At the grand strategic level, Russia on Thursday warned NATO that there would be a tough military response to any further attack on Russian territory, accusing the US and its allies of undermining European security by openly inciting Ukraine to assault Russia.
NATO has warned it’s ready to back Kyiv for years in war against Russia.
Developments in Moldova and the runaway province of Transnistria bear watching as Russian President Putin may be positioning elements of the Russian army to invade lightly defended Moldova. The Romanian Army has reportedly moved units to its borders.
On the ground, Russian and Belarusian forces continue “demonstrative actions” to fix Ukrainian forces around Kyiv in place.
Russia attacked Kyiv with cruise missiles while the UN Secretary General and the Bulgarian Prime Minister were in the city.
Three missiles hit undisclosed infrastructure sites near the city of Fastiv in Kyiv Oblast.
New video evidence has confirmed atrocities in Bucha were committed when the city was occupied by the Russian forces.
Two powerful blasts were heard on Thursday in the Russian City of Belgorod.
Russia is also continuing to build up troops in the northeast, intended to partially blockade the heavily hit city of Kharkiv.
The Ukraine Army counter-attacked Russian forces and entered Rus’ka Lozova, 16 kilometres north of Kharkiv city centre and liberated the village of Kutuzivka in the Kharkiv region.
Russian forces continued to press their offensive in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions and captured several settlements.
It was reported that Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army, came to Kharkiv occupied Izyum to command the troops in Donbas.
Russia’s Battalion Tactical Groups (BTGs) presence has increased from 85 to 92 this week, and some Russian troops are leaving Mariupol to fight in Zaporizhzhia.
Russian forces took several small towns directly west of Izyum. While this line of advance takes Russian forces away from their main objective of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts, they are likely trying to outflank Ukrainian defensive positions on the parallel highways to Barvinkove and Slovyansk.
Russia dropped cluster bombs on the town of Popasna in the Luhansk region.
Russian forces attacked Brazhkivka, Dovhen’ke, Velyka Komyshuvakha and Rubizhne but only made small gains in the Donbas.
A US official has warned, “We now have credible information that a Russian military unit operating in the vicinity of Donetsk executed Ukrainians who were attempting to surrender, rather than take them into custody.”
It was reported that Russia is relying on a fresh round of conscripts for combat in Ukraine’s Donbas region.
Russian forces are focusing particularly on the Kramatorsk and Sloviansk towns in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, and on Kryvyi Rih in the southern Kherson region.
A blast in a residential neighborhood injured three in Zaporizhzhya, a strategic city between areas of Ukraine controlled by Russia and the rest of the country.
Russia dropped phosphorous bombs in some 50 airstrikes on Mariupol overnight.
Deputy Commander of the Azov Regiment Sviatoslav Palamar called for decisive measures to evacuate the city
In Mariupol Russian airstrikes hit a military field hospital and killed Ukrainian soldiers.
UN and Red Cross are reportedly ready to participate in the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal in Mariupol.
Russian gas reportedly set up four filtration camps in Mariupol where Russian forces round up and detain Ukrainians linked to the Government, police, intelligence, the military, or media.
In the Kherson region, Russian forces captured the village of Tavriys’ke and attacked Nova Zoria and Oleksandrivka.
Ukrainian Special Forces announced that the destruction of a railway bridge in Russian-occupied Yakymivka in the Kherson Oblast was their work.
Russian forces continue to try to advance toward the city of Mykolaiv with increased shelling and artillery attacks.
Russian missiles were intercepted over Odesa Oblast. Governor Maksym Marchenko said that the air defense systems intercepted the missiles and “have the sky under their control.”
UK Defense Ministry has warned that the Russian Navy remains a threat to Ukrainian’s coast. Approximately 20 Russian Navy vessels remain in Black Sea’s operational zone, including submarines.’ The Ministry said on April 28th that Russia is unable to replace the lost cruiser Moskva, as the Bosporus Strait remains closed to non-Turkish warships.
German parliament green-lighted the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine. Some 586 of 693 German lawmakers voted in favor of providing Ukraine with “heavy weapons and complex [weapons] systems.”
Bulgaria will repair Ukrainian military hardware and use its port Varna for Ukraine’s grain exports.
A Spanish ship has arrived in Poland with 200 tons of military assistance for Ukraine. The Ysabel carries the largest delivery of military aid that Spain has ever provided to the Ukrainian armed forces: weapons, 30 trucks and 10 off-road vehicles.