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War in Ukraine: satellite images show convoy on the way to the Donbass

NNew satellite images from the company Maxar Technologies show a long Russian military convoy on its way to the Donbass in eastern Ukraine. The column was about 13 kilometers long, as can be seen in the pictures taken earlier on Friday. The footage brought back memories of the much longer convoy that had moved towards Kyiv at the beginning of the war, but was stalled due to Ukrainian attacks and technical failures and finally broke up.

Military experts predict that Russian troops could launch a full-scale offensive in eastern Ukraine within the next few days. The Ukrainian General Staff announced that the Russian soldiers on Sunday visited the second largest city Kharkiv fired upon and reinforcements after Izyum would have sent. From there, they could try to reach Sloviansk even further to the southeast, experts from the US think tank Institute for the Study of War said.

A picture of the convoy on the way to the Donbass

Source: AP

Also Dnipro south of Kharkiv was hit by rockets on Sunday, according to the local governor. Russian troops again attacked Dnipro airport and completely destroyed it, according to Ukrainian sources. Both the airport and the surrounding infrastructure are in ruins, the responsible governor explained on Telegram. It is currently being checked whether there are fatalities.

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Ukraine War Territories

Source: Infographic WORLD

“A new attack on Dnipro airport,” said Valentin Resnichenko. “There is nothing left.” According to the information, the attacks initially continued: “The rockets fly and fly,” wrote the governor on Telegram.

Dnipro is an industrial city with around one million inhabitants. It lies on the river of the same name (German: Dnepr), which forms an important natural barrier to the east of Ukraine, which is partly controlled by pro-Russian forces.

So far 1222 bodies have been recovered near Kyiv

In the region around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv According to Ukrainian information on Sunday, more than 1,200 people have been found dead. In an interview with the British broadcaster Sky News, prosecutor Iryna Venediktova called the number of 1,222 recovered dead “in the Kyiv region alone”. The Russian troops had withdrawn from the region in the past few days.

Rescue workers recover buried bodies from a block of flats in Borodyanka

Rescue workers recover buried bodies from a block of flats in Borodyanka

Source: Getty Images/Alexey Furman

Women wait in front of a soup kitchen in Butscha

Women wait in front of a soup kitchen in Butscha

Source: AP/Rodrigo Abd

In fact, according to British intelligence, there is already evidence that non-combatants have been disproportionately targeted. There are mass graves, hostages were used as human shields and civilian infrastructure was mined, the British Ministry of Defense announced on Twitter on Sunday night.

Russian forces continued to use IEDs to inflict casualties on Ukraine, lower morale and limit Ukrainian movement. In addition, the troops continued to attack infrastructure targets where the risk of harming the civilian population was high – such as the recent shelling of a nitric acid storage facility near Rubishne in the Donbass.

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Putin exchanges general

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin apparently swapped command of the war of aggression against Ukraine. The US broadcaster CNN quotes two unnamed sources in the US and Europe, according to which General Alexander Dvornikov has been appointed supreme commander for the campaign against Ukraine. So far, there has apparently been no unified high command for what the Russians call the “special operation”.

The reorganization was a reaction to the failed capture of Kiev. “It speaks to a Russian admission that things are going extremely badly and they need to do something differently,” one of the sources told CNN. The report has not yet been confirmed or commented on by the Russian side.

Dvornikov was most recently commander in Russia’s southern military district. From September 2015 to June 2016, however, he led the deployment of Russian troops in Syria to support its dictator Bashar al-Assad. In 2016, President Putin awarded him the title “Hero of the Russian Federation” for his work there.

General Alexander Dwornikov in the Krasnodar Territory, which belongs to his previous command area, the Southern Military District of Russia

General Alexander Dwornikov in the Krasnodar Territory, which belongs to his previous command area, the southern military district of Russia

Source: pa/Vitaly Timkiv/TASS/dpa

The ruthless siege and bombardment of Aleppo, which caused great casualties among the civilian population, took place during the time of Dvornikov’s command in Syria. In December 2016, the city was taken by Syrian government forces.

Military analysts and US officials familiar with intelligence believe that Dvornikov should achieve successes by May 9, the anniversary of Germany’s surrender to the Soviet Union in 1945. This anniversary is always celebrated with large parades in Moscow.

Former British ambassador to Russia Sir Roderic Lyne told Sky News on Saturday that Moscow had appointed a new general with a “pretty wild track record in Syria to try and win at least some territory in Donetsk that Putin presents as a victory could”.

Based on Dwornikov’s history, it is to be expected that there will be further atrocities like in Bucha and Borodjanka, or like the attack on a train station in Kramatorsk, according to Western circles. The brutal action in Mariupol could also serve as a model.

Selenskyj wants to continue negotiations

Despite the atrocities and attacks on the civilian population, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wants to continue talking to Russia about a peace solution. “No one wants to deal with a person or people who have tortured their nation. It’s all understandable,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with the AP news agency on Saturday. “But we don’t want to miss opportunities for a diplomatic solution when we have them.”

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He was confident that the Ukrainians would ultimately accept a possible peace agreement, despite everything they had to endure since the Russian troops invaded. At the same time, he must realistically face the fact that the chances of a quick agreement are slim, Zelenskyj said.

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Source: WELT/Isabell Bischoff infographic

After more than six weeks of war, Selenskyj was exhausted during the interview. Nonetheless, he was determined to continue defying Russia. “We have to fight, fight for our lives,” he said. “You can’t fight for dust when there’s nothing and no people left.” He spoke to the AP inside the presidential palace in Kyiv. Sandbags were piled up on the windows and in the hallways. Heavily armed soldiers stood guard.

When asked whether the western states had already supplied enough weapons and other equipment for Ukraine to gain the upper hand against Russia, Zelenskyy was visibly disappointed. “Not yet,” he said in English for added emphasis. “Of course it’s not enough.” At the same time, he acknowledged the growing support of Europe and the United States.

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