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Updates on Ongoing Conflict in Ukraine: Russian Forces Conduct Defensive and Offensive Actions, High Casualty Rates, and Calls for Better Air Defenses.

Russian forces continue to conduct defensive actions on the Zaporizhzhia and Kherson fronts in Ukraine, but have also carried out attacks on settlements near the contact line.[0] These include Vilne Pole and Novopil in Donetsk Oblast, Olhivske, Huliaipole, Mala Tokmachka, Orikhiv, Novoandriivka and Kamianske in Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and Kherson and Beryslav in Kherson Oblast.[1] There have also been rocket attacks on Mykolaiv at night.[1]

Despite their defensive actions, Russian forces have been building fortifications, establishing anti-tank measures, and mining positions in the Novopavlivka and Orikhiv directions.[0] Footage has also been published showing elements of the 177th Naval Infantry Regiment of the Caspian Sea Flotilla and the 127th Motorized Rifle Division operating in the Zaporizhzhia direction.[0]

On the Bakhmut front, heavy fighting continues for the city of Bakhmut, where Russian forces have been conducting offensive actions.[2] Ukrainian forces have repelled Russian ground attacks in various locations on the Avdiivka-Donetsk City line.[3]

The UK Ministry of Defence has stated that Russia's daily average casualty rate likely fell by around 30% in April compared to March.[4] However, it is still estimated that Russia is losing more than 500 soldiers a day in Ukraine.[5]

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Russia's Wagner private army, has warned that his troops may be withdrawn from the fight for Bakhmut owing to the substantial number of casualties.[6] “Every day we have stacks of thousands of bodies that we put in coffins and send home,” Prigozhin said in an interview with a Russian military blogger.[6]

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged allies to provide Ukraine with better air defences, including fighter jets, after a barrage of Russian missiles hit residential areas.[7] Kyiv is expected to soon launch a new counteroffensive against Russian forces, aided by new weapons from its allies.[8]

Meanwhile, over the past day, Ukrainian defenders eliminated 470 Russian occupiers, bringing the total number of enemy personnel destroyed to 190,510.[9] Ukrainian forces have also destroyed 2 enemy tanks, 6 artillery systems and 4 UAVs. As of April 19, Ukrainian forces had destroyed over 3,665 enemy tanks, 7,110 armored fighting vehicles, 2,819 artillery systems, 538 multiple launch rocket systems, 285 anti-aircraft defense systems, 308 warplanes, 293 helicopters, 2,376 operational and tactical-level drones, 911 cruise missiles, 18 warships/cutters, 5,692 trucks and fuel tankers, and 330 units of specialized equipment.

The situation in Ukraine remains tense, with ongoing fighting and casualties on both sides. The international community continues to call for a peaceful resolution to the conflict, but tensions show no signs of easing.

0. “Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 24, 2023” Critical Threats Project, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.criticalthreats.org/analysis/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-april-24-2023

1. “Ukraine's Armed Forces repel over 65 Russian attacks in one day – General Staff report” Yahoo Life, 28 Apr. 2023, https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/ukraines-armed-forces-repel-over-050525291.html

2. “Ukraine repels 60 Russian assaults as fighting intensifies in Donetsk region” TVP World, 24 Apr. 2023, https://tvpworld.com/69391649/ukraine-repels-60-russian-assaults-as-fighting-intensifies-in-donetsk-region

3. “Ukrainian forces repel 20 Russian attacks, battles ongoing in Bakhmut, Marinka” Ukrinform, 30 Apr. 2023, https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3702851-ukrainian-forces-repel-20-russian-attacks-battles-ongoing-in-bakhmut-marinka.html

4. “War in Ukraine: Russia failed to achieve its offensive goals, says ISW” Euronews, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.euronews.com/2023/04/25/war-in-ukraine-russia-failed-to-achieve-its-goals-during-winter-offensive

5. “Russia casualties in Ukraine drop 30%, still over 500 a day: UK intel” Business Insider, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-casualties-down-30-percent-ukraine-still-500-day-uk-2023-4

6. “Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 431” Al Jazeera English, 30 Apr. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/30/russia-ukraine-war-list-of-key-events-day-431

7. “Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 430” Al Jazeera English, 29 Apr. 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/29/russia-ukraine-war-list-of-key-events-day-430

8. “Russian daily casualties in Ukraine decrease by 30% in April – UK Intel” The Jerusalem Post, 25 Apr. 2023, https://www.jpost.com/breaking-news/article-740212

9. “AFU Destroy 470 Occupiers, 2 Tanks And 6 Artillery Systems Per Day. General Staff Announces Russian Losses” Ukrainian News Agency, 30 Apr. 2023, https://ukranews.com/en/news/929946-afu-destroy-470-occupiers-2-tanks-and-6-artillery-systems-per-day-general-staff-announces-russian

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