Russian Digest 4/21
Top daily stories I'm keeping an eye on
Six people died and 27 more sustained injuries after a fire broke at a defense research facility in the northwestern Russian city of Tver on Thursday, authorities of the Tver regions said.
The fire erupted in an administrative building of the Aerospace Defense Forces’ Central Research Institute, which operates under the Russian Defense Ministry. It quickly engulfed the building’s upper three floors, forcing those inside to jump from windows and causing the roof to cave in. via Washington Post
In the Ukrainian village of Mangush, located 20 kilometers from Mariupol occupied by Russian troops, a mass grave was discovered.
Satellite images showing a trench more than 300 meters long were published by "Schemes" (a project of " Radio Liberty ")
According to the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, Petr Andryushchenko, the Russian military arranged a mass burial of the dead Mariupol residents in this village.
The trench appeared in Mangush approximately at the end of March. She is not yet on the satellite image from March 23rd. The image from March 29 already shows a trench more than 300 meters long. In a more recent satellite image from April 9, the trench is partially buried and widened.
The Mariupol city council believes that from three to nine thousand residents of the city can be buried in a mass grave. The authorities came to this conclusion by comparing the size of the discovered burial site with a mass grave in Bucha (there, near the church, the bodies of 70 people were found in a 14-meter trench). According to the council, the size of the grave in Mangush is 20 times larger than the grave in Bucha.
“The greatest war crime of the 21st century has been committed in Mariupol. This is the new Babi Yar. Then Hitler killed Jews, Roma and Slavs. And now Putin is destroying Ukrainians,” said the mayor of the city, Vadim Boychenko.
About 300 holes have been dug at the mass grave site in the village of Mangush, according to an analysis of satellite imagery by The New York Times. They appeared within two weeks in March-April when Russian troops controlled this territory.
By mid-March, public utilities had buried about 5,000 people in different parts of Mariupol and its suburbs, according to authorities. “According to conservative estimates, the total number of people killed by the Russian army in Mariupol is 22,000 people,” the city council said. via Meduza
Russia continues to add battalion tactical groups in Ukraine, senior US defense official says
Russia continues to bolster their forces inside Ukraine as it refocuses on the east, adding three more battalion tactical groups since yesterday, bringing the total number of Russian battalion tactical groups, or BTGs, in Ukraine to 85, a senior US defense official told reporters on Thursday.
This brings the total number of BTGs added over the past week to 20.
Most of the BTGs being added in Ukraine are “going into the Donbas region,” the official said.
“Most of them we still assess are going into the Donbas region, but I caution this by saying we don’t know, we don’t know exactly what unit is where on any given day specifically, but that’s where we’re assessing that we’re going,” the official added. via CNN
The Office of the Prosecutor General recorded eight cases of Russian involvement of Ukrainian children in the war against our state.
"Children. Ukrainian children. Jerky at the thought and it hurts very much that they are used by cynical heartless villains in the war.
Juvenile prosecutors have two focuses - child victims and children in conflict with the law. Russia poisons their souls and forces them to take an indirect part in the collection or transfer of military information to the occupiers, the transportation of weapons, etc. And this is a direct violation of Art. 38 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We recorded the participation of 8 children in such activities."
In the Kharkiv region, a 12-year-old teenager, using the Internet and telegram channels, sent information about the location of equipment, roadblocks, and military units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the intention of receiving a monetary reward for this. A similar fact was in the Luhansk region, said the Prosecutor General.
In the Chernihiv region, during the occupation of one of the villages, a minor local resident received from representatives of the armed forces of the Russian Federation the task of conducting reconnaissance of the positions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And in order to demonstrate favor and support to the occupiers, he tied red bandages on his arm and leg and walked around the village with them.
At the same time, the 16-year-old "led" enemies to housing, the owners of which are related to law enforcement agencies or military units of Ukraine and own weapons. He also showed them where to get hold of food, tobacco, and alcohol. The teenager was detained and the pre-trial investigation bodies of Ukraine are working with him.
In the Kharkiv region, a local 17-year-old resident distributed laudatory materials through a YouTube channel in support of the actions of the aggressor in Ukraine.
And in one of the western regions of Ukraine, three schoolchildren, for the sake of entertainment, made phone calls to randomly selected subscribers with a proposal to install so-called "tags". With a prompt response from the security services, the students were immediately exposed.
Venediktova recalls: according to Ukrainian law, parents are responsible for such actions of children. And their task is to protect and protect them from this. But the destructive influence and actions of the Russian Federation in the process that we are now witnessing are the most important factor, we need to protect Ukrainian children together from being infected by the Russian criminal regime and being drawn into the war, the Prosecutor General emphasized.
No one would ever accuse the murderous Vladimir Putin of going soft on Ukraine. But the recent shift of his military operations to Ukraine’s eastern borderlands, following his failed assault on Kyiv, represents a dramatic step away from his original goal of outright military victory.
It also suggests a growing preference for a “backdoor” approach to victory along lines once envisioned by operatives from his own intelligence services—and two of Donald Trump’s closest associates.