Ukrainian Forces Down 10 Russian Aerial Targets In A Single Day

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Ukrainian personnel defending their homeland against Russian aggression are continuing to obtain significant battlefield successes. On April 29, which was Friday, Ukrainian defenders reportedly destroyed ten targets associated with the Russian aerial presence in their country, including a Su-25 attack aircraft and nine Orlan-10 drones, according to sources including the Ukrainian government information outlet Ukrinform. The same source noted that foreign-made anti-aircraft weapons were among the items deployed against Russian targets. According to a high-ranking U.S. defense official, Russian troops seem to be “several days behind where they wanted to be” amid their latest offensives in the eastern and southern portions of Ukraine. Russians are “nowhere close to linking north with south as the Ukrainians continue to fight back,” the official added.

The U.S. official reportedly continued as follows in comments reported Friday: “The artillery and airstrikes [Russians are] launching against Ukrainian positions are not having the effect that they want them to have… The Ukrainians are still able to resist… So that’s why we think this progress has been slow and uneven still over the last 24 hours… We also assess that because of this slow and uneven progress — again without perfect knowledge of every aspect of the Russian plan — we do believe in a sense that they are behind schedule in what they were trying to accomplish in the Donbas.” The Donbas region encompasses areas in Ukraine’s east and south. The seemingly same official added: “[Russians] literally just sprinted to Kyiv and then didn’t have the backup, didn’t have the fuel, didn’t have the food, didn’t have the spare parts to keep them there… They don’t want to make that same mistake.” Russian forces are evidently moving roughly a few kilometers in a day — although Ukrainians are reclaiming some territory.

Ruska Lozova, a village in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region used by occupying Russian soldiers to launch strikes on the city of Kharkiv, which is the second-largest city in Ukraine, was recently liberated, and in the same region, Verkhnia Rohanka, Slobidske, and Prylesne were also liberated. Meanwhile, some 20 civilians have reportedly been evacuated from the expansive Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, a large city that had a pre-war population of well over 400,000 but has since become a site of utter devastation. Tens of thousands are believed to have died across Mariupol amid weeks of Russian strikes, and the Azovstal plant became one of the final local sites for confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian personnel. Hundreds of civilians were also trapped at the plant, alongside hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers, and many remain.

Michael Carpenter, who serves as U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), recently spoke to that organization of “credible reporting” of so-called filtration camps set up by Russian forces targeting Ukrainian civilians. At these camps, Russian forces are “brutally interrogating [detainees] for any supposed links to the legitimate Ukrainian government or to independent media outlets,” according to the ambassador’s description. Some suspected of such links have reportedly been tortured and murdered. Four so-called filtration camps were reportedly set up around Mariupol, where mobile crematoriums run by Russian troops amid efforts to obscure evidence of their atrocities have also been evidently operating. There are still 100,000+ civilians in Mariupol, who’ve lost access to necessities like running water and food amid the Russian attacks.