Ukraine Daily Summary - Tuesday, April 30

Ukraine defeat will cost trillions to West in new Cold War -- Over 18,000 Russian troops of Southern Military District have deserted -- Ukraine regaining control over Nestryha Island in Kherson Oblast complicates Russian advances -- Russian strikes overwhelm Ukraine’s overstretched air defense amid Western aid delays -- Trump is Putin's only hope now -- and more

Tuesday, April 30

Russia’s war against Ukraine

The house of Serhiy Kivalov, known in Odesa as Kivalov’s Castle, on fire following a Russian attack on Odesa on April 29, 2024. (State Emergency Service of Ukraine / Telegram)

NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg arrives in Kyiv in surprise visit. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg arrived in Kyiv on April 29 in a previously unannounced visit.

Parliamentary delegation of Polish lawmakers arrives in Ukraine. A group of lawmakers from the two chambers of the Polish parliament – Sejm and Senate – arrived in Ukraine on April 29, said Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament.

Duchess of Edinburgh comes to Ukraine in surprise visit. Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh, traveled to Ukraine on April 29 for a one-day visit on behalf of the Foreign Office to “demonstrate solidarity with the women, men and children impacted by the war.” She has become the first member of the Royal Family to visit Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

Media: Deputy minister suspected of illegal acquisition of state-owned land returns to Ukraine. Law enforcement services did not hand Dmytrasevych a suspicion notice as he was abroad on a business trip. Dmytrasevych crossed the border on April 12.

Military intelligence: Over 18,000 Russian troops of Southern Military District have deserted. Over 18,000 soldiers of the district have allegedly deserted, with around 12,000 of them belonging to the 8th Combined Arms Army – a unit often deployed in hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

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Media: Russian politician’s wife planned to adopt kidnapped Ukrainian boy, abandoned him due to sickness. The wife of Russian politician Sergey Mironov forcibly took a Ukrainian girl and boy from occupied Kherson to adopt them, but abandoned the boy after it became clear he had ill health, Ukrainian news outlet TSN reported on April 28.

State Border Service: Over 30 draft evaders died trying to illegally cross border. More than 30 men have died while attempting to cross Ukraine’s mountainous western border to evade mobilization, State Border Guard Service Head Andriy Demchenko said in an interview with Ukrinform published on April 29.

Ukraine appeals to CoE regarding derogation from parts of Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms due to martial law. Justice Minister Denys Maliuska said that this is part of Ukraine’s regular updates on what restrictions it might impose and is part of Kyiv’s international obligations.

Military: Ukraine regaining control over Nestryha Island in Kherson Oblast complicates Russian advances. Ukraine’s control over Nestryha Island in Kherson Oblast is tactically important and will make it more difficult for Russian forces to approach Ukrainian positions, Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesperson for the Southern Defense Forces, told Hromadske Radio on April 29.

Read our exclusives

Ukraine war latest: Attack on Odesa kills 4, injures 29

At least four people were killed and 29 were injured in a Russian missile strike on Odesa that damaged civilian infrastructure, the State Emergency Service reported on April 29.

Photo: State Emergency Service of Ukraine / Telegram

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Russian strikes overwhelm Ukraine’s overstretched air defense amid Western aid delays

The new wave of Russian attacks on energy infrastructure in Ukraine, exploiting the growing shortage of key air defense systems and ammunition, is forcing Ukraine to once again call for help.

Photo: Kostiantyn Liberov/Libkos/Getty Images

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Human cost of war

Russian strike on Odesa kills 4, injures 32. According to Odesa Oblast Governor Oleh Kiper, a missile struck residential buildings and civilian infrastructure.

Russian attack on Kherson Oblast kills man. Russian forces attacked the village of Kizomys in Kherson Oblast on April 29, killing a 60-year-old man, regional Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said.

Russian attacks against Ukraine injure 7 over past day. Russia targeted a total of nine Ukrainian oblasts — Chernihiv, Mykolaiv, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Sumy, Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Donetsk. Casualties were reported in the latter three regions.

General Staff: Russia has lost 467,470 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24, 2022. This number includes 1,320 casualties Russian forces suffered just over the past day.

International response

German ex-army officer admits spying for Russia, blames fear of nuclear war. Identified only as Thomas H., the 54-year-old went on trial in Dusseldorf on April 29 charged with conducting espionage on behalf of Moscow and leaking state secrets.

The Insider: 2 Russians running GRU safe house in Greece outed as spies. Two Russian-born Czech citizens ran a hotel in northern Greece that doubled as a safe house for an infamous unit of Russia’s military intelligence agency (GRU) as it carried out bombings and poisonings across Europe, an investigation by The Insider has found.

Ukraine finalizes trade agreement with UAE. Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates have finalized a bilateral trade agreement that lays the foundation for deepening investment and trade between the two countries, Ukraine’s Economy Ministry announced on April 29.

Lithuania’s FM: Russian GPS jamming of commercial flights ‘too dangerous to ignore.’ Baltic foreign ministers have warned that the suspected Russian jamming of GPS systems aboard commercial flights is “too dangerous to ignore.” This comes after it was revealed that two Finnish aircraft were forced to turn around mid-journey in recent days.

Former UK Armed Forces minister: ‘Ukraine defeat will cost trillions to West in new Cold War.’ James Heappey said that Kyiv will need more aid packages to win the battle for “security across the whole European-Atlantic region.”

Air Force: Poland capable of protecting skies over western Ukraine but political will needed. Poland is technically capable of protecting the skies over Ukraine’s western regions with its air defenses, but this requires “political will,” Air Force spokesperson Illia Yevlash said on April 29.

FT: Western banks paid 4 times more taxes to Russia in 2023 than before all-out war. The largest Western banks that continue to operate in Russia have paid 800 million euros ($857 million) in taxes to its budget in 2023, which is four times more than before Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times (FT) reported, citing its analysis.

Germany tries extremists suspected of plotting coup, seeking talks with Russia. German courts will try the first nine members of an extremist group suspected of plotting a coup to overthrow the democratic government, Reuters reported on April 29.

Minister: Italy has no reason to oppose new EU sanctions against Russian gas. Italy has overcome its dependence on Russian gas and will not oppose the proposed package of EU sanctions on liquified natural gas (LNG), Italian Energy Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin said on April 28.

Latvia donates energy equipment to Ukraine after Russian attacks on infrastructure. The Latvian state-owned company Latvenergo provided Ukraine with equipment to restore the energy system after Russian attacks, the Delfi media outlet reported on April 28.

Opinions and insights

Opinion: Trump is Putin’s only hope now

The news this past week was undoubtedly met with relief in Kyiv and with grief in the Kremlin. The U.S. Congress finally broke its six-month logjam and approved a new package of military aid for Ukraine (as well as for Israel and Taiwan).

Photo: Curtis Means/Daily Mail/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Opinion: Russia’s nuclear giant is falling through the sanctions cracks

“Even as the 38th anniversary of the Chornobyl nuclear disaster has come and gone, the nuclear threat posed by Moscow continues to grow,” writes Olena Lapenko, General Manager for Security and Resilience at the DiXi Group, in this op-ed.

Photo: Sezgin Pancar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

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In other news

Czech police conclude Russian agents behind deadly 2014 ammunition depot blasts. Russian military intelligence operatives were responsible for deadly ammunition depot explosions in Czechia in 2014, the Czech police said on April 29 following a three-year investigation.

Reuters: Chinese companies go ‘underground’ on Russia payments. Some Chinese banks Major Chinese are limiting payments for transactions with Russia due to concerns about U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported on April 29, citing unnamed trading and banking sources familiar with the matter.

Border Guard: Polish protesters lift blockade at Ukrainian border. The farmers began blocking trucks at several border crossings in February in protest of Ukrainian agricultural imports and the EU’s Green Deal.

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