Russians attack Odessa port with drones. Zelensky announces serious preparations for Ukrainian counter-offensive

Local authorities announced Tuesday that Russian drones had struck the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa, causing damage, AFP reported. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky says the day of the counterattack is approaching, and Ukrainian forces are actively preparing for it, with the most important commanders already on the front lines. LiveText covering events in Ukraine can be found here.

Zelensky: We are fully preparing our measures to liberate Ukrainian territories

Update 08:05 In his message on Monday evening, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said that the day of the counterattack is approaching, intensive preparations are being made, and the most important commanders are already at the front.

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“Every day we are getting stronger, every day we are getting closer to the day when the terrorist state will give account,” Zelensky assured Ukrainians.

He says he has discussed with the commanders-in-chief major security issues in the front line, northern regions and the border. “The commanders of the departments said. At this time, generals Chirsky and Tarnovsky, Bahmut, Avtivka, Maringa and the entire Donetsk region, Bilohorivka and the entire Luhansk region reported not in person, but through secure communications from the hot spots on the front line. , the head of the intelligence service of the Ministry of Defense. , said he had also received reports from the head of the border guards and other representatives of the military.

“This is a full meeting and full coordination to fully prepare our active measures to liberate Ukrainian territories,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

Russian drones hit Odessa port

Update 08:00 Local authorities announced early Tuesday that Russian drones had struck the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa and caused damage, AFP reported.

“The enemy has attacked Odesa and Odesa district with UAV attacks” (unmanned aerial vehicles), the local administration said in a statement posted on Facebook. “The damage is there,” he added, without giving further details.

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Citing Yuri Krug, head of the military administration of the Odesa district, the report noted that Ukraine’s air defense forces were on the move and warned of the possibility of a second wave of attacks.

Odessa was a favorite holiday destination for many Ukrainians and Russians before the invasion of Ukraine erupted in February 2022. In January 2023, UNESCO added the historic center of Odessa to the list of World Heritage in Danger.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Odessa has been repeatedly bombed by Russian forces.

Russia wants tougher laws after blogger Vladan Tatarsky’s murder

Update 07:30 The Russian parliament wants to introduce even tougher legislation after the killing of military blogger Vladan Tatarsky in a cafe in St. Petersburg, a member of parliament said on Monday, dpa reported on Tuesday, according to Agerpres.

“In the future, we will propose amendments that will toughen the punishments for terrorism,” Vasiliy Piskaryov, head of the State Duma’s security committee, said in a Telegram. Psikariov, deputy head of the United Russia Party, said that these changes do not mean only terrorist attacks, but support, encouragement and dissemination of terrorist propaganda.

Terrorism already carries a life sentence, but some parts of the law allow for lighter sentences, Psikariov said. “Most importantly, we intend to increase the list of crimes punishable by life imprisonment,” the deputy added, saying it was necessary to protect Russia from the growing threat from Ukraine. Anyone who carries out, plans or justifies an attack should not be allowed to escape “severe penalties”, he said.

Vasily Piskaryov made the statements after blogger Vladan Tatarsky was killed in an explosion Sunday at a cafe in St. Petersburg owned by Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Wagner’s mercenary force. Tatarsky, who strongly supported the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was killed by an explosive device hidden in a plaster statue given to a military blogger by one of the participants in an event of Tatarsky that called for the “total destruction of Ukraine”. He began talking about his experiences as a war correspondent in the war zone of eastern Ukraine. Around 30 people were injured in the blast.

Russian security forces arrested Daria Trebova, who was identified as the person who handed over the statue. Trebova was already targeted by the authorities in February 2022, being held in administrative detention for ten days for unauthorized action against the Russian military campaign in Ukraine.

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Russia is defending itself against criticism after taking over the rotating presidency of the Security Council

Update 07:15 On Monday, Russia defended itself against an avalanche of criticism for assuming the presidency of the Security Council in April, saying it would not abuse the position, AFP reported.

“Russia does not abuse the prerogatives of the presidency. On the one hand, there is the national position and, on the other hand, the role of the presidency of the Council,” emphasized Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia at the press conference, which marks the beginning of each rotation of the President of the Security Council. .

Russia assumed the presidency of the council on Saturday, in accordance with the rules of rotating the presidency every month, in alphabetical order of permanent and non-permanent members.

The situation prompted criticism from Ukraine, which it qualified as a “slap in the face of the international community”, but also from Kiev’s allies. “As you know, Russia has been chairing the Security Council since April 1. It’s like April Fool’s Day,” US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Monday. “The truth is, it’s a rotating presidency. We expect him to behave in a professional manner,” he admitted. “But we expect them to use the presidency to spread disinformation and advance their own agenda when it comes to Ukraine, and we’re ready to call their attention every time they try to do that. ” he said.

Ukraine and the West have been condemning Russian propaganda for war in Ukraine for months. This position is “in the vein of the Western narrative”, lamented Vasily Nebenzia, who, in turn, accused Kiev’s allies of “spreading false information”, especially “about the situation of Ukrainian children who were allegedly abducted in Ukraine and taken to Russia against their will”.

The International Criminal Court has issued a war crimes arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for “illegal deportation” of Ukrainian children during the Russian invasion. A “stupid” and “illegal” decision, insisted the Russian ambassador, who is organizing an informal meeting at the UN on Wednesday on the topic.

The Presidency of the Security Council ensures certain agenda-related privileges. But as a permanent member, Russia already has the ability to hold emergency meetings when requested.

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The country holding the rotating presidency of the Security Council usually organizes two or three specific meetings on selected topics. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will preside over one of them on April 24, titled “Protecting the Principles of the UN Charter.” “Russia is not in a position to talk about international law or UN values,” James Kariuki, the British ambassador’s deputy, commented on the incident on Monday.

Most important information of previous day:

  • The IAEA director is to speak with Russian officials in Kaliningrad about Ukraine’s Zaporizhia power plant
  • Russian forces are far from capturing Bahmut – the Ukrainian officer
  • Stoltenberg: We see no change in Russia’s nuclear posture that requires a change in our nuclear posture
  • Stoltenberg: No signs Putin is ready for peace He is preparing for more war
  • After Finland joins NATO on Tuesday, Russia threatens to ‘build military capacity’ on Finland’s border.
  • Putin plans to move secret Poseidon torpedoes closer to US
  • ISW: Assassination of military blogger in St. Petersburg may be a warning to Prigozhin
  • Russia accuses Ukraine of killing military blogger and calls St Petersburg incident ‘ideological attack’
  • Putin’s war in Ukraine has cost the Department of Heritage and Culture (UNESCO) 2.4 billion euros.
  • Russia confiscates passports of senior officials and directors of state-owned companies (Financial Times)
  • Putin establishes a fund by decree to support the military at war in Ukraine
  • Olaf Scholz says Germany will support Ukraine as long as it needs it
  • Poland delivers first MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine
  • Russia moves tactical nukes to Belarus despite ‘noise’ made by Europe and US (Russian Ambassador)
  • Bahmuth hasn’t fallen yet, but the Russians are trying to take full control of the city, Kiev says
  • Prigozhin, head of the Wagner Group, says the Russians control Bahmuth in a ‘legal sense’
  • 6 civilians were killed as a result of Russian bombings in Kostiantivka, 20 km from Bahmut.
  • Zelensky: The battles in Bahmut are “especially hot”.

Publisher: CLB

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