, don’t mutilate the elderly and don’t destroy the homes of other brotherly people,” said Oleh Nikolenko, a Ukrainian foreign ministry spokesman.
“Even the fiercest enemies don’t commit atrocities against defenceless people.”
Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president, said it was “painful” that Mr Macron refused to call the killings genocide.
“Such things are very painful for us, so I will definitely do my best to discuss this issue with him,” Mr Zelensky said at a press conference with the visiting leaders of Poland and the Baltic states.
Now I want to know what Putin and Macron discussed during all those phone calls.
Moskva Supposedly Damaged Near Odesa
Ukrainian officials said their forces destroyed the Russian ship Moskva near Odesa. It is the same ship that Ukrainian troops defied at the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
Russia denies the destruction, but admitted Moskva’s ammunition was detonated:
Ammunition stockpiles aboard a Russian ship that was famously defied by Ukrainian troops early in the war have detonated, according to a statement from the Russian defence ministry.
A fire caused the explosion on the Moskva, the statement in Russian media said, adding that all sailors had evacuated beforehand.
The statement said: “The cruiser Moskva’s ammunition has detonated as a result of a fire on the warship.
“The vessel is seriously damaged. The entire crew have been evacuated. The cause of the blaze is being investigated.”
It did not specify the cause of the fire.
But earlier on Wednesday, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was hit by Ukrainian rockets, according to the governor of Odesa.
Ukrainian officials said Russia was struggling to rescue the estimated 510 crew members on board.
The Moskva warship rose to fame early in the war when Ukrainian defenders of Snake Island refused calls to surrender and told the Russian ship to “go to hell”, before they were ultimately taken prisoner.
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