Zelensky: Ukraine cannot surrender Bakhmut, that could act as a stepping-stone to advance on Kramatorsk and Sloviansk

Russian President Vladimir Putin is fighting for his life in Ukraine and not for his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.

“It is impossible for us to give up on Bakhmut because this will help expand the battle front and will give the Russian forces and Wagner chances to seize more of our lands,” Zelensky said in an interview with Al Arabia.

The President of Ukraine noted that if Russia captures Bakhmut, it could become a springboard for an attack on two larger cities in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine: Kramatorsk and Slovyansk.

Regarding the statements of some experts that the city is not of great strategic importance, Zelensky suggested that they visit Bakhmut to understand what could happen in case of its fall and what the threats are.

Zelensky thanked the allies for their support, but noted that they also support themselves by helping Ukraine. “The truth is, Russia won’t stop at Ukraine and this is something clear to everyone,” he said, adding that Ukraine can stop Russia, and helping Ukraine is a small price for not letting Russia go any further.

A Ukrainian startup has developed an unmanned complex for demining fields

Ukrainian startup Efarm Pro has produced an unmanned complex for demining fields. The complex includes a drone, a demining robot, an autopilot, and a towed tractor system capable of withstanding an explosion. The system works autonomously, if necessary it allows you to control the vehicle from a safe distance without a risk, so human involvement and, accordingly, the risks to the lives of farmers are minimized as much as possible.

Previously, the startup developed agro-navigators and controllers for the agricultural sector – they became the basis for creating a new complex for demining fields.

Photo: Ukrainian Future

How it works

First, the field is scanned by a drone equipped with appropriate sensors and the function of transmitting the coordinates of explosive devices with georeference. The drone detects explosives at a depth of up to a meter.

Then, the explosive object is defused by a demining robot and certified sappers. After that, a remote-controlled tractor with a trailed protection system, which works on the principle of a mine trawl, goes to the field.

This process guarantees that nothing dangerous will remain in the ground.


The tractor works in autonomous mode without an operator in the cab. This excludes the possibility of his death or injury. In addition, the technic is covered by protective equipment that works according to the principle of a mine trawl. The system provides for automatic work on large areas with an accuracy of 2 cm along a given route. The tractor traverses the field at a speed of 5 km/h, i.e., in a 10-hour working day, it is capable to scan 20 hectares of land

The work of the complex from efarm.pro will take place in the fields of the de-occupied territories. So far, it is about demining the fields before sowing. However, in the future, it is possible to improve the complex so that it also allows safe harvesting in fields where there is a danger of mine contamination.

Losses of Russia for the period from FEB 24 to APR 24

The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02.2022 to 24.04.2023 were approximately:

  • personnel ‒ about 187080 (+660) persons were liquidated,
  • tanks ‒ 3683 (+8),
  • APV ‒ 7139 (+8),
  • artillery systems – 2849 (+12),
  • MLRS – 539 (+0),
  • anti-aircraft warfare systems ‒ 289 (+0),
  • aircraft – 308 (+0),
  • helicopters – 294 (+0),
  • UAV operational-tactical level – 2413 (+11),
  • cruise missiles ‒ 911 (+0),
  • warships / boats ‒ 18 (+0),
  • vehicles and fuel tanks – 5753 (+23),
  • special equipment ‒ 339 (+0).

Data are being updated.

The occupiers are looting grain and mobilizing civilian doctors

According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the occupiers have a catastrophic lack of medical personnel on the battlefield. To replenish the insufficient number of military doctors, local employees of Berdyansk medical institutions, who received passports of citizens of the Russian Federation, began to force them to register with the enemy. In case of refusal, they are threatened with losing their jobs.

In addition, the Russian occupiers continue to rob the civilian population of Ukraine, appropriating the grain harvest. So, in Berdyansk, Zaporizhzhia region, the so-called Russian occupation “authorities” are trying to export stolen grain by loading it onto enemy cargo ships.

Kyrylo Budanov: Going to the borders of 1991 is a completely possible task this year

The head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, in an interview with RBC-Ukraine, talked about the offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the situation in Bakhmut and Avdiyivka, why Prigozhin spoke about the end of the war, whether a mutiny against Putin is possible in Russia, on what his optimistic conclusions about the quick end of the war, the dissatisfaction of the Russian elites and why Russia paused the massive missile attacks are being built.

In particular, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence answered questions about his previous forecast that Ukrainian troops would enter Crimea by the summer.

“According to the way everything is supposed to happen, everything will happen after the return of all our borders. I don’t know why you focus so much on Crimea because I can tell you directly: Crimea is part of the territory of Ukraine, and the situation will not end without the return of Crimea. No one will finish it, no matter how much they want to,” said Major General Kyrylo Budanov.

“There is only one way to end this war – by returning the borders in any form, but our borders of the 1991 model. It is impossible, unrealistic, to end this war without solving territorial problems. Ukraine will never give up any part of its territories.” said Major General.

New sanctions: Defence industry, political parties and individuals linked to oligarchs

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has enacted the decision of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine to impose sanctions against legal entities associated with the russian military-industrial complex. By another decree, the President introduced sanctions against individuals whose restrictions had already been imposed by Ukraine’s partners, political parties from russia, etc.

The proposals for sanctions were previously reviewed and recommended for submission to the NSDC by the Interagency Working Group on the Implementation of the State Sanctions Policy chaired by the First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine, Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko.

“Another large package of sanctions has been introduced against companies and individuals associated with the russian military-industrial complex. We also mirror the sanctions imposed by our partners on family members of russian oligarchs, people close to them and companies that are de facto owned by russians. Finally, sanctions are being imposed on russian political parties, and in fact, branches of one party called the putin regime. We continue to work on strengthening the sanctions pressure,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko.

Thus, according to Presidential Decree No. 236/2023, sanctions were imposed against 322 companies associated with the russia’s military-industrial complex. In particular, the list includes: JSC “Research and Production Corporation Space Monitoring Systems, Information and Control and Electromechanical Complexes”, Federal State Budgetary Institution “Central Research Institute of the Aerospace Forces of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation”, JSC Radiopriborsnab, JSC “Federal Research and Production Centre “Progress”, JSC “Kazan Optical and Mechanical Plant”, JSC “Research and Development Bureau of Special Technical Facilities”, JSC “Radio Technical and Information Systems of Aerospace Defence”, LLC “Quark-VPK”, etc.

Under Decree No. 235/2023, sanctions were imposed against 40 individuals – citizens of the russian federation, Iran, Mali, Switzerland, etc. For example, the sanctions list includes the wife, daughter and son of russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin. Sanctions against them were imposed by the United States in December 2022. Also on the list are the wife and daughters of russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, who is a member of the inner circle of oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin. Restrictions against members of Kerimov’s family were previously imposed by the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Ukraine also imposes sanctions against individuals who manage foreign companies in the interests of russian oligarchs and against the companies themselves.

In addition, Decree No. 235/2023 imposed sanctions on certain russian financial and banking institutions, including Rosbank Public Joint Stock Company. 

The list also includes political parties of the russian federation – United Russia, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the Liberal Democratic Party of the Russian Federation “Fair Russia” and others.

Sanctions have also been imposed on the so-called ‘Ministry of Civil Defence, Emergencies and Disaster Relief of the Donetsk People’s Republic’. The list includes 60 legal entities in total.

Losses of Russia for the period from FEB 24 to APR 18

The total combat losses of the enemy from 24.02.2022 to 18.04.2023 were approximately:

  • personnel ‒ about 183130 (+470) persons were liquidated,
  • tanks ‒ 3661 (+1),
  • APV ‒ 7098 (+11),
  • artillery systems – 2810 (+6),
  • MLRS – 538 (+0),
  • anti-aircraft warfare systems ‒ 285 (+0),
  • aircraft – 308 (+0),
  • helicopters – 293 (+0),
  • UAV operational-tactical level – 2353 (+6),
  • cruise missiles ‒ 911 (+0),
  • warships / boats ‒ 18 (+0),
  • vehicles and fuel tanks – 5676 (+4),
  • special equipment ‒ 330 (+2).

Data are being updated.

Kyrylo Budanov: The winter-spring offensive of the Russian Federation failed and went on the defensive

The winter-spring offensive of the Russians officially failed on March 31, 2023, they went on the defensive. Major General Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence, stated this in an interview with NV.

“On March 31, 2023, another attempt at a Russian offensive, the so-called winter-spring offensive, failed. They were supposed to enter the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Again, this is not even the fifth failed attempt. Russia currently has no offensive potential for a strategic offensive operation. And it won’t be in the near future,” said the head of military intelligence of Ukraine.

In addition, Major General Kyrylo Budanov said that Russia has moved to a strategic defense operation; its task is to hold the captured territories, disrupting the Ukrainian offensive to liberate them.

“The exception is two districts. The first is an attempt to capture Bakhmut. It must also be frankly said that they have almost conquered Bakhmut, according to their own personal statements, since June 2022. Soon it will be a calendar year. The situation there is difficult, but still Bakhmut stood and still stands. The second is an attempt to half-cover Avdiivka from the northern side, the main front of Maryinka is located nearby, in principle, an attempt to take active actions there. That’s all. The rest of the line is on the defensive,” concluded the head of the Main Directorate of Intelligence.

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