Ukraine war live updates: Moscow wants weapons, forces beefed up ahead of offensive; Russian focus appears to shift in Donetsk

Russian forces appear to be shifting their operational focus on to Chasiv Yar in the northern area of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

Russia did not make any confirmed advances in the Avdiivka area for the first time in several days on Tuesday, analysts at the Institute for the Study of War noted, while Ukrainian sources reported that Russian forces conducted several more attacks in the Bakhmut-Chasiv Yar direction in recent days than around Avdiivka, in central Donetsk.

“The Ukrainian General Staff’s reports on Tuesday stated that Ukrainian forces had repelled a total of 47 Russian attacks in the Avdiivka direction and 57 Russian attacks in the Bakhmut direction throughout the day, notably a much higher number of attacks in the Chasiv Yar direction than Ukrainian sources have recently reported,” the Institute for the Study of War noted Tuesday.

“One day’s worth of reporting is not sufficient to establish a pattern, but it may suggest that Russian forces are somewhat slowing down the rate of attacks around Avdiivka while re-committing to offensive pushes around Chasiv Yar, as ISW recently forecasted they would,” ISW analysts said.

A Ukrainian serviceman drives a British FV103 Spartan armoured personnel carrier on a road that leads to the town of Chasiv Yar, in the Donetsk region, on March 30, 2024, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Roman Pilipey | Afp | Getty Images

The apparent shift in focus suggests Russians are concentrating forces in the area ahead of an attempt to seize Chasiv Yar, a town that’s seen as a key target for Russian forces because it lies on strategic higher ground and is seen as a gateway to advancing on the so-called “fortress belt” of Ukrainian-held cities in Donetsk, including Kramatorsk and Sloviansk.

“Chasiv Yar is an operationally significant objective as it would provide Russian forces with a staging ground to launch offensive operations against Druzhkivka and Kostyantynivka, which form the fortress belt of four major cities in Donetsk Oblast [region],” ISW analysts said.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russia appears to be looking to strengthen the weapons supplies and combat strength of its forces ahead of an expected new large-scale offensive in mid-May, early June.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu commented Wednesday that to maintain the pace of current offensive operations and ahead of “further actions,” more weapons and military equipment needed to be sent to the front lines.

“To maintain the required pace of the offensive and ensure the build-up of the combat strength of troop groups for further actions, it is necessary to increase the volume and quality of weapons and military equipment supplied to the troops, primarily weapons of destruction,” Shoigu said, according to a Google translated report by RIA Novosti.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) talks to Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu (R) during the annual Navy Day Parade on July 30, 2023, in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Contributor | Getty Images

Speaking at a meeting at the headquarters of the Joint Group of Forces, Shoigu also reportedly noted that troops “continue to carry out tasks in operational directions in accordance with the plan for the special military operation,” as Russia still calls its war against Ukraine.

Russia is widely expected to launch a new offensive against Ukraine in mid-May or June with the capture of Chasiv Yar, west of Bakhmut, seen as a key target in the eastern Donetsk region where fighting remains at its most intense.

Russia’s defense ministry claimed earlier this week that its forces had seized two more villages to the north and northwest of Avdiivka, building on recent advances near the industrial city that they seized in February.

— Holly Ellyatt

Estonia, which shares a nearly 300-kilometer-long (182 miles) border with Russia, accused Moscow of violating international regulations by interfering with GPS signals and affecting civil aviation in the region.

Finnair on Monday said it had temporarily suspended daily flights to Tartu in eastern Estonia “so that an alternative approach solution that doesn’t require a GPS signal can be put in place at Tartu Airport.”

The Finnish airline said in a statement that two Finnair flights en route to Tartu had to be diverted back to Helsinki last week after GPS interference, which it said was “quite common” in the area.

Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna on Monday accused Russia of GPS interference in Estonian airspace that had affected civil aviation in the region. He did not provide any evidence to support his claim.

Tsahkna added via social media platform X that he intended to address the issue with NATO allies and European Union member states.

A spokesperson for Russia’s foreign ministry was not immediately available to comment when contacted by CNBC on Tuesday.

— Sam Meredith

Russia said it shot down six U.S.-supplied long-range missiles, known as Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, over the past day.

In a Google-translated update on Telegram, Russia’s defense ministry said that air defense systems had, in the past 24 hours, “shot down … six ATACMS operational-tactical missiles made in the USA.” It added that Ukrainian drones and French-made “Hammer” guided bombs had also been shot down.

The ministry did not provide evidence for the claim.

The U.S. has quietly supplied the long-range missiles to Ukraine in recent weeks, enabling Kyiv to strike Russian military targets up to 300km (190 miles) away. It’s uncertain how many ATACMS missiles Ukraine was given. The missiles were used for the first time in mid-April, when a Russian airfield in Crimea was targeted. Ukraine has not commented on the latest attack.

In this handout photo released by the South Korean Defense Ministry, U.S. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System firing an MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile during a U.S. and South Korea joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 5, 2017 in East Coast, South Korea.

South Korean Defense Ministry | Getty Images

Russia’s defense ministry did not say where the ATACMS missiles were shot down, but the Russian-installed head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, commented in a Google-translated post on Telegram that ATACMS missiles were neutralized over the peninsula that Russia has occupied since 2014.

“After the ATACMS missiles were shot down, the undetonated submunitions scattered,” he said, warning civilians not to touch or approach any unspent submunitions.

CNBC was unable to verify the information in the posts.

— Holly Ellyatt

The Palace of Students of the Odesa Law Academy is on fire due to a Russian missile attack in Odesa, Ukraine, on April 29, 2024, which has killed five people

Ukrinform | Nurphoto | Getty Images

A Russian attack on Ukraine’s southern port city of Odesa is being investigated, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin said Tuesday.

Five people died in the attack on a busy seafront park, and 32 others were injured, with the majority of them still receiving treatment in hospital Tuesday.

Kostin said in a statement on X that by seemingly targeting civilians in the strike, Russia “cynically disregards all norms of international humanitarian law.”

“Yesterday evening, in the enemy’s insidious attack on Odesa, five people were killed and over 30 injured. Among the wounded are two children and a pregnant woman. Five of the hospitalized are in critical condition.”

“The strike was carried out with an Iskander ballistic missile equipped with a cluster munition. This is an indiscriminate weapon, the use of which can lead to significant civilian casualties. Metal fragments and missile debris were recovered within a 1.5 km radius from the attack site,” he said.

The investigation has grounds to believe that Russian forces officers decided to use this particular weapon “deliberately to kill as many Ukrainian civilians as possible,” Kostin said.

The investigation is ongoing, he said, pledging to hold those responsible to account. Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians.

— Holly Ellyatt

Russian forces used an Iskander missile armed with a cluster warhead to carry out the deadly strike on a crowded seaside area of Odesa on Monday, an official said.

Dmytro Pletenchuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Defense Forces, told national media late Monday that early information suggested Russia had targeted the area with an Iskander-M ballistic missile equipped with a cluster munitions warhead.

“Preliminarily, that it was an Iskander, preliminarily a cluster one. But until all relevant expert measures are taken, I will not say 100%. However, judging by the holes on the walls, it had just cluster munitions inside, such as shrapnel, and the detonation was airborne,” he said, according to the Ukrainian News Agency.

He noted that cluster bombs were primarily used to hurt civilians rather than infrastructure, noting, “as you can see, Russians see civilian residents of the city of Odesa … as a military force.”

CNBC was unable to verify the information commented on by Pletenchuk.

This photograph taken on April 29, 2024, in Odesa, shows a burning building damaged as a result of a missile attack, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Oleksandr Gimanovoleksandr Gimanov | Afp | Getty Images

Five people were killed and a further 32 injured — some seriously — in an attack on the seafront park in Odesa Monday. The attack came when many people were enjoying the park after work or walking their dogs, officials said. A local landmark, a law academy, was seen on fire with its roof missing.

Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians in the war against Ukraine. Both Russia and Ukraine have used cluster munitions in the conflict. The weapons are controversial as they’re known to pose a high threat to civilians.

— Holly Ellyatt

This photograph taken on April 29, 2024, in Odesa, shows a burning building damaged as a result of a missile attack, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A Russian missile strike on April 29, 2024 killed at least two people and wounded eight in the south Ukrainian port city of Odesa, the local governor said.

Oleksandr Gimanov | Afp | Getty Images

A day of mourning has been declared in the Ukrainian port city of Odesa after a Russian missile strike killed five people and left 32 other injured.

The Russian strike hit a popular seafront park where many people were relaxing or walking their dogs after work, officials said. A law academy building was pictured on fire after the attack.

“The Russians hit one of the most popular locations among Odessa residents and visitors with a ballistic missile, previously with a cluster munition, where people walked with children, dogs, played sports…
Such munitions are used to kill manpower and pose a threat primarily to people, not for machinery and buildings,” Oleg Kiper, the head of the Odesa regional military administration, said on Telegram.

People look towards a burning building damaged as a result of a missile attack in Odesa, on April 29, 2024, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A Russian missile strike on April 29, 2024 killed at least two people and wounded eight in the south Ukrainian port city of Odesa, the local governor said.

Oleksandr Gimanov | Afp | Getty Images

In an update Tuesday, Kiper said a number of people remain in a serious or extremely serious condition in hospital.

Gennadiy Trukhanov, Odesa’s mayor, described the attack as deplorable on Telegram: “Inhumans target peaceful people who were just resting after a day’s work. Walked with small children. With pets. There are no words that can express our attitude towards those creatures that bombard our cities. Russia is a terrorist country.”

Russia says it does not deliberately target civilians in the war against Ukraine, although thousands have died in attacks on residential and civilian infrastructure since the war started in February 2022.

— Holly Ellyatt

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top