What’s happening near Bakhmut and in the south. Here’s what else emerges from the classified U.S. documents detailing Ukraine’s counteroffensive plans that leaked online. Russia plans to use Belarusian prisoners to rebuild Mariupol.
Battle situation near Bakhmut and in south
Russia deployed additional forces near Bakhmut. Ukrainian Spokesperson for the Eastern Military Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Colonel Serhiy Cherevatyi stated on April 9 that Russian airborne (VDV) forces began to appear in Bakhmut likely to reinforce conventional, rather than Wagner Group, forces. Meanwhile, the Kremlin continues efforts to discredit and undermine Wagner financier Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Institute for the Study of War said in a report of April 10.
The report also suggests that Russian forces conducted limited ground attacks along the Svatove-Kreminna line. Russian forces continued to make territorial gains in and around Bakhmut, and continued ground attacks on the Avdiyivka-Donetsk City line. Russian forces continued defensive preparations in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, the Institute for the Study of War said.
Russian forces in the south of Ukraine are falling back from the contact line so that Ukrainian artillery does not come within range of their positions, head of the joint press center of the Defense Forces of Southern Ukraine Nataliya Humenyuk said. She added that the Ukrainian Armed Forces try to keep the roads within range, making sure that Russian forces don’t use them to retreat.
Leak of classified U.S. documents detailing Ukraine’s counteroffensive plans: here’s what else emerges
Senior U.S. officials are racing to placate frustrated and confused allies from Europe to the Middle East to Kyiv following the leak of highly classified information about the war in Ukraine, Politico said. Meanwhile, officials in London, Brussels, Berlin, Dubai and Kyiv questioned Washington about how the information ended up online, who was responsible for the leak and what the U.S. was doing to ensure the information was removed from social media. They also questioned whether the Biden administration was taking steps to limit the distribution of future intelligence.
The saga has left the U.S. relationship with its allies in a state of crisis, raising questions about how Washington will correct what officials worldwide view as one of the largest public breaches of U.S. intelligence since WikiLeaks dumped millions of sensitive documents online from 2006 to 2021.
The Associated Press interviewed a person who said he was a member of the Discord chat group in which documents appeared for several months. A chat user who spoke to the AP said that the person who shared classified documents “was just consistently posting it to mess with people.”
A leak of Pentagon documents will not stand in the way of the U.S. continuing to support Ukraine, U.S. State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel said. “We’re going to continue to support Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s brutal aggression for as long as it takes, and that continues to be the case. But I’m not going to get into anything beyond that,” he said.
The U.S. Department of Defense is working around the clock to look at the scope and scale of the distribution, the assessed impact and our mitigation measures, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense Chris Meagher said. While the Pentagon has been careful not to authenticate the information contained in any specific document, overall “they present a very serious risk to national security and have the potential to spread disinformation,” he added. Meagher declined to answer when asked if the Pentagon believes the documents to be genuine. The U.S. Department of Defense is reviewing the matter.
Russia to use Belarusian prisoners to rebuild Mariupol, advisor to mayor in exile says
Russian-installed authorities are going to use Belarusian prisoners serving time for nonviolent crimes as a labor force for construction works in Mariupol.
Petro Andryushchenko, an advisor to the mayor of Mariupol is quoted as saying by RFE/RL: “Yesterday we learned that a decision was made that not only the Russians will be [rebuilding the city]. They are soon going to bring Belarusian prisoners convicted of nonviolent crimes as a labor force for construction works in Mariupol.”
Russian construction workers who are flooding the occupied city do not conceal their intention of staying and living there, he added. In February, Russia launched a mortgage loan program offering a two per cent interest rate.
According to Andryushchenko, the Russian authorities have held 40 tenders in Moscow for construction of houses in occupied Ukrainian cities. He did not specify if anything was offered to the prisoners in exchange for their work.
What’s happening on the Eastern front? Bakhmut, Lyman, Slovyansk, and more | Ep. 219
What is happening on the frontline? Are Russian claims of taking over Bakhmut true? What does the situation on the Eastern front look like? Are there still people living in destroyed frontline villages? Hosts: Volodymyr Yermolenko, Ukrainian philosopher and journalist, chief editor of UkraineWorld.org, and Tetyana Ogarkova, Ukrainian scholar and journalist, in charge of international outreach at the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre.
Ukraine in Flames, latest episodes
Creation of Special Tribunal for russian and belarusian war crimes. Ukraine in Flames #397
The leadership of russia and belarus, involved in the war against Ukraine, should be brought to justice in a specially created international tribunal. This resolution was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the coalition for the creation of such a tribunal already includes 32 countries. It should send a signal to all existing and hidden dictators out there that the international community is not ready to tolerate the invasion of other countries and annexing their territories. Watch Ukraine in flames #397 to find out how this tribunal may look like and who should judge putin and lukashenko.
- Kateryna Rashevska, Legal Expert at the Regional Centre for Human Rights
- Zahar Tropin, Associate Professor of the Department of International Law of Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Current situation at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Ukraine in Flames #394
Shoulder to Shoulder: Georgian Civil Society Leaders on Supporting Ukraine. Ukraine in Flames #395
Moldova and Ukraine Forge Closer Ties in the Wake of Russian Aggression. Ukraine in Flames #396