An Iran-made drone fired by Russia approaches Kyiv, October 17, 2022 (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty)

Monday’s Coverage: Drones Strike Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant — But Who Did It?

Map: Institute for the Study of War


The Ukraine military intelligence agency GUR has struck the main production facility of a Russian aviation factory, according to a Ukrainian official.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Tuesday that two drones were downed over the region.


After more than two years, Russian officials have finally acknowledged their detention of Ukrainian journalist Dmytro Khyliuk.

The Russian Defense Ministry implied in a letter to Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that Khyliuk is considered a member of Ukraine’s armed forces.

RSF dismissed the claim and said there is no justification for holding Khyliuk incommunicado since March 2022.

Khyliuk, a journalist for the UNIAN Press Agency, was living in the village of Kozarovychi in the Kyiv region with his elderly parents when Russia invaded in February. He and his father were seized on March 3. His father was released eight days later, but the journalist remained in captivity.


French Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourne says discussions with Russian officials no longer have any value.

“Today, it is not in our interests to speak with Russian officials because the communiqués that are issued and the messages that are conveyed are lies,” Séjourne told Le Monde.

Following the Islamic State’s deadly attack on the Crocus City concert hall near Moscow on March 22, French Defence Minister Sébastien Lecornu called Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu to discuss anti-terrorism measures and provide “useful information”.

But the Kremlin lied that Lecornu had expressed “readiness for a dialogue on Ukraine”, implying that France was ready for negotiations based on Russian terms over its 25-month invasion of its neighbor. Moscow added that it hoped French secret services were not involved in the Islamic State attack

See also Ukraine War, Day 771: Kremlin Lies About 1st Discussion With France Since October 2022

French President Emmanuel Macron denounced Russia’s “bizarre and threatening” tone after the conversation.

Séjourné told Le Monde that before France can talk to the Russians again, “perhaps we must first establish trust, perhaps above all have the military situation develop on the ground in Ukraine to enable a renewal of relations. This is not currently the case.”

Meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing two weeks ago, Séjourné said:

We expect China to send very clear messages to Russia. We are convinced that there will be no lasting peace if it is not negotiated with the Ukrainians. There will be no security for Europeans if there is no peace in accordance with international law.


More than 100 internal Kremlin documents, from May 2022 to August 2023, confirm Russia’s political warfare within the US to block support for Ukraine.

Obtained by the Washington Post, the documents describe a campaign to counter US President Joe Biden’s request last August for $24 billion in supplemental funding for Kyiv.

Kremlin-linked political strategists and trolls wrote thousands of fabricated news articles, social media posts, and comments. They encouraged American isolationism, whipped up fear over border security, and tried to amplify economic and racial tensions.

The strategy promotes views from hard-right Republicans, some of whom have blocked $60.1 billion in aid to Ukraine since October. It called for Russia’s messages to be voiced by US “public opinion leaders and politicians”. Donald Trump’s Truth Social platform would be used as the only way to disseminate posts “without censorship”,, while “short-lived” accounts would be created for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Those messages includes the portrayal of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as corrupt, emphasis on the number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border, calls for funds to go to border security rather than Ukraine, and description of “white Americans” as the principal losers because of assistance to Kyiv.

Many documents were written by members of a team working for Ilya Gambashidze, head of the Moscow PR firm Social Design Agency.

The US sanctioned Gambashidze in March over his involvement in “a persistent foreign malign influence campaign” at the Kremlin’s direction. Websites were designed to impersonate legitimate media outlets in Europe.

Republican Rep. Michael Turner of Ohio, who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Sunday that it was “absolutely true” that some Republican members of Congress were repeating Russian propaganda about the invasion of Ukraine.

“We see directly coming from Russia attempts to mask communications that are anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia messages — some of which we even hear being uttered on the House floor,” Turner explained.


Alexander Demidenko, a Russian man who reportedly helped hundreds of Ukrainians return home during Vladimir Putin’s invasion, has reportedly died in detention in Russia.

Demidenko was arrested in October 2023. The Telegram channel Vot Tak said he died on April 5, with his lawyer informed his wife and son three days later.

The volunteer’s son wrote:

I think my father took his own life, since for such an active and freedom-loving person, the thought of his likely future incarceration was unbearable. He had already been killed psychologically by his six months in pre-trial detention without getting to see his loved ones or even have books.

Demidenko’s wife Natalia, told journalists that when police and Chechen Special Forces briefly brought her husband to their home on October 20, she saw numerous bruises on his body. Telegram channels published photos of Demidenko in custody with the apparent injuries.


Russia has asked Kazakhstan for the potential supply of 100,000 tons of gasoline, amid Russian shortages because of Ukrainian drone attacks on oil refineries, say “three industry sources”.

One source said an agreement to use Kazakh reserves has already been reached.

An advisor to the Kazakh Energy Minister denied Russia had made a request.

Ukraine’s assaults on refineries this year, up to 1,200 km (744 miles) inside Russia, have reduced Russian output by up to 14%, say industry sources. UK military intelligence said on March 23 that at least 10% of refinery capacity had been disrupted.

Russia imposed a six-month gasoline export ban on March 1.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine’s air defenses downed all 20 Iran-type drones fired by Russia overnight.

The “kamikaze” drones were launched from Russia’s port town of Primorsko-Akhtarsk on the Sea of Azov, and from Cape Chauda in Russian-occupied Crimea. They were intercepted over the Mykolaiv, Odesa, Kherson, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Vinnytsia, and Lviv regions in southern and western Ukraine.

The Russians also fired at least four S-300 missiles from occupied areas in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

With the exception of its assault upon Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, Russia’s aerial attacks have diminished since their missile and drone assaults — the largest of 2024 — on March 22 and 29.

See also Ukraine War, Day 765: Russia Attacks With 26 Missiles and 58 Drones

Those attacks tried to knock out Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Facilities seriously damaged includes the Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant, the largest in the country.

Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Monday that Russia had carried out its “largest attack on Ukraine’s energy sector” during the 25 1/2-month invasion, even greater than Vladimir Putin’s “energy war” from autumn 2022 to spring 2023.

“Up to 80% of thermal generation was attacked. More than half of hydro generation and a large number of substations,” Galushchenko said.

However, the Energy Ministry said that despite the intensity of the attacks, Ukraine’s energy system is almost completely stabilized.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and other senior officials have emphasized the need for bolstered air defenses, calling on international partners to provide 25 US-made Patriot systems or their equivalents.

In his nightly video address, Zelenskiy spoke of a rescue operation in the Sumy region in northern Ukraine after a Russian strike with a guided aerial bomb:

Many buildings have been damaged. A number of people have been injured. As of now, one person has been reported killed.