Natali Sevriukova stands outside her apartment block, damaged by Russian shelling, Kyiv, Ukraine, January 25, 2022 (Emilio Morenatti/AP)

EA on PTV World: How Russia’s Ukraine Invasion Adds to a Global Food Crisis

Wednesday’s Coverage: Putin Lies to UN Secretary-General

Source: Institute for the Study of War

Source: Institute for the Study of War


The central district of Kyiv has been struck twice by Russian attacks, soon after UN Secretary-General António Guterres met Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Mayor Vitali Klitschko.

Klitschko said authorities are gathering details about possible casualties.

Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted:

At a joint press conference with Zelenskiy, Guterres said the Russian siege and bombardment of Mariupol in southern Ukraine is “a crisis within a crisis”, with thousands of civilians — many elderly, in need of medical care, or with limited mobility — requiring life-saving assistance.

“They need an escape route out of the apocalypse,” Guterres said.

He assured that “we are doing everything possible” to evacuate people from the Azovstal steel works, where up to 1,000 civilians are sheltering underground, and said he had intense discussions with Zelenskiy to make departure from the port city a reality.

Zelenskiy said he still believes that a “successful result” is possible “in terms of deblocking” the steel works.

Before seeing the President, Guterres visited the city of Borodyanka near Kyiv, where Russian forces carried out mass killings of Ukrainian civilians. He said:

I imagine my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black. I see my granddaughters running away in panic.

The war is an absurdity in the 21st century. The war is evil. There is no way a war can be acceptable in the 21st century.


A member of the Kherson regional council says Moscow’s forces are threatening educators in the nearby Russian-occupied area in southern Ukraine.

Serhii Hlan claimed:

Either give us the keys and documents, or we’ll send you ‘to rest’ in the basement. This is what the occupiers are telling the school administration in Kakhovka.

The Russians are simply destroying Ukrainian education, threatening employees, and intimidating principals. In total, they plan to leave two schools in the city [open], what the fate of others will be is unknown.

There have been several protests in the town of Kakhovka against the Russian occupation.

Trying to impose their control of in and near Kherson city, seized in the opening days of the invasion, Russian forces have appointed their own “mayor” and officials, one of whom said on Thursday that the city will begin to use the rouble from next week. Russian TV channels have replaced Ukrainian networks.

Ukraine President Zelenskiy has warned that Russia will try to stage a referendum for “independence” to justify their de facto annexation of Kherson (see 0700 GMT).


The police chief of the Kyiv region says the bodies of 1,150 civilians have been recovered during the Russian invasion.

Andriy Nebyton said the majority of casualties are from the Bucha region: “50-70% died of firearm wounds, shot with automatic rifles”.


A “senior US defense official” says Russia’s offensive in eastern Ukraine is making “slow and uneven” and “incremental” progress, in the face of Ukrainian resistance and continued problems with logistics.

The official said in a call with reporters, “There’s a lot of still back and forth in the Donbas in terms of territory gained and or lost by frankly both sides.” The “logistics and sustainment challenges” kept Russian forces from making more than “several kilometers or so progress on any given day, just because they don’t want to run out too far ahead of their logistics and sustainment lines”.

Russia’s “morale and cohesion problems” had been exacerbated by the use of conscripts to reinforce depleted battalion tactical groups sent back into the Donbas.

We have some early indications that while the conscripts start out with high morale because they’ve been feasting on Russian propaganda, it doesn’t take very long before that morale is sapped once they get put into combat and face Ukrainian resistance.

He assessed that Russia now has 92 battalion tactical groups in Ukraine, up from 85 last week but down from about 125 at the start of the invasion.

Scanning the frontlines, the official said Russia has made some advances to the east and south of Izium but is facing pushback from Ukrainian forces.

In the south, the US has seen some Russian forces moving away from the besieged city of Mariupol, heading northwest towards Zaporizhzhia.

The official said that Russia has now launched more than 1,900 missiles against Ukraine.


US President Joe Biden has asked Congress to approve another $20bn in military aid, $8.5bn in economic aid, and $3bn in humanitarian relief to Ukraine.

Biden has also requested funds to increase US production of food crops and strategic minerals to cover the effect on global supplies of Russia’s invasion.

The request for supplemental spending of $33bn dwarfs Congress’s approval of $13.6bn in March.

The package of military assistance includes artillery, armored vehicles, and anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. There are provisions for cyber-warfare capabilities, intelligence sharing, Ukrainian production of munitions, clearance of landmines and other explosives, and defense against chemical, biological, and dirty bomb attacks.

Biden also proposed measures “for investigating, prosecuting, and forfeiting assets of Russian oligarchs to be used for the benefit of Ukraine”.


Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister Nicu Popescu says the country is facing “a very dangerous new moment” as unnamed forces seek to stoke tensions with explosions in the Russian-occupied breakaway region of Transnistria.

Popescu cited “a dangerous deterioration of the situation”, including grenade attacks on Transnistria’s self-styled Security Ministry on Monday, causing “a very dangerous new moment in the history of our region”.


Ukraine has moved closer to an acknowledgement of possible strikes on targets inside Russian territory.

Presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted:

Ukraine should decide whether to strike Russian military facilities, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said. Russia has attacked Ukraine and killing civilians. Ukraine will defend itself in any way, including strikes on the warehouses and bases of the killers in Russia. The world recognizes this right.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on British TV on Thursday morning, “If Ukraine did choose to target logistics infrastructure for the Russian army, that would be legitimate under international law.”

An ammunition depot near the Russian city of Belgorod, about 40 km (25 miles) from the Ukraine border was set ablaze on Wednesday morning.

Explosions near Belgorod were also reported on March 29 and April 1, with a fuel depot set on fire in the latter incident.

Russia Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday:

Such aggression against Russia cannot remain without an answer. We would like Kyiv and western capitals to take seriously the statement by the Russian ministry of defence that further provocation prompting Ukraine to strike against Russian facilities will be met with a harsh response from Russia.

Advisors from Western countries staying in Ukraine’s decision-making centres will not necessarily be a problem for Russia’s response measures. We do not advise to continue trying our patience.


Germany’s Bundestag has overwhelmingly approved a petition supporting the delivery of weapons, including artillery and armored vehicles, to Ukraine.

Alongside the broad economic isolation and decoupling of Russia from international markets, the most important and effective means to stop the Russian invasion is to intensify and speed up the delivery of effective weapons and complex systems including heavy arms.

The petition was backed by all three parties in the ruling coalition as well as opposition conservatives in a 586-100 vote.

Earlier this week Defense Minister Christine Liebknecht announced the intention to deliver 50 Gepard anti-air tank systems to Ukraine. Berlin is considering how to provide ammunition for the systems, after Switzerland blocked the re-export of the munitions which it provides for the tanks.

Ukraine Presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak thanked the German legislators.


International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi has called for access to the Russia-occupied nuclear plant in the Zaporizhzhia region in southern Ukraine.

Russian forces seized the complex, which has six of Ukraine’s 15 reactors, in the early days of its invasion.

Grossi said the IAEA needs to reestablish connections with the plant and to carry out repairs: “All of this is not happening. So this is a pending issue. This is a red light blinking.”


Russia continues to destroy infrastructure in eastern Ukraine as it tries to seize territory.

Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai wrote on Thursday:

7,000 more Luhansk region subscribers without electricity, difficult situation with gas supply, Severodonetsk once again without water. The power outage occurred in the mountain community, where a Russian shell hit the substation. Currently, there is no electricity in 39 settlements – 26 in full and 13 in part.

Residents of Rubizhne, Popasna, partly Lysychansk, Novodruzhesk are without water supply. We have problems with centralized water supply to homes in Severodonetsk. The Russians damaged the power cable that fed the city’s main water intake.

Haidai said four people were killed in Russian strikes on Wednesday, including an 85-year-old woman killed when a hospital was attacked in the city of Severodonetsk.


Despite economic pressure over its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has nearly doubled revenues from selling fossil fuels to European Union countries.

Reduction in volumes has been more than covered by surging prices. Russia has taken about €62bn ($65bn) from exports of oil, gas, and coal in the past two months. About €44bn ($46bn) is from the EU, compared with €12bn a month last year.

On Tuesday morning, the rouble — which lost 30% of its value on the first day of the invasion — reached a two-year high against the euro at 77:1. The Russian currency has been propped up by massive Central Bank intervention and a sharp rise in interest rates.

London’s Financial Times claims some European energy companies are preparing a payment system in roubles.

The companies include Germany’s Uniper, Austria’s OMV, and firms in Hungary and Slovakia.

The European Union is warning that any company which pursues the arrangement could be sanctioned. An official said:

What we cannot accept is that companies are obliged to open a second account and that between the first and second account, the amount in euros is in the full hands of the Russian authorities and the Russian Central Bank, and that the payment is only complete when it is converted into roubles.

The official said that the system would be an “absolutely clear circumvention of the sanctions”, and that the “consensus on this, from all member states, is that none is willing to pay” in the Russian currency.


The Legislative Assembly of the Krasnoyarsk region in eastern Russia plans to “expropriate the surplus crops of farmers” in the Russian-occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

The Assembly wrote, “This approach will be economically justified, given the withdrawal of many suppliers of seeds and fertilizers from the Russian market, as well as significant costs for heat and electricity to grow their own vegetables and fruits.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says the Kremlin intends to stage a referendum for “independence” in Kherson, following the examples of Russian proxy areas in eastern Ukraine.

On Tuesday, Russian officials installed a “mayor” in Kherson city. The step met immediate resistance from residents who have held regular protests against the occupation.

Russian troops injured four people in occupied Kherson in southern Ukraine as they used tear gas to disperse protesters on Wednesday.

A local hospital treated three people for burns and one for a broken leg.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says Ukraine has suffered $600bn of damage so far during Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Zelenskiy summarized in his nightly address to the nation, “More than 32m square metres of living space, more than 1,500 educational facilities, and more than 350 medical facilities have been destroyed or damaged. About 2,500km of roads and almost 300 bridges have been ruined or damaged.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Ukraine Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the Russians have destroyed $90bn of infrastructure as they try to cripple the country and break the will of Ukrainians.

Zelenskiy welcomed a European Union proposal to ease the damage and promote recovery, removing duties and quotas on imports from Ukraine.

He said in an address on social media, “The European Commission has agreed to remove all duties and quotas on Ukrainian exports for a year, as well as to suspend anti-dumping tariffs. I discussed the details of this proposal with President Ursula von der Leyen today. I am grateful to her personally and to all our European friends for this step.”

Zelenskiy also spoke of Russia’s “energy blackmail” in his late-night address, following Moscow’s announcement that it will cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria.

The declaration echoed those from Poland, Bulgaria, and the EU’s Von der Leyen:

Poland’s officials said they had made preparations for the Russian threat, imposed because the Poles and Bulgarians will not pay for gas in roubles. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told legislators, “We’ll deal with this blackmail, this pistol to the head in such a way that it doesn’t affect Poles. Poland will not need Russian gas.”

Zelenskiy turned the Russian threat into a call for stronger economic measures against Moscow: “The sooner everyone in Europe admits that it is inadmissible to depend on Russia in trade, the sooner it will be possible to guarantee stability in European markets.”