Ukraine resists Russia’s invasion. Day 55: Russia begins assault on Donbas, bombed-out Azovstal, Ukraine retakes Maryinka

Russia begins assault on eastern Ukraine. Russia launched an offensive in Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions, spokesperson of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Oleksandr Motuzyanyk said. 

“Russia’s armed forces intensified assault on eastern Ukraine. Russia’s aim is to take full control of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and hold the land corridor with the temporarily occupied Crimea,” Motuzyanyk said.

Azovstal bombed-out, completely destroyed. Mariupol’s Azovstal steel works “bombed-out and almost completely destroyed” as Russians dropped heavy bombs on it, deputy commander of the Azov regiment identifying himself by his call sign Kalyna told Radio Liberty. “Too many people” are left under the rubble, he added. Russia also dropped a heavy bomb on the plant’s hospital. It was empty, advisor to the mayor of Mariupol said. The area around the steel works is under heavy bombardment. Yet it has been empty for a long time, especially the hospital that was already in ruins. 

Ukraine retakes Maryinka in Donetsk region. The Ukrainian Armed Forces launched a counterattack and forced the Russians out of Maryinka in Donetsk region, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in an evening report on April 19. 

Biden, allies hold video call as Russia begins offensive. U.S. President Biden held a video call with allies to discuss support for Ukraine and efforts to hold Russia to account.

The United States sees ongoing Russian activity in eastern Ukraine as a prelude to a much larger offensive in the country, a senior U.S. defense official told Reuters on Tuesday. 

Joining Biden on the call were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Explaining Ukraine podcast. Is Russia Fascist or Stalinist?

How can we describe Putinism? Is it closer to far-right totalitarianisms like fascism/Nazism, or to far-left system like Stalinism? What is the nature of Russian imperialism? Is Stalinism’s heritage still alive? Our “Explaining Ukraine” podcast. Hosts: Volodymyr Yermolenko, Ukrainian philosopher and journalist, chief editor at, and Tetyana Ogarkova, Ukrainian scholar and journalist who is in charge of international outreach at the Ukraine Crisis Media Centre. Listen to the episode.

Ukraine in Flames #40. International isolation of Russia: what should be and what is already done

The world political community has begun the process of sanctioning Russia for its wrong-doing against Ukraine. In fact, a new model of political order is being created today, where Russia is given a place on the political and economic periphery of the world. One more important dimension of Russian isolation is diplomatic one, in particular participation of Russia in different international organizations. This is what we are going to talk about in Ukraine in Flames #40.


Volodymyr Ohryzko, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (2007-2009)

Valeriy Chaly, Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States (2014-2019), Chair of the UCMC Board

Volodymyr Yelchenko, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN (1997-2001, 2015-2019)

Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union