Status: 04.04.2022 11:18 hrs

After the withdrawal of troops from Kiev, Ukraine is preparing for a massive Russian attack in the east and south of the country. There, the Donbass is to be conquered. There are also to be attacks on Mariupol and Odessa.

In the war against Ukraine, Russia is reportedly retreating further from the north and shifting its troops to the east and south of the country. Russian troops again attacked the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa with missiles overnight, according to the regional administration. This was announced by the authority on Facebook. The mayor of the city of Mykolaiv, about 130 kilometers away, Olexander Senkevych, also reported several missile attacks. There was initially no confirmation from the Russian side. Explosions were also reported from Kherson in the early morning.

Both regions had already been attacked with missiles over the weekend. The Defense Ministry in Moscow said that an oil refinery and several fuel depots near Odessa had been fired on from ships and aircraft.

People near Odessa, smoke rises in the background after Odessa was shelled. Photo: AP

Intense attacks on Mariupol

According to the British Ministry of Defense, Mariupol also continues to come under intense and indiscriminate attack. The city is almost certainly a prime target of the Russian invasion, he said. Its capture would secure a land corridor from Russia to the occupied territory of Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

However, Ukrainian forces stubbornly resisted and maintained control over key areas. In recent weeks, they had managed to evacuate several thousand civilians from the city, which had already been heavily damaged by Russian attacks.

Following a change in strategy, the Russian government had announced its intention to conquer the areas of the Donbass not yet under the control of the pro-Russian separatists. The latter have controlled parts of resource-rich eastern Ukraine since 2014.

Shaded in white: Advance of the Russian army. Green shaded: separatist areas supported by Russia. Crimea: annexed by Russia. Image: ISW/02.04.2022

Ukraine: some towns in Chernihiv region recaptured.

The Ukrainian military says it has recaptured some towns in the Chernihiv region from Russian troops. Humanitarian aid is now on its way to these areas, the Ukrainian armed forces said. The RBK-Ukraina news agency reported that the road between Chernihiv and the capital, Kiev, was expected to be partially reopened to traffic later in the day. Some Russian troops are reportedly still in the Chernihiv region, the region’s governor, Vyacheslav Chaus, said.

Chernihiv is located about 129 kilometers north of Kiev and had been cut off from supplies of food and other goods for weeks. Chernihiv Mayor Vladyslav Atrozhenko said incessant Russian shelling had destroyed 70 percent of his city.

In other areas recaptured by Russian forces, Ukrainian troops found hundreds of civilians murdered, according to authorities. Around Kiev, according to the Prosecutor General’s office, there were Iryna Venediktova 410 bodies of civilians found.

People killed and injured in attack on residential area in Kharkiv

Seven people have been killed and 34 others injured in a Russian attack on a residential area in Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian sources. Three children were among the injured, the local prosecutor’s office said on Telegram. Russian troops shelled a residential neighborhood on Sunday evening, damaging ten houses and a bus depot, it said. Ukraine’s second-largest city has been the target of repeated bombings since the Russian invasion began.

Russian forces also shelled the nearby town of Dergatchi. At least three civilians were killed and seven other people were injured, Mayor Vyacheslav Sadorenko announced on Facebook.

In the eastern Donetsk region, Russian attacks killed six people and injured another, head of the regional military administration Pavel Kirilenko wrote on Telegram.

In the Black Sea port city of Mykolaiv, at least one person was killed and 14 others were injured when Russian shells struck. Governor Vitali Kim said. Authorities also reported more Russian attacks on the city in the morning. There was no word on possible casualties.

Withdrawal from Sumy Region

Russian troops are also reported to have begun withdrawing from the eastern Ukrainian region of Sumy. However, it is still too early to speak of a liberation of the region, the head of the Sumy regional administration, Dmytro Shyvytskyy, said in a video message that night, according to the Unian agency.

According to the statement, a larger number of Russian troops had been detected in the region in the past week, and there had been many attacks, including on civilians. Russian military vehicles had been brought back towards Russia via a corridor from Kiev and Chernihiv. Now many destroyed Russian tanks and other military equipment had been seen there.

Conflict parties as source

Information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian parties to the conflict cannot be independently verified directly in the current situation.

Ukraine: 2600 people brought out of war zones

More than 2600 people have been brought to safety from particularly embattled cities on Sunday, according to Ukrainian data. Of the 2694 people, nearly 1500 had been rescued from the Luhansk region, Ukrainian Deputy Head of Government Iryna Vereshchuk said, according to the newspaper Ukrajinska Pravda. She accused the Russian side of violating the agreed ceasefire.

Almost 500 people from Mariupol and Berdyansk fled to Zaporizhzhya in their own vehicles. According to Vereshchuk, seven buses from Mariupol accompanied by the Red Cross were also able to travel to Mangush. On Friday, the Red Cross had had to abort an evacuation attempt.

Russia had previously once again accused Ukraine of a lack of cooperation in evacuating civilians from Mariupol. Moscow and Kiev have accused each other for weeks of sabotaging the escape of residents from Mariupol.

Since the Russian attack on

Ukraine, about 2.48 million people have taken refuge in Poland. This was announced by the Polish Border Guard on Twitter. According to the report, on Sunday alone there were about 22,300 people.

Continue reading: