Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy welcomes UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron, Kyiv, May 2, 2024

Thursday’s Coverage: US Sanctions on China and Others Over Support of Russia’s Invasion

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is in Khmelnytskyi in the west of the country.

He visited a military hospital, met border guards, and discussed the Made in Ukraine economic platform.


Germany has summoned Russia’s acting chargé d’affaires over Moscow’s cyber-attacks in 2023 targeting members of the governing Social Democrats and the defense and technology sector.

The attacks, in response to Berlin’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine, knocked several sites off-line and compromised the servers of some companies. They have been blamed on the hacker group “Fancy Bear”, linked to Russian military intelligence.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock summarized an investigation:

Today we can say unambiguously we can attribute this cyber-attack to a group called APT28, which is steered by the military intelligence service of Russia.

In other words, it was a state-sponsored Russian cyber-attack on Germany, and this is absolutely intolerable and unacceptable and will have consequences.

The Interior Ministry said the attacks by Russia’s military intelligence service GRU targeted logistics, defense, aerospace, and IT sectors.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said, “The Russian cyber-attacks are a threat to our democracy, which we are resolutely countering. Under no circumstances will we allow ourselves to be intimidated by the Russian regime.”

The Czech Republic’s Foreign Ministry echoed, “Czechia has long been targeted by the APT28. Such violations are in violation of UN norms of responsible state behavior.”


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has posted about his meeting with the visiting UK Foreign Minister David Cameron.


Human Rights Watch has documented the execution by Russian forces since early December 2023 of “at least 15 Ukrainian soldiers as they attempted to surrender, and possibly six more who were surrendering or who had surrendered”.

Investigators examined five incidents through verification of drone footage, geolocation, other video, and interviews with a Ukrainian soldier and family members of one of the victims.

The report also cites audio of an apparent command to Russian soldiers on the battlefield in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, “Take no prisoners, shoot everyone.”

HRW’s Belkis Wille said, “Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, its forces have committed many heinous war crimes. The summary execution – or murder – of surrendering and injured Ukrainian soldiers, gunned down in cold blood, expressly forbidden under international humanitarian law, is also included in that shameful legacy.”

In March 2023, a report by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine documented executions of 15 Ukrainian POWs by Russian armed forces and Wagner Group mercenaries. A report in March 2024, covering the last three months, identified 12 reported episodes of executions of at least 32 captured POWs or non-combatants.

On April 9, the Ukraine Prosecutor General’s Office said it is conducting 27 criminal investigations into the execution of 54 POWs.

HRW wrote Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on April 22 but has received no response.


Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence has warned of further Russian advances in the east until essential aid arrives.

In an interview with The Economist, Maj. Gen. Vadym Skibitskyi spoke of the Russian goal of seizing all of the Donetsk region, bolstering its control of neighboring Luhansk, and Moscow’s goal of a battlefield triumph before Victory Day on May 9.

He said that while Russia will not seize Chasiv Yar in Donestsk “today or tomorrow”, it is “probably a matter of time” before the strategic town falls.

Russia has tried to seize the town since overrunning Bakhmut, 10 km (6.2 miles) to the east, in May 2023.

Referring to Russia’s advantage in artillery — estimated at 7:1 and up to 10:1 — Skibitskyi said, “Our problem is very simple: we have no weapons. They always knew April and May would be a difficult time for us.”

The general said Russian forces will also likely launch an offensive towards the Kharkiv and Sumy regions in northeast and north Ukraine at the end of May or start of June 2024. However, he assessed that Russian forces will not be able to take the cities of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest, or Sumy.

Skibitskyi noted that Russia has concentrated around 35,000 personnel in the border area and plan to depoloy a total of 50,000 to 70,000 personnel for the offensive. But this would be insufficient for achieving anything beyond local gains, he concluded.

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told the US Armed Services Committee on Thursday:

Putin’s increasingly aggressive tactics against Ukraine, such as strikes on Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure, are intended to impress Ukraine that continuing to fight will only increase the damage to Ukraine and offer no plausible path to victory.

These aggressive tactics are likely to continue, and the war is unlikely to end anytime soon.

She evaluated that Russian forces are capable of achieving tactical breakthroughs, particularly in the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The UK has pledged £3 billion ($3.77 billion) per year for Ukraine’s resistance of the 26-month Russian invasion.

During a visit to Kyiv, Foreign Secretary David Cameron pledged the annual military assistance.

We will give £3 billion every year for as long as is necessary. We’ve just really emptied all we can in terms of giving equipment.

Some of that (equipment) is actually arriving in Ukraine today, while I’m here.

The latest UK provision will include precision-guided bombs, air defense missiles, and equipment for 100 mobile air defense teams, said Cameron.

He added that the Sunak Government has no qualms about the weapons, such as long-range Storm Shadow missiles, being used inside Russia: “Ukraine has that right. Just as Russia is striking inside Ukraine, you can quite understand why Ukraine feels the need to make sure it’s defending itself.”

In January, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made a similar commitment, while declaring that London will spend 2.5% of GDP on defense.

The UK has annnounced £12.5 billion ($15.6 billion) in support to Ukraine during Russia’s invasion, with £7.6 billion ($9.5 billion) for military assistance.

Cameron said, as he stood in front of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv, “We must all step up to ensure Ukraine has what it needs to win. Through our multi-year military funding, weapons provision and vital support to protect and repair Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, the UK is standing with Ukraine.”