Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenko reported in a 3-minute statement posted on youtube this morning that DPR militias have advanced 1 kilometer around the village of Volnovakha, while LPR militias have advanced up to 9 kilometers in the Stepovoe area. “During the hostilities, more than 150 servicemen of various power structures of Ukraine laid down their arms and surrendered,” Konashenkov said.
He also reported that Russian troops have taken the island of Zmeiny in the Black Sea where 82 Ukranian troops surrendered. “At present, they are signing a refusal to participate in hostilities,” he said. “In the near future they will be returned to their families.”
Konashenkov also tallied up the Ukrainian military infrastructure that has been destroyed:
* 118 targets total, including 11 military airfields, 13 command posts and communication centres of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, 14 S-300 and Osa anti-aircraft missile systems, 36 radar stations.
* Shot down: 5 combat aircraft, 1 helicopter, 5 unmanned aerial vehicles.
* 18 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 7 multiple rocket launchers, 41 units of special military vehicles and 5 combat boats were destroyed.
Konashenkov also noted that Russian troops took control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the surrounding exclusion zone, yesterday. Chernobyl is about 95 km north of Kiev.
There was also heavy fighting reported yesterday at the Gostomel airport which about 25 km northwest of Kiev between Russian airborne troops and Ukrainian defenders with both sides claiming victory. The twitter site Russians With Attitude, cites the Russian Defense Ministry reporting that a second attack on the airport, a huge helicopter-borne assault, breaking the siege on the paratroopers and ensuring the blockade of Kiev from the west.
RWA also reports in the last hour (as of 1030 hrs EST), the following:
* Kherson seems to have fallen to Russian forces
* Ukrainian Grad MLRS have been deployed on Shevchenko Sq in Kiev to bombard Gostomel airport
* Putin directly addressing Ukrainian Armed Forces: “Don’t let the Banderites and neo-Nazis use your children, wives, and elderly as human shields. Take power into your own hands, it will be easier for us to negotiate with you.”
* Chernigov, roughly 125 km north of Kiev, to the east of the Dnieper River, is reported to have fallen to Russian forces.
* At least one Russian military convoy has been seen on the outskirts of Kiev.
Russell Bentley, an American who has been living in Donetsk since December 2014 and has fought against the neo-Nazi groups, reports that Spetznaz units from Chechnya are now being deployed to fight the Azov Nazis in Mariupol. “There’s going to be a hard battle for Mariupol,” he says.
With large numbers of Ukrainian troops reported to be surrendering or being captured, DPR leader Denis Pushilin told Russian TV this morning that they are receiving medical aid and will be released once hostilities are ended. “Currently, they receive medical aid, they are even being tested for COVID. As for food and other essentials, they are being provided with everything. After they sign agreements not to participate in hostilities, the war is over for them then and there,” he said. “On our side, as we stated earlier, we create all conditions, provide medical aid, and, once the hostilities are over, they will be able to return to their families,” Pushilin said.
Pushilin also admitted there were some casualties among the DPR militia as a result of Ukrainian bombardment but didn’t say how many. “I have to admit that some soldiers were killed and others wounded,” he said.
On the other side, Ukraine’s Healthcare Ministry reported 57 dead and 169 wounded in yesterday’s fighting but didn’t apparently didn’t differentiate between military and civilians.