Day 424 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russian missiles hit Kharkiv

World » UKRAINE | April 23, 2023, Sunday // 15:25
Bulgaria: Day 424 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Russian missiles hit Kharkiv

Day 424 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:

  • Russian missiles hit Kharkiv
  • The G-7 called for the extension, compliance and expansion of the deal on the export of Ukrainian grain
  • With connections to the front: Peskov's son was part of Prigozhin's 'Wagner
  • Leopard-2 in the backpack. Inflates in 10 minutes with a compressor
  • Killed and maimed: Ukraine has been mined for decades

Russian missiles hit Kharkiv

At least five Russian missiles hit the eastern city of Kharkiv and surrounding areas overnight, damaging civilian buildings, local authorities said. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for the removal of opportunities to circumvent sanctions against Russia.

Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleg Sinegubov wrote in Telegram that one of the missiles hit the village of Kotlyari, located south of Kharkiv, and another caused a large fire in the city. Russia has been firing missiles and using drones against a variety of targets in Ukraine for months in an attempt to destroy vital infrastructure.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that if we want an end to Russian aggression in Ukraine, one of the key tasks is to eliminate opportunities to circumvent sanctions. His words came on the day the sanctions list was expanded to include 322 Russian defense industry firms, as well as individuals and legal entities that help evade the restrictions.

In his evening video address, Zelensky said:

"Any Russian scheme that makes it possible to circumvent sanctions prolongs this war and gives opportunities to the aggressor. Therefore, the stricter the sanctions regime against Russia, the more restrictions against the terrorist state and all related persons, against the entire Russian military economy, the sooner the aggression will end. And I thank everyone in the world who understands this."

Meanwhile, Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles announced that the six Leopard tanks promised by Spain to Ukraine are already on their way and will reach their destination in the coming days. "Another four Leopard tanks are currently being repaired and as soon as they are ready, they will also go to Ukraine," she added.

Madrid announced the shipment of these tanks as part of European countries' aid to Kyiv to deal with the Russian offensive.

The G-7 called for the extension, compliance and expansion of the deal on the export of Ukrainian grain

The G-7 countries called for the extension, full implementation and expansion of the deal for the export of Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea. This was said in a communiqué by the group's agriculture ministers after their meeting in Miyazaki, Japan.

They also state that they condemn Russia's attempts to use food as a tool for destabilization and geopolitical coercion and reaffirm their commitment to solidarity and support.

The deal to export grain through the Black Sea from Ukraine is to be discussed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The grain agreement was signed in July last year, with the mediation of the UN and Turkey, Reuters recalls.

With connections to the front: Peskov's son was part of Prigozhin's 'Wagner

The son of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov fought in Ukraine in the ranks of the private military company "Wagner", said Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the PMC, DPA reported.

According to Prigozhin, Peskov Sr. personally discussed with him which of the war zones he should send his successor to.

The head of the private military company (PMC) advised the Kremlin spokesman not to send his son to the regular army, which Prigozhin repeatedly criticized for its poor equipment and problems with training and leadership, BTA clarifies. Nikolay Peskov, who lived in Great Britain for a long time, said in an interview with the Russian newspaper "Komsomolskaya Pravda" that he considers the service his duty, adds DPA. The 33-year-old man boasts that he received a medal.

Nikolay Peskov served as an artilleryman in the eastern part of Luhansk region under a different name after undergoing three weeks of military training.

The children of most representatives of the Russian elite are looking to get out of military service and "their parents are hiding them," adds Prigozhin. The heirs of leading figures in Russia are sent to universities, exempting them from military service, while the children of ordinary workers die in the war, the head of the private military company also said.

Prigozhin does not present any evidence that Dmitry Peskov's son participated in the war in Ukraine. "Only I and the head of the personnel office knew about it," he says, adding that Peskov Jr. is currently on leave.

Leopard-2 in the backpack. Inflates in 10 minutes with a compressor

The Ukrainian army is massively using mock-ups instead of real Western equipment to fool the Russian occupiers. However, this is not something new, as similar tricks have been used since the First World War, writes “The Economist”.

The publication refers to the adviser of the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Anton Gerashchenko, who notes that these mock-ups from a satellite or drone are very difficult to distinguish from real weapons.

Ukrainians have been resorting to such decisions since 2014, when the war with Russia first began, said Andriy Rymaruk, a representative of the Come Back Alive organization. “True, at that time the quality of fakes should have been better”.

Since 2018, Come Back Alive has been working on inflatable prototypes that were used in military exercises before the full-scale Russian invasion.

It is noted that inflatable models are much lighter (including when transporting) than wooden prototypes. The "weapons" made of nylon can even be carried in a backpack and inflated in 10 minutes using a compressor.

Almost any type of military equipment can be reproduced in inflatable form - tanks, field artillery, mortars, machine guns with flexible deflectors to simulate heat. Ukraine orders such "mouse traps" for the Russian Federation from the Czech company Inflatech. Experts note that since the beginning of the war, the demand for this type of camouflage by the Armed Forces has increased by 30%.

Ukraine has found technology that improves inflatable dummies so that the weapons produce a reliable radar signal that fools Russian invaders. Exactly how this is done is kept secret.

The Air Force's inflatable artillery, such as M777 replicas, is primarily aimed at the Russian Lancet unmanned aerial vehicles.

Already in the middle of last year, the Ukrainian army started using wooden HIMARS. The first US systems arrived in Ukraine in mid-June. Since then, there has been no documented confirmation of the destruction of this type of equipment by Russia.

According to The Washington Post, the Ukrainians have learned how to "lure" Russian cruise missiles to the fake HIMARS. The Ukrainian decoys are made of wood, but they are indistinguishable from the artillery battery through the lens of Russian drones that transmit their location to naval missile carriers in the Black Sea.

Killed and maimed: Ukraine has been mined for decades

"I know thirteen more people who were injured by a mine," says Ukrainian Mykola Shalomov, who lost a large part of his left leg. The mine was buried in front of his house in Dovkhenke, eastern Ukraine. Neighbors helped him and took him to the hospital's emergency room, where his foot and most of his lower leg were amputated.

Especially many cases in the Kharkiv region

German public media ARD tells the story of the 62-year-old man, who was once a farmer, raised animals and loved fishing. Right now, his goal is to learn to walk again. "I'm fine, there are others who are in a much worse condition," says the man.

Almost nothing is left of Shalomov's left leg. No toes, no heel, the whole lower leg is gone. All that's left is a feeling of numbness and excruciating pain, he says. This is the so-called phantom pain in the amputated foot that is no longer there.

According to the United Nations, since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than 740 civilians have been injured or killed by mines and other explosives. There are especially many mines in the Kharkiv region - hospitals there report many cases of maimed people.

"What if the grandkids come to visit?"

Shalomov's doctor gives the man hope. His wound should heal in a few months. Then they can try to find him a prosthesis. However, Shalomov does not want to stay in the area in the future. The hidden landmines that can be anywhere in the ground scare him. "What if my grandchildren come to visit," the man asks.

Yuri Kuznetsov is a traumatologist at the hospital in Izium. An entire wing of the hospital collapsed during the fighting around the city. Kuznetsov has turned an old office into a makeshift operating room. But the most basic things from the necessary equipment are missing - instruments, sterilization apparatus, as well as modern prostheses.

Izium and mines

The Izium doctor bandages and treats victims who have come across landmines almost every day. Izium was occupied by Russian troops for several months. In the autumn, the Ukrainians took back the city. The human rights organization "Human Rights Watch" accuses the Russian units of using anti-personnel mines in numerous regions of Ukraine.

Evidence of this can be found throughout the recently occupied areas that Ukraine has reclaimed. Landmines are internationally banned because they pose a huge danger to civilians, not just soldiers.

Accusations also against Ukraine

As for the mines in Izium, Human Rights Watch also called on the Ukrainian army to reconsider its actions and not use anti-personnel mines. "Russian troops have repeatedly used anti-personnel mines and committed atrocities throughout the country. But this does not justify Ukraine's use of prohibited weapons," the organization wrote. Kyiv insists it abides by international law, including the ban on the use of anti-personnel mines.

Surgeon Kuznetsov did not comment on whether the mines in Izium were Russian or Ukrainian. "I'm not an expert on mines, he says. I just treat the injuries." But he explains that during the occupation the clinic served as a Russian field hospital. Except for a small civilian access path, all its entrances have been mined.

Plastic mines are particularly dangerous

There are also small plastic explosive mines that are colorful and children think they are toys. They are particularly dangerous for another reason - the sappers' detectors do not detect them, because the sensors mainly react to metal.

No one knows exactly where and how many mines the Russian troops left behind. But clearing them will likely take decades. The German government has so far provided 26 million euros for demining in Ukraine.

Novinite is still the only Bulgarian media that publishes a summary of events and highlights related to the conflict, every single day. Our coverage began on day one - 24.02.2022 and will not stop until the war has concluded. Despite the pressure, our independent media will continue to provide its readers with accurate and up-to-date information. Thank you for your support! #stayinformed

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