Good morning from Kyiv where weather conditions are what meteorologists technically call “miserable”. It’s cold, wet and grey.
What’s happening today?
It seems this week that the world is waking up to further apparent “leaks” of military and intel files every morning.
The latest is that around 100 special forces soldiers from NATO countries, including 50 British troops, are allegedly operating inside Ukraine. The British Ministry of Defense tweeted overnight that “the widely reported leak of U.S. information has demonstrated a serious level of inaccuracy.”
Kyiv Post is watching these developments with caution as the whole situation is under investigation.
While the detail of the documents is rich, the provenance and authenticity of at least some of the purported files – which initially appeared through a gaming site – is disputed by U.S., U.K. and Ukrainian authorities.
Furthermore, the timing of the emergence of these supposed documents could be designed to suit a disinformation campaign. Indeed, a key feature of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has been its strategic propaganda.
Therefore, our approach will be to cover these developments with care, context and a responsibility to the truth, as per the Explained article we published two days ago.
What was in President Zelensky’s latest message?
President Volodymyr Zelensky provided insights from his meeting yesterday with his top commanders and, afterwards, was particularly focused on “internal resilience”
“It is unwise to just passively hope that someone else will bring victory…This is a common task,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky also noted that Howard Buffet, a wealthy U.S. philanthropist, met with him yesterday and that the pair discussed projects in Ukraine. Buffet announced additional donations to buy nine 50-passenger buses for the Ukrainian military
What’s the latest military situation?
On the battlefields of Ukraine, the General Staff of Ukraine reported that in the 24 hour period to 6 a.m. this morning, there were 72 land-based attacks by Russian forces, as well as one missile attack, 21 air strikes, and 33 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) attacks on Ukrainian settlements and on military positions.
The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) latest daily intelligence update on Ukraine noted the following:
· Over recent weeks, Russia has continued to develop extensive linear defenses in Zaporizhzhia [region] in southern Ukraine. The area is highly likely the responsibility of Russia’s Southern Grouping of Forces (SGF).
· Russia has now completed three layers of defensive zones across approximately 120km of this sector. These consist of a front line of forward combat positions, then two zones of nearly continuous, more elaborate defenses. Each zone is approximately 10-20km behind the one in front.
· Russia has probably put significant effort into these defensive works because it is convinced Ukraine is considering an assault towards the city of Melitopol.
· The defenses have the potential to be formidable obstacles, but their utility almost entirely depends on them being supported by sufficient artillery and personnel. It remains unclear if the SGF can currently muster these resources.
The Institute for the Study of War’s daily assessment for April 11 noted that:
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