Day 54th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)

Defense Express collects operative information on Russia's invasion of Ukraine – official sources and senior Ukrainian authorities' announcements
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Day 54th of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)

Brief facts:

  • UK Ministry of Defense states that russian troops in Mariupol using same tactics as in Chechnya, Syria.
  • The first video of russia's Moskva missile cruiser before it sank was published.
  • At least six people were killed and eight more, including a child, were injured in missile attacks on Lviv early on Monday.
  • The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stresses that delay in weapons from west gives Russia 'permission to take the lives of Ukrainians'.
  • Ukraine's official states that Ukraine begins process to join EU.
  • The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine states that the armed forces of the russian federation are completing the creation of an offensive group in the Eastern Operational Zone.
  • The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky warns that russians are preparing for a large offensive in Donbas.
  • Mariupol defenders refused to surrender to Russia's ultimatum.

Side note: news are marked in accordance with the Kyiv time zone: Eastern European Time (EET), GMT/UTC+2

Read more: US is surprised by “Neptune” a.k.a. “Moskow-Killer” Anti-Ship Missile

Latest news:

23:30 Address of Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Ukrainians:

  • The occupiers began to act more cautiously, looking for weaknesses in the Ukrainian defense. The offensive began in the Donbas. "We will not give away anything Ukrainian, and we do not need someone elseʼs," the President said.
  • The development of a plan for the restoration and modernization of post-war Ukraine is under way. The focus is on ideas and people. All reforms, including judicial and anti-corruption, need to be completed.
  • Digitalization should become the leading sphere of modernized Ukraine. The new approach must change the defense sphere.
  • He awarded 192 servicemen, 24 of them posthumously.
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy

23:15 Joint Forces Operation reports on Facebook: During the current day, the Allied forces successfully repulsed 7 enemy attacks. Ukrainian defenders destroyed 10 tanks, 1 artillery system, 18 armored , along with the calculation.

Air defense units shot down one enemy Su-30 fighter jet and four Orlan-10 unmanned aerial vehicles in the skies of Ukrainian Donbass.

Joint Forces Operation report
Joint Forces Operation report

23:02 Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has announced the unanimous support of the Italian parliament for the supply of weapons to Ukraine and the prospects of strengthening sanctions on Russia.

"The decision to send weapons was taken in parliament almost unanimously ... Sanctions are necessary to weaken the aggressor, but they cannot stop the troops in the short term. For that we need to help the Ukrainians directly, what we are doing. Not to do so would be tantamount to telling them to surrender, accept slavery and submission - this goes against our European values of solidarity. Instead, we want to let Ukrainians defend themselves," Draghi told Italy's Corriere della Sera.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi

Find more additional information in Defense Express publication: What Countries Ban Russian Ships to Enter Their Ports

22:48 One more enemy aircraft has been shot down by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kharkiv Region. The relevant statement was made by Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Head Oleh Syniehubov during a telethon, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. “Today we have shot down an enemy plane near the city of Balakliia,” Syniehubov told.

22:25 Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded a honorary title of ‘Guards’ to the 64th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade, which committed the mass killings of civilians in Bucha, Kyiv Region. The relevant decree was published on the Russian official portal of legal information, an Ukrinform correspondent reports. According to the decree, the brigade was honored for the “mass heroism and valor, tenacity, and courage shown by the personnel in hostilities for the defense of the motherland and state interests during armed conflicts”.

Find more details in a publication by Defense Express: The 54nd Day of the War: Russia Has Lost 20 600 Personnel, 790 Tanks and 167 Aircraft

22:11 State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Russia’s attacks in Ukraine in recent days further illustrate that the country is “undertaking a campaign of terror” against the people of Ukraine when responding to a question about Russia’s recent strikes in Lviv, Ukraine.

“The fact is that Russia, more than just launching an invasion, more than just launching a war, has launched, is undertaking a campaign of terror, a campaign of brutality, a campaign of despicable aggression against the people of Ukraine. And so when it comes to what we've seen in recent hours, and in terms of the strikes against Lviv, in terms of the strikes in the outskirts of Kyiv, or what we've seen in towns like Mariupol, towns like Kharkiv, what we've witnessed in Bucha, this, these are clear indications, they are a clear testament to the campaign of brutality, the campaign of terror that the Russians are waging against the people of Ukraine,” Price said.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price
State Department spokesperson Ned Price

Price also noted that the Pentagon said earlier in the day that Russian strikes in recent days “have targeted military instillations, military adjacent instillations.”

21:20 According to US estimates, Russia replenished its forces in the east and south of Ukraine with another 11 battalion tactical groups in a week. Now the total number of Russian BTGs has reached 76. This was announced by a senior official of the US Department of Defense, CNN reports.

20:30 According to the UN, since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, 2,072 civilians were killed. Another 2,818 were injured.

According to UN figures, 537 men, 327 women, 60 boys and 38 girls have died, while the sex of 71 children and 1,039 adults has not yet been determined.

20:15 Russian state news agency TASS confirmed on Monday that one of its senior Russian naval officers died in Ukraine. According to TASS, the captain of the Russian Navy Ropucha-II class landing ship “Ceasar Kunikov”, Capt. of the 3rd rank Alexander Chirva was killed in the occupied Ukrainian port of Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov.

“Today we said goodbye Alexander Grigorievich Chirva. The commander of the large landing ship “Ceasar Kunikov” of the 197th Brigade of the landing ships of the Black Sea Fleet, the Captain of the Third Rank, ” said the governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev.

Alexander Chirva was apparently seriously injured during multiple explosions and massive fire after another Russian landing ship was attacked by Ukrainian forces in the southern port city of Berdyansk.

On 24 March, in the Azov operational zone, a Russian large landing ship “Saratov” was destroyed during the attack on the occupied Berdiansk port. Ropucha-II class large landing ships “Caesar Kunikov” and “Novocherkassk” were also damaged.

20:00 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced on its Twitter account that allies have significantly increased the number of fighter jets on alert. “They [fighter jets] are conducting around the clock air patrols over eastern Europe to safeguard Allied air space,” the NATO said in a post Monday.

The alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg early said it would “do whatever it takes” to defend “every inch of Nato territory” from any Russian attack.

NATO said it has more than 100 fighter jets on high alert and 200 ships positioned from north to south to deter Russia from escalating the war in Eastern Europe beyond Ukraine.

These fighter jets are actively monitoring the airspace over and adjacent to NATO Allies, standing ready to ensure the safety and integrity of Allied airspace. All NATO and national air policing aircraft operate in accordance with international air safety regulations and coordinate closely with civilian Air Traffic Control.

The fighter jets are also supported by Allied refuelling aircraft and NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to maintain a heightened state of readiness to reinforce the deterrence and defense posture of NATO’s eastern flank.

Find more details in a publication by Defense Express: Not Orsk, but Saratov - the Ukrainian Troops Have Destroyed Yesterday in Berdiansk Port

19:54 According to the UN, since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, 2,074 civilians were killed. Another 2,818 were injured.

According to UN figures, 537 men, 327 women, 60 boys and 38 girls have died, while the sex of 71 children and 1,039 adults has not yet been determined.

19:32 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: published operational information as of on 18.00 on April 18, 2022 regarding the Russian invasion.

According to the report, the armed forces of the russian federation are completing the creation of an offensive group in the Eastern Operational Zone. At the same time, the enemy also continues to launch missile and bomb strikes on critical infrastructure of Ukraine.

Key points of the report:

  • The main efforts of the enemy are focused on establishing full control over the territory of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts and maintaining the previously captured territory.
  • There are recorded signs of the beginning of the offensive operation in the Eastern Operational Zone.
  • In the occupied Crimea and Rostov oblast, Russia is forming additional units to intensify the offensive.
  • There were no significant changes in the enemyʼs actions in the Volyn, Polissia, and Siversky directions.
  • In the Slobozhanshchyna direction, the enemy group continues to partially block Kharkiv and destroy residential areas of the city with artillery fire.
  • In the Izium direction, the aggressor operates in separate units consisting of 1 tank army, 20 general armies of the Western Military District, 35 and 68 all-military armies of the Eastern Military District, and airborne troops. Deployment of helipads has been recorded in Belgorod Oblast.
  • In the Donetsk and Tavriya directions, the enemy is concentrating its main efforts on capturing the settlements of Lyman, Kreminna, Popasna and Rubizhne, as well as establishing full control over Mariupol.
  • The aggressor also intensified offensive operations in the Sievierodonetsk, Popasna, Kurakhiv and Zaporizhia areas.
  • In the South Buh direction, the occupiers focused on maintaining the captured frontiers. The enemy does not abandon attempts to establish full control over the territory of Kherson Oblast.
  • Enemy ship groups in the waters of the Black and Azov Seas continue to isolate the sea coast of Ukraine.
  • In the occupied territories, the enemy steals and exports to the Russian Federation equipment, machinery, and products of local enterprises, bypassing agricultural fields.
  • The Defense Forces continue to hold certain borders, destroy the enemy and, in some areas, liberate Ukrainian lands from invaders.
Russian IPV that was destroyed by Ukrainian troops
Ilustrative photo from General Staff of Ukraine Facebook

The chronicle of russia's agression in Ukrainian the article by Defense Express

18:55 The Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilita: Chisinau will not be able to provide military assistance to Kyiv.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Gavrilita declined to comment on Ukrainian media reports saying that Moldova refused to supply Ukraine with six MiG-29 fighter aircraft it has retained from Soviet times.

The Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilita: Chisinau will not be able to provide military assistance to Kyiv, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Illustrative photo Mig-29 of the Ukrainian Air force / Open source photo

"Moldova supports Ukraine and its citizens [...] in a different way, by accepting refugees, providing humanitarian aid, and observing all the international sanctions in the banking and financial sector," Gavrilita said, Interfax reports.

18:25 The Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova: Russian forces open fire on Kreminna residents, killing four.

“This morning, residents of Kreminna in Luhansk region tried to evacuate in their own cars. Russian militants opened fire on residents. Four people died. One seriously injured person remains at the scene of the shooting, because medics cannot reach the person due to continuous bombing," Denisova said, Ukrinform reports.

17:58 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shares photos from the liberated territories, where locals "clean" the consequences of the russian occupiers activity.

17:50 The Air Defense Forces press service: another enemy UAV destroyed in Odesa Oblast.

The Air Defense Forces press service: anther enemy UAV destroyed in Odesa Oblast, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Ilustrative photo from open sources

"In Odesa region on April 18, servicepersons of the anti-aircraft missile unit of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle of operational and tactical level, which carried out air reconnaissance," the message says, Ukrinform reports.

17:35 Units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine successfully destroyed another ancient Soviet vehicle. This time it’s 46-year-old russia’s air defense control system PPRU-1 "Ovod-M-SV".

This system is designed to control the fire of the complexes ZSU-23-4 Shilka, Tunguska and Strela-10. Serial production of PPRU-1 "Ovod-M-SV" MRCC began in 1976.

Read more about the destruction of rare Soviet air defense control system in the article by Defense Express

Units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine successfully destroyed another ancient Soviet vehicle. This time it’s 46-year-old russia’s air defense control system PPRU-1
Russian air defense control system PPRU-1 "Ovod-M-SV" / illustrative photo from open sources

17:10 Ministry of Defence of Ukraine spokesman Oleksandr Motuzianyk: Number of operational, tactical aircraft sorties by Russian aircraft increased by more than 1.5 times.

Ministry of Defence of Ukraine spokesman Oleksandr Motuzianyk: Number of operational, tactical aircraft sorties by Russian aircraft increased by more than 1.5 times, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Enemy Su-24

"The Russian Armed Forces are completing the establishment of an offensive grouping in the eastern operational zone. At the same time, the enemy does not stop launching missile and bomb strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. In particular, the number of operational and tactical aircraft sorties by Russian aircraft has increased by more than 1.5 times," Motuzianyk said at a briefing at the Ukraine Media Center in Kyiv, Interfax informs.

Defense Express reminds, that sooner or later enemy aircrafts end up being downed. Read more in the article.

16:40 Ministry of Defence of Ukraine spokesman Oleksandr Motuzianyk: Ukrainian military liberate number of settlements near Izium.

Ministry of Defence of Ukraine spokesman Oleksandr Motuzianyk: Ukrainian military liberate number of settlements near Izium., Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Ministry of Defence of Ukraine spokesman Oleksandr Motuzianyk / Open source photo

"Yes, I can confirm. A number of settlements have been liberated as a result of intensive combat operations by the Ukrainian military," Motuzianyk said at a briefing at the Ukraine Media Center in Kyiv on Monday, Interfax reports.

16:15 British Defense Intelligence posted the latest map update on the situation in Ukraine as of April 18.

The chronicle of russia's crimes in Ukraine in the article by Defense Express.

16:00 The Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhiy Haidai: invaders focusing assault on Rubizhne and Popasna in Luhansk Oblast.

The Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhiy Haidai: invaders focusing assault on Rubizhne and Popasna in Luhansk Oblast, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
The Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration Serhiy Haidai / Open source photo

Serhiy Haidai, the Head of the Luhansk Regional Military Administration, said this in a Telegram post, Ukrinform reports.

"Rubizhne and Popasna are under the greatest threat. Because they simply will not break through Zolote, because our line of defense is very strong there. They have been shelling it from morning till night for almost two months, and they still can't make a breakthrough there. But as to Popasna and Rubizhne, they have accumulated enough heavy military equipment and personnel there, and that is where the main direction will be,” Haidai.

15:40 Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko: 200 cultural heritage sites destroyed by Russian invaders.

Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko: 200 cultural heritage sites destroyed by Russian invaders, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Mariupol theater / Open source photo

"Russian troops are arbitrarily destroying our cultural heritage: churches, synagogues, museums, monuments, theaters. The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has already recorded 200 damaged cultural heritage sites, and these figures are not final," Tkachenko said in a Telegram post, Ukrinform reports.

14:50 General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: The 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade of Ukraine liberated unnamed village in the south and the told the background story about it.

The 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade of Ukraine liberated unnamed village in the south and the posted the background story about it, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Ukrainian defenders from the 80th Air Assault Brigade

At that direction a considerable column of military equipment together with the enemy was completely destroyed. In response, russian occupiers terrorized the Ukrainian civilians there. The occupiers tried to find patriots among the locals who could allegedly cooperate with units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ukrainian troopers prevented the unforeseen events. More photos.

14:30 The Head of Lviv Regional Military Administration Maksym Kozytsky: Seven killed, 11 wounded as result of Russian missile strikes on Lviv.

The Head of Lviv Regional Military Administration Maksym Kozytsky: Seven killed, 11 wounded as result of Russian missile strikes on Lviv, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
First footage / Open source photo

"Seven killed, 11 wounded, four of them at a service station. The child's condition is not severe, while three are in serious condition," Kozytsky said at a briefing in Lviv, Interfax reports.

14:20 Vladimir Putin’s crony Viktor Medvedchuk: appeals to President Zelenskyy and putin to swap him for besieged Mariupol residents and defenders.

Vladimir Putin’s crony Viktor Medvedchuk: appeals to President Zelenskyy and putin to swap him for besieged Mariupol residents and defenders, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Viktor Medvedchuk / Open source photo

That’s according to the Security Service of Ukraine statement, released via Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

"I’d like to address President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin with a proposal to exchange me for defenders and residents of Mariupol, those remaining in a besieged city without safe access to humanitarian corridors to flee the area," he said.

14:00 Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Major-General Kyrylo Budanov believes Russia not to achieve any wins in Ukraine by Easter as Kremlin wishes.

Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Major-General Kyrylo Budanov believes Russia not to achieve any wins in Ukraine by Easter as Kremlin wishes, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Chief of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Major-General Kyrylo Budanov

"The Russians are preparing for a decisive battle, they are in a hurry because they are very limited in time, they really want to gain at least some advantage and real tactical achievements that they would be able to present as some kind of win for Russia in their ‘operation.’ They are in a rush to make it happen by Easter,” Budanov said, Ukrinform reports.

13:40 Previously tested Czech-manufactured self-propelled gun “Dana-M2” is destroying the enemy.

Ukraine has purchased Dana self-propelled guns from the Czech Republic, which are already helping Ukraine's Defense Forces destroy the occupiers on the front lines. Read more in Defense Express:

Dana-M2 Self-Propelled Gun Earlier Tested in Ukraine is Already Destroying the russian Occupiers

Dana-M2 Self-Propelled Gun Earlier Tested in Ukraine is Already Destroying the russian Occupiers, Defense Express, war in Ukraine, Russian-Ukrainian war
Dana-M2 self propelled artillery gun during testing in Ukraine

12:55 Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs: russia shells 9 settlements in Donetsk Oblast.

Occupiers shells 9 settlements in Donetsk Oblast in past 24 hours, killing 2 civilians, another nine people were injured, - posted the Ministry of Internal Affairs on its official account on Facebook.

At least 20 civilian facilities were damaged, among them residential buildings, railway infrastructure, and a stadium.

12:30 Ukraine’s Army eliminated commander of russia’s 49th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine have liquidated Commander of Russia’s 49th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, Colonel Ivan Grishin of Smolensk.

That’s according to the Strategic Communications Department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrinform reports.

"Meet the ‘fresh’ occupier with the Russian armed forces: Commander of the 49th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade Colonel Ivan Grishin of Smolensk. He got lost during ‘exercises’ but has already returned home the right way," the statement reads.

Find here the list of occupiers military commanders losses as well as chronicle of the russian federation Crimes in Ukraine, please.

12:10 UK Ministry of Defense: russian troops in Mariupol using same tactics as in Chechnya, Syria.

Shelling populated areas within Mariupol, russian troops are using the same tactics that were previously used in Chechnya and Syria, the UK Ministry of Defense said this on Twitter, Ukrinform reports.

UK Ministry of Defense: Russian troops in Mariupol using same tactics as in Chechnya, Syria, Defense Express

"The targeting of populated areas within Mariupol aligns with russia's approach to Chechnya in 1999 and Syria in 2016. This is despite the 24 February 2022 claims of russia's Defense Ministry that russia would neither strike cities nor threaten the Ukrainian population," the ministry said.

The ministry added that concerted Ukrainian resistance has severely tested russian forces and diverted men and materiel, slowing russia's advance elsewhere.

"russia's effort to capture Mariupol has come at significant cost to its residents. Large areas of infrastructure have been destroyed whilst the population has suffered significant casualties," the statement said.

11:50 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has posted the new summary of total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02 to 18.04. Find them in an infographic by Defense Express:

So far, the list of enemy's combat losses is the following:

Personnel - more 20 600,

Tanks ‒ 790 units,

APV ‒ 2041 units,

Artillery systems – 381 units,

MLRS – 130 units,

Anti-aircraft warfare systems – 67 units,

Aircraft – 167 units,

Helicopters – 147 units,

Vehicles – 1487 units,

Boats / cutters - 8 units,

Fuel tanks - 76,

UAV operational-tactical level - 155 units,

Special equipment – 27,

Mobile SRBM system - 4.

Data are being updated. The calculation is complicated

11:35 The first video of the Moskva missile cruiser before it sank was published.

The Guardian published the video which could show moments after a fire had started on board of russian flagship Moskva. Stressing that the footage has not been independently verified, The Guardian said that this a short three second video clip was shared by Alec Luhn, who has covered Russia for The Guardian in the past.

As Defense Express reported, Ukrainian military hit russia’s Moskva missile cruiser on Wednesday, April 13 and US was surprised by “Neptune” a.k.a. “Moskow-Killer” Anti-Ship Missile.

11:00 The head of the regional military administration Maksym Kozytskyi: Six people killed in missile attacks on Lviv.

At least six people were killed and eight more, including a child, were injured in missile attacks on Lviv early on Monday, April 18.

The head of the regional military administration, Maksym Kozytskyi, said this on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

"Unfortunately, there are dead and injured. As of now, six people have been killed and eight injured. One child is among those injured. The data are being clarified," Kozytskyi wrote.

Find more details in a publication by Defense Express.

Lviv Was Hit by Missiles Strike Monday Morning – At Least Six People Killed

The head of the regional military administration Maksym Kozytskyi: Six people killed in missile attacks on Lviv, Defense Express

10:10 A more details are emerging from Lviv this morning - The Guardian reports.

CNN correspondent, Jim Sciutto shared a photo purporting to show smoke rising on the city skyline.

“Five missile strikes on Lviv this morning. Smoke visible rising above the city,” he tweeted.

FOX reporter James Levinson added: “Black smoke seen from train station 4 reported missile strikes at Lviv train station no reports of casualties or damage yet. Can hear air raid sirens and ambulance in background.”

09:55 Russian forces begin offensive in Luhansk region, street fighting reported in Kreminna.

The offensive by Russian troops has begun in the Luhansk region, and street fighting is taking place in Kreminna.

The press service of the Luhansk regional military administration reported this on Telegram.

"We can state that the offensive has already begun," the statement said.

According to the statement, Russian troops entered Kreminna. Street fighting broke out there, and evacuation is impossible.

Residents of Rubizhne, Lysychansk, Sievierodonetsk, the Hirske community, and Popasna will be evacuated.

09:45 The Prosecutor General's Office: Russian troops already killed 205 children in Ukraine.

In Ukraine, 205 children have already been killed as a result of the actions of Russian servicemen.

“More than 567 children have been affected in Ukraine as a result of full-scale armed aggression by the Russian Federation. According to official data from juvenile prosecutors, 205 children were killed and more than 362 were injured,” the Prosecutor General's Office posted on Facebook.

As noted, these data are not final, as work is underway to establish the number of casualties in areas of active hostilities, in the temporarily occupied and liberated territories.

The Prosecutor General's Office: Russian troops already killed 205 children in Ukraine, Defense Express
The Prosecutor General's Office: Russian troops already killed 205 children in Ukraine

According to the data received by juvenile prosecutors, most children were affected in Donetsk region – 117, Kyiv region – 107, Kharkiv region – 91, Chernihiv region – 54, Kherson region – 43, Mykolayiv region – 40, Luhansk region – 36, Zaporizhzhia region – 23, Kyiv city – 16, Sumy region – 16, Zhytomyr region – 15.

09:20 The mayor of Lviv Andriy Sadovy: Five missiles strike Lviv.

Five missiles have reportedly struck Lviv, according to the city’s mayor.

“5 aimed missile strikes on Lviv,” Andriy Sadovy tweeted this morning, adding that authorities are seeking more detailed information.

Presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, added: “Five powerful missile strikes on the civilian infrastructure of ancient European Lviv. The Russians continue to barbarically attack Ukrainian cities from the air, cynically declaring to the whole world their ‘right’ ... to kill Ukrainians.”

09:00 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky: Delay in weapons from west gives Russia 'permission to take the lives of Ukrainians'.

In his nightly national address, Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy called for more weapons, describing “every delay” as “permission for Russia to take the lives of Ukrainians,” The Guardian reports.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Defense Express
The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky stated:

“We are doing everything to ensure defence. We are in constant contact with partners. We are grateful to those who really help with everything they can. But those who have the weapons and ammunition we need and delay their provision must know that the fate of this battle also depends on them. The fate of people who can be saved.

The 53rd day of the war is over, and we have been waiting for answers to some points in our weapons inquiries for 53 days. And some answers are formulated so that delivery can begin only in May.

I speak directly in such cases: every delay in weapons, every political delay is a permission for Russia to take the lives of Ukrainians. This is how Russia interprets it. That should not be the case in reality.”

08:40 Deputy head of Ukrainian Presiden’s office Ihor Zhovkva: Ukraine begins process to join EU.

Ukraine has completed a questionnaire which will form a starting point for the European Union to decide on its membership.

“Today, I can say that the document has been completed by the Ukrainian side,” Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s office, told the Ukrainian public broadcaster on Sunday evening, The Guardian reports.

The European Commission will need to issue a recommendation on Ukraine’s compliance with the necessary membership criteria, he added.

Deputy head of Ukrainian Presiden’s office Ihor Zhovkva: Ukraine begins process to join EU, Defense Express
Deputy head of Ukrainian Presiden’s office Ihor Zhovkva: Ukraine begins process to join EU

“We expect the recommendation ... to be positive, and then the ball will be on the side of the EU member states.”

Zhovkva added that Ukraine expects to acquire the status of a candidate country for EU accession in June during a scheduled meeting of the European Council meeting.

The European Council is to meet June 23-24th, according to the Council’s schedule on its website.

“Next, we will need to start accession talks. And once we hold those talks, we can already talk about Ukraine’s full membership in the EU,” Zhovkva said.

08:20 The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine: published operational information as of on 06.00 on April 18, 2022 regarding the Russian invasion.

According to the report, the armed forces of the russian federation are completing the creation of an offensive group in the Eastern Operational Zone. At the same time, the enemy also continues to launch missile and bomb strikes on critical infrastructure of Ukraine.

Key points of the report:

  • In the Volyn and Polissya areas the enemy did not take active action. Certain units of the armed forces of the republic of belarus continue to carry out tasks to cover the Ukrainian-belarusian border in Brest and Gomel regions.
  • In the Siversky direction the enemy exercises increased control over border areas. Engineering equipment of positions in the areas of checkpoints and in the border areas of the Bryansk and Kursk regions of the russian federation continues.
  • In the Slobozhansky direction the occupiers continue to partially blockade Kharkiv and try to carry out fire damage to units of Ukrainian troops.
  • In the Donetsk and Tavriya directions, the enemy regains combat capability and replenishes its reserves. It is trying to improve the tactical position of his units and intensify hostilities. The occupiers continue shelling the settlements of Siversk and Pokrovske.
  • In the Southern Buh direction the enemy focuses its main efforts on maintaining its positions, and continues to exert fire on the positions of Ukrainian troops in the directions of Mykolayiv and Oleksandrivka.
  • In the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, defenders of Ukraine repulsed twelve enemy attacks, destroyed ten tanks, fifteen armoured units and five vehicles, as well as five enemy artillery systems.
  • The Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has hit five air targets the day before: one plane, three helicopters and one UAV.

07:55 The head of the Luhansk regional military administration Sergei Gaidai advices residents of the Luhansk region to evacuate immediately.

The head of head of the regions military administration, Sergei Gaidai, maintained that the “decision is yours” but warned the cemetery was “getting bigger by the day”.

The head of the Luhansk regional military administration Sergei Gaidai, Defense Express
The head of the Luhansk regional military administration Sergei Gaidai

“Next week may be difficult. [This] may be the last time we still have a chance to save you,” the head of the Luhansk regional military administration Sergei Gaidai said in a statement late on Sunday.

“The decision is yours. Those who take risks every day are already on the verge.

An empty evacuation bus is a disrespect to the lives of a police officer, rescuer, volunteer and many more. Have you seen the new Severodonetsk cemetery?! Getting bigger by the day... We don’t want to dig graves, we want to live and develop! Make that decision. This week can solve a lot,” - Sergei Gaidai said.

Ukraine’s armed forces have been preparing themselves for a brutal Russian offensive in the region predicted for the coming weeks.

You can find more details on the theme in publications by Defense Express:

Looming Battle of Donbas. Major Axis of Russian Advance

The enemy is preparing for an offensive operation in the Donbas. Ukraine’s Armed Forces (UAF) General Staff assesses that the enemy is currently focused on preparing for an offensive operation in the eastern theater of battle

07:25 The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky believes the entire world has to be worried over Russia’s nuclear threat.

The entire world has to be worried over Russia’s possible use of nuclear weapons in the war against Ukraine.

The relevant statement was made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in an interview with CNN, Ukrinform reports.

“Not only me – all of the world, all of the countries have to be worried, because it can be… truth. They could do it. For them the life of the people is nothing. I think we should not be afraid but be ready. But, that is not a question for Ukraine, not only for Ukraine, but for all the world,” Zelensky told.

According to the President of Ukraine, no one expected there to be a war in 2014. No one expected a full-scale invasion and mass killings of civilians; nobody expected Russian troops to invade the areas where there are no military facilities.

“But, that’s what we have now, what has happened. And they can use both chemical weapons and their nuclear potential. Thus, such claims are dangerous. I believe such claims are made by people who are no longer adequate,” Volodymyr Zelensky stressed.

07:00 Ukraine’s Air Defense Forces shot down five enemy targets on Sunday on Sunday

On Sunday, April 17, the Air Defense Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine eliminated five enemy air targets: 3 helicopters, 1 aircraft, and 1 drone.

It was stated by the Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in its official account on Facebook.

“On April 17, the air defense units of the Air Force and the Land Forces destroyed five air targets: 1 aircraft (Su-type fighter), 3 helicopters (two Mi-24 and one Ka-52), 1 UAV of operational and tactical level (Orlan-10),” states the report.

Remains of a russian Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter that was shot down by the Armed Forces of Ukraine were seen in video published in a social networks.

Find more details in a publication by Defense Express.

Remains of a russian Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter that was shot down by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Defense Express
The remains of a russian Mi-8/Mi-17 helicopter that was shot down by the Armed Forces of Ukraine /

03:00 The Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration Pavlo Kyrylenko 2 killed, 4 injured in attacks on Donetsk region over past day.

On Sunday, April 17, two people were killed and four more were injured in the enemy shelling of Donetsk region.

"On April 17, two people (in Marinka and Novopillia) were killed and four more were injured in the Russian shelling of Donetsk region," Head of the Donetsk Regional Military Administration Pavlo Kyrylenko posted on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

In addition, in Bakhmut and Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, medical assistance was provided to two civilians wounded in Luhansk region.

The exact number of victims in Mariupol and Volnovakha is currently unknown.

Donetsk and Luhansk regions are the main targets for the Russian Federation.

01:02 Joint Forces Operation: Ukrainian army has repelled 12 attacks by Russian invaders in Eastern Ukraine on April 17

The defense forces in Donetsk and Luhansk operational directions inflicted heavy losses to the Russian armed forces:

  • 10 tanks;
  • 5 artillery systems; and
  • 15 armored and 5 soft-skinned vehicles; were destroyed over the past 24 hours.

Personnel losses are not specified. Note that these data apply to the eastern front only, while there is also southern. The data will appear soon. As for the air targets, Air Force Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine provides the following statistics:

  • one Su-type fighter jet;
  • three helicopters: two Mi-24s and a Ka-52
  • one "Orlan-10" UAV.

These numbers apply to the whole warfare theater.

00:00 President Zelenskyy: Russians are preparing for a large offensive in Donbas

Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a daily evening speech that he met today with ministers and senior military to discuss the current situation on the frontlines. According to him, Russian invaders are preparing to launch a large-scale offensive in Donbas, Eastern Ukraine, namely Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Some of the territories of these regions are already occupied, but they want to "finish" Donbas.

Beside that, the occupiers want to "tear apart" the seized Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions as it was in 2014. Russians are hunting for activists, authorities and intimidating teachers who refuse to adopt Russian education in Ukrainian schools. Stealing money, food and other humanitarian aid, creating artificial famine.

Defense Express / President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his daily speech on April 17 / Day 53rd of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy during his daily speech on April 17 / Screenshot image, credit: Office of the President of Ukraine
Read more: Day 53rd of War Between Ukraine and Russian Federation (Live Updates)