US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is greeted by Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing, April 26, 2024

Wednesday’s Coverage: Deadly Russian Missile Strikes on Odesa for 2nd Consecutive Night

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Russian State energy company Gazprom reported a net loss of 629 billion roubles ($6.77 billion) in 2023, the worst return in decades amidst falling gas prices and Europe/s turn away from Russian supplies.

In 2022, Gazprom had a profit of 1.23 trillion rubles ($13.25 billion) in 2022. Revenue from gas sales fell by 40% last year.

The loss as Gazprom’s first since 1999.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has confirmed that the first Ukraine Peace Summit will be held on June 15-16 in Switzerland.

The gathering, based on the 10-point Ukraine Peace Formula presented by Zelenskiy at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia in November 2022, will be in the Burgenstock resort above Lake Lucerne.

The Swiss Government has said Russia, as the aggressor against Ukraine, will not be invited “at this stage” of the talks.

The Peace Formula includes implementation of the UN Charter with restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity; withdrawal of Russian troops; return of POWs and deportees; food and energy security; environmental protection; and nuclear safety.


Ukraine President Voloydmyr Zelenskiy has updated on the massive Russian assault over the past month.

Thousands of our people’s lives have been saved thanks to the help of leaders and countries that have already supported our air shield and that are already effectively exerting sanctions pressure against Russia’s war machine.

However, unfortunately, many lives have been taken by these attacks. And it is only through strength that can we stop this terror.


The Ukraine Culture Ministry says Russia’s invasion damaged 1,987 cultural facilities as of April 25, with 324 destroyed.

Almost 200 sites have been damaged or destroyed since the last update in March.

The list includes 958 cultural and social clubs; 708 libraries, 153 art schools; 114 museums and galleries; 36 theaters, cinemas, and concert halls; 15 parks, zoos, and nature reserves; and three circuses.

It does not include 945 cultural heritage sites damaged or destroyed as of March.


Ukrainian drones have reportedly attacked the Afipsky oil refinery in the Krasnodar region in southwest Russia.

The governor of the Oryol region in western Russia, Andrei Klychkov said energy infrastructure was damaged “during neutralization” of a drone strike, with temporary power outages in two districts.

A strike has also been reported in the Smolensk region in western Russia, starting a fire.

The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed 12 drones were downed above border regions. As usual, it did not admit any damage.


For the third consecutive night, Russia has fired missiles on the port city of Odesa in southern Ukraine.

The Nova Poshta postal and courier company said a missile struck its sorting depot.

There were no casualties at the depot, but at least 14 people were injured elsewhere.


Russian attacks on Wednesday killed seven civilians in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions in northeast and east Ukraine.

In Kharkiv, a guided bomb killed a 38-year-old woman and her father inside a car in Zolochiv, about 15 km (9 miles) from the Russian border. Near Kupyansk, Russian shelling killed a 67-year-old woman in the village of Lelyukivka.

In Donetsk, a 57-year-old woman and a 64-year-old man were killed and six injured in the small town of Girnyk, about 15 km from the frontline.

One civilian was slain in Kalynove and one in Krasnohorivka.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The US has sanctioned almost 300 entities in Russia, China, and other countries for supply of “critical inputs to Russia’s military-industrial base” in Vladimir Putin’s 26-month invasion of Ukraine.

Those blacklisted are accused of “enabling Russia to acquire desperately needed technology and equipment from abroad”. More than a dozen are from China, while other non-Russian entities are based in Azerbaijan, Belgium, Slovakia, Turkey, and the UAE.

The State Department said it is punishing Chinese “entities responsible for developing, and supplying dual-use aerospace, manufacturing, and technology equipment to entities based in Russia”.

The US also sanctioned individuals and companies involved in Russia’s Moscow’s energy, mining and metals sectors; and individuals connected to February’s death of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a Siberian prison.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said, “Today’s actions will further disrupt and degrade Russia’s war efforts by going after its military industrial base and the evasion networks that help supply it.”

Sanctions Over Russia’s Use of Chemical Weapons

The US also cited Russian state entities and companies linked to Moscow’s chemical and biological weapons programmes. They include a specialized military unit using the choking agent chloropicrin against Ukrainian troops.

The State Department, supporting testimony from Ukrainian troops and officials, said the Russians are using riot control chemicals “as a method of warfare”.

The use of such chemicals is not an isolated incident and is probably driven by Russian forces’ desire to dislodge Ukrainian forces from fortified positions and achieve tactical gains on the battlefield.

The Department said this is “from the same playbook as its operations to poison” Alexei Navalny in Germany in 2020 and the former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK in 2018 with the nerve agent novichok.

The Department is expected to convey its finding to the US Congress and to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, whose decisions are nominally binding on members such as Russia.