Overview:

  • Brussels’ sanctions target Indian and Chinese entities for the first time
  • Kremlin crackdown on bloggers leads to Russian nationalist’s suicide
  • More civilian deaths from Moscow’s mortars in the Kharkiv region
  • Moscow’s troops plant their flag in a village outside the city of Donetsk
  • US diplomat gets a good chuckle out of Putin’s “luxury car” gift
  • Invaders grab more land around Robotyne

EU agrees on a new round of Russian sanctions

EU member states on Wednesday approved a 13th package of sanctions against Russia, censuring an additional 200 individuals and organizations whom they believe to be helping Moscow secure weapons, and in some cases, involved in the kidnapping of Ukrainian children.

For the first time, EU sanctions will target Indian and Chinese entities accused of supplying Russian President Vladimir Putin and his troops with armaments during its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“This package is one of the broadest approved by the EU,” the office of the rotating EU presidency wrote.

“We must keep degrading Putin’s war machine… and keep the pressure high on the Kremlin,” EC president Ursula von der Leyen said when asked about the sanctions, pointing in particular to those suppliers who have helped Russia build new drones.

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Separately on Wednesday, the EU member state ambassadors agreed to start the process of renewing the suspension of tariffs on imports from Ukraine and Moldova, to promote trade with those countries and bolster their exports.

Russian pro-war blogger who published Avdiivka casualty numbers kills himself

Andrey Morozov, a Russian military blogger known to his 120,000 followers on Telegram as Murz, reportedly killed himself this week after caving to pressure from Moscow about his controversial revelations on casualty figures in Avdiivka.

Morozov fought alongside Russian-backed separatists in the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk before turning to online war chronicling. On Sunday, Morozov reported on his channel that the capture of Avdiivka had cost Russia about 16,000 soldiers’ lives.

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 24, 2024
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ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 24, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

In the eyes of the Kremlin, this amounts to slander against the Russian military, according to new laws governing public commentary on Putin’s war. On Tuesday, in a series of posts, Morozov wrote that he was going to commit suicide after constant pressure from senior officers to delete his post.

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Here is the first of them, where Morozov describes how senior officers have been ordered to kill him, saying they are “pissing themselves to come and pull the trigger. Well, I’ll do it myself. I will shoot myself if no one dares to take on this trifling matter.”

Russian strikes in Kharkiv region kill another civilian

Russian mortars and artillery killed one civilian and wounded another in the Kupyansk district of the Kharkiv region, the regional prosecutor’s office announced in a statement via Telegram on Wednesday.

“On February 21, 2024, around 12:40 p.m., the Russian Federation launched mortar and artillery attacks on the village of Ivanivka, Petropavlovska TG, as a result of which a 52-year-old civilian was injured. In addition, at approximately 2 p.m., the enemy shelled the village of Dvorichna with artillery, and a civilian was killed.”

The day prior, a Russian drone killed two men in a car driving home from work at a pig farm in the same region, hospitalizing a woman riding in the car as well.

Operations: Donetsk region

While Russian troops continue to clear areas around the seized city of Avdiivka, other units are capturing villages around the city of Donetsk, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

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Moscow’s forces appear to have seized Pobjeda on Wednesday, a small village immediately to the southwest of Donetsk. Geolocated images show troops raising a Russian Federation flag on a destroyed building in the western reaches of town. Some Ukrainian bloggers have even ceded that Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) units withdrew from Pobjeda on Tuesday.

Operations: Zaporizhzhia region

Geolocated footage suggests that Russian forces continued to make gains in the environs of Robotyne on Wednesday. Multiple images show troops advancing in western districts around Robotyne and also west of Verbove (east of Robotyne).

The ISW reported that a Russian military blogger “claiming to cite unspecified Ukrainian analysts” pegged Russian advances near Novoprokopivka (just south of Robotyne) at up to two kilometers wide and 650 meters in depth, but ISW analysts said they had not observed visual confirmation of this claim.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Tavriisk Group of Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Oleksandr Tarnavskyi said on Wednesday that Moscow’s troops on the Orikhiv front are “trying to move in small infantry groups and on high-speed all-terrain vehicles, but Russian attacks in this direction are unsuccessful,” the think tank wrote.

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US State Department mocks Putin’s gift to Kim Jong Un

The spokesman for the US State Department had a few zingers for the crowd at his regular stand-up gig at the Harry S Truman Building on Wednesday.

When asked about Putin’s gift of a Russian-made limousine to his North Korean counterpart this week, Matthew Miller told reporters gathered at the State Department briefing, “I actually, frankly, didn’t know there was such a thing as a Russian luxury car.”

“I hope Kim got the extended warranty,” he grinned, and added, “I’m not sure that, if I were buying a luxury car, Russia would be the place I would look.”

On a more serious note, Miller underscored that such a gift, and in a broader sense any technological collaboration with the rogue nation, would go against a UN Security Council ban on supplying such goods to North Korea.

‘If this is true, it would appear to be once again Russia violating UN Security Council resolutions that it itself supported,” Miller said.

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Comments (2)

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Imokru2
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Sanctions don’t work, they have never worked and they never will.

Sanctions are used when nations aren’t willing to fight for what they believe in - it is a sign of weakness and a lack of resolve.

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Joe Average
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Russia - where telling the truth can get you killed.

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