Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine has continued into its 64th day. The following is the latest situation on April 28:
- U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said 21st-century warfare was “absurd” after visiting parts of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, once occupied by Russian forces
- He had met with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow a few days earlier and said he wanted to help organize a humanitarian evacuation in the southern Ukraine port city of Mariupol
- Russia’s state-owned Gazprom retaliated by cutting supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused to pay in rubles
- The move was widely condemned as extortion by political leaders, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the Kremlin denies it.European Commission President von der Leyen said it showed Russia was “unreliable” as an energy partner, while the White House said Russia was turning energy supplies into weapons
- Putin has issued a fresh threat to the West, saying that any country that intervenes in Ukraine will face a “lightning” military response.The previous days, Western countries have stepped up their support for Ukraine
- Kremlin warns that shipment of heavy weapons to Ukraine threatens Europe’s security
- The latest speech by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is the clearest expression yet of Britain’s ambitions for the conflict.In a speech in London, she said: “Russian troops must be driven out of the whole of Ukraine, and victory in Ukraine will be a strategic imperative for the West”
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian special forces were behind a series of bombings in Transnistria. Nestria is a breakaway region of Moldova that borders Ukraine and is controlled by Russia.The area has seen multiple apparent attacks in the past few days
- NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said NATO was ready to support Ukraine’s war against Russia in the coming years. “It is absolutely possible that this war will drag on for months or even years,” he told a youth summit in Brussels.
- German Chancellor Scholz says Germany will provide Ukraine with training to use U.S.-backed howitzers
More coverage of the war in Ukraine from the BBC in Chinese:
UN Secretary General: War is evil
BBC reporter Sarah Rainsford (Sarah Rainsford) from the Ukraine scene:
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited places around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on April 28 that were occupied by Russian forces for several weeks in March.
The first stop was Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv, where the devastation from air and artillery bombardment was staggering.
Guterres stood beside the rubble in the residential area of Central Avenue, obviously shaken by the scene in front of him.
“When I saw these destroyed buildings, I imagined my family in these destroyed houses, in total darkness,” he said. “I saw my granddaughters running in panic.”
“War is so absurd in the 21st century. War is evil, and when you see these conditions, our hearts go out of course to the victims, and our condolences go out to their families. But emotionally, we never Possibly accepting war in the 21st century. Look at these.”
In Bucha, at the site of a mass grave behind a church, Guterres was told how civilians had been killed.
“Here, you feel how important it is to investigate thoroughly and be held accountable,” said Guterres, the UN secretary general.
“I fully support the International Criminal Court and call on the Russian Federation to agree to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC). But when we talk about war crimes, we must not forget that the most serious crime is war itself,” he said.
The third stop of UN Secretary-General Guterres’ visit to Ukraine is Irpin.
Along the way he saw horrific scenes of destruction: houses, shops, infrastructure reduced to rubble by bombs and battles. It’s close to the capital, Kyiv, which Russian troops occupied for most of March.
In the morning sun there are signs that life is recovering: pork on tables at a small street market; some people look like deminers on Vuksarna Street in Buka; elsewhere, People are repairing electrical towers.
But these towns and suburbs have been through great pain.
Lt Gen Olexandr Pavlyuk, head of the military administration in the Kyiv region, said it was important for Guterres to see the destruction firsthand and understand what was happening so that it was possible to stop Russia.
While Russian forces have been pushed back from the Ukrainian capital, fighting is still fierce in eastern Ukraine, and the general said he feared more atrocities.
Amid the rubble of residential areas, Mr. Guterres said he was saddened by the harm done to innocent civilians, who he said “always pay the highest price, no matter where the war takes place”.
But as in Boucha and Borodyanka, he chose his language carefully, talking about the war in general, without directly blaming or criticizing Russia.
NATO Secretary General: Welcome Finland and Sweden to join quickly
NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said on April 28 that if Finland and Sweden decide to apply to join NATO, NATO is ready to quickly welcome them.
Stoltenberg told a news conference in Brussels that it was up to each country to apply for membership, but if they chose to join, they would be “welcomed to NATO with open arms”.
If Finland and Sweden apply, Stoltenberg said, the process of formal accession will be “quick”.
He added that NATO would support both countries during the transition period between application and formal approval.
Russia, which shares a 1,340-kilometer border with Finland, has previously said that if Finland joins NATO, Russia will have to “rebalance the situation” with its own measures.
Stoltenberg told reporters plans to speak with Finnish President Niinisto at a later date.
Russia claims nighttime missile strike
The Russian Defense Ministry claimed four missile strikes on Ukrainian military targets during the night destroyed two missile and ammunition depots in eastern Ukraine.
Russia also said air defenses also shot down a Ukrainian Su-24 near the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk.
Russia also claimed to have wiped out 67 Ukrainian military installations and as many as 40 armoured vehicles and cars during the night.
The BBC has not been able to independently verify the claims.
Microsoft report: Russian hackers move in sync with troops
According to a report released by Microsoft, Russian government hackers have carried out at least 37 cyberattacks against Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine.
The digital attack on Ukraine, which began a year before the invasion, may have set the stage for a military incursion, Microsoft researchers said.
The report also found that the Russian hacking and military operations were simultaneous and focused on the same goals, but Microsoft said it was unclear if there was a coordinated plan or if they were simply driven by a common goal.
The report found that on March 1, the day the missile was fired at the Kyiv TV tower, Ukrainian media was hit with a devastating hacking and cyber espionage campaign.
When Russian troops laid siege to the city of Mariupol, Microsoft said Ukrainians received emails from a Russian group pretending to be Ukrainian residents falsely accusing the government of “abandoning” citizens.
Ukrainian cybersecurity official Victor Zhora said he had been noticing that Russian hackers were targeting Ukrainian telecommunications companies and energy grid operators on a daily basis, Reuters reported.
“I believe they can organize more attacks against these sectors. We shouldn’t underestimate the capabilities of Russian hackers, but we shouldn’t overestimate their potential,” he said.
Kremlin: West openly calls for Ukraine to attack Russia
Kremlin foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Western countries were now openly calling on Ukraine to attack Russia.
After a senior British official said Ukraine’s strikes against Russian targets were legitimate, Zakharova warned that the West should take Moscow’s vows seriously and will fight back with action.
Zakharova’s remarks came after Russia reported multiple explosions and ammunition depot fires in the south on Tuesday, the latest in a series of events that a senior Ukrainian official described as “retribution”.
Defence Secretary Wallace told the BBC it was fair for Ukraine to strike Russian targets in self-defence.
“If Ukraine does choose to target Russian military logistics, it should be legal under international law,” Wallace said.
Earlier this week, another senior British official said it was legal for Ukraine to use Western-supplied weapons inside Russia.
US Naval Institute: Russia deploys trained dolphins to Crimea
According to the United States Naval Institute (USNI), Russia has deployed two pods of trained navy dolphins at the entrance to the port of Sevastopol in Crimea.
The U.S. Naval Institute concluded that satellite imagery showed the dolphins were dispatched to protect a Russian naval base in the Black Sea at the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Sevastopol is said to be Russia’s most important naval base on the Black Sea, where there are valuable ships out of range of Ukrainian missiles and are vulnerable to underwater infiltration and diving forces.
Both the U.S. and Russian militaries have traditionally trained marine mammals to assist in underwater and anti-diving operations.
In 2019, a beluga whale wearing a Russian seatbelt was spotted off the coast of Norway and was dubbed as a spy for a Russian research program.
The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program claims that dolphins can be trained to “assist security personnel in the detection and apprehension of swimmers and divers who may cause damage to Navy personnel, ships or port facilities.”
U.S. to seize and sell assets of Russian oligarchs
The White House has proposed giving the government greater powers to seize and sell the assets of Russian oligarchs and hand over the proceeds to Ukraine.
The bill will be submitted to the U.S. Congress for consideration.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed similar legislation.
But the new White House plan goes further, focusing on cooperation between the Justice, Treasury, State and Commerce departments.
In a statement, the White House said the measures would make it easier for the United States to seize and sell oligarchs’ assets and use the funds to “remediate the damage caused by Russian aggression.”