Russia-Ukraine War Newsletter – APRIL 17-23, 2023

Situation as of 8:00 a.m. on April 24, 2023

● Russian troops cannot achieve convincing success in street battles in Bakhmut, even under the conditions of the difficulty of securing the garrison of the Armed Forces of Ukraine caused by adverse weather.

● The Russian command intensified the use of kamikaze drones for strikes on the frontline regions of Ukraine. Also, since March 2023, against the background of a shortage of cruise missiles, the Russian army has been actively using guided aerial bombs with a range of up to 80 km along the entire front line, in particular in such cities as Kharkiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.

● During the meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (“Ramstein-11”), a decision was made to provide additional air defense systems for Ukraine and ammunition for them.


The fiercest street battles continue in Bakhmut, where the advance of the Russian military in a week is measured by a couple of blocks. Due to the rains, it is more difficult for the Ukrainian military to supply the garrison using field roads. Also, the Russian command continues attacks in the area of Avdiivka and Marinka, limited combat operations are taking place on the Svatove-Kreminna line. The Armed Forces are on the defensive by striking enemy military facilities in the temporarily occupied territories.

The Russian Armed Forces intensified the use of UAVs to strike Ukrainian territory, probably trying to prevent preparations for a counteroffensive by the Armed Forces. On the night of April 19, they carried out a massive attack on Ukraine using kamikaze drones. Although the Armed Forces of Ukraine shot down 10 out of 12 UAVs that attacked Odesa, an infrastructural object was hit in the region. 7 drones were shot down in Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions. On the night of April 20, the attack was repeated – Ukrainian air defense was able to shoot down 21 out of 26 UAVs used by the Russian troops. On the night of April 21, up to 12 drones were used against the territory of Ukraine, 8 of which were destroyed by air defense. As a result of the attack, a civil infrastructure object in the Poltava region was damaged. On the night of April 22, air defense destroyed 4 out of 5 drones involved in the attack from the southeast direction.

Russian troops continue shelling the front-line and border regions of Ukraine. During the last week, the losses of civilians amounted to: in the Donetsk region – 6 people died and 25 people were injured; in the Kherson region – 4 people died and 22 people were injured. In the Kharkiv region, losses due to shelling amounted to 4 wounded; 1 more person was injured as a result of a mine explosion. There are also attacks on the territory of Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk regions. On April 18, 1 person was killed and 1 other person was injured in the shelling of the Sumy region. On April 20, 1 person died in the Chernihiv region, and 2 more civilians were injured.

The active use of aviation by the Russian command for strikes on the northern regions of Ukraine leads to incidents on the territory of the Russian Federation. In particular, on the evening of April 20, at least two FAB-500 bombs fell on the Russian city of Belgorod. One of them detonated, injuring 3 people and damaging the surrounding houses.


On April 17, the Russian public human rights project published a video with the testimony of two ex-commanders of the “Wagner PMC” units. They testified about the commission of crimes against the civilian population of Ukraine on the territory of the Donetsk region (Soledar, Bakhmut), which included the shooting of Ukrainian children and teenagers, the killing of severely wounded persons, the “clearing” of residential buildings, etc.

During the meeting of the representatives of Ukraine and Turkey, an agreement was reached on renewing the registration and inspection of vessels within the framework of the grain agreement. This process has been suspended since April 10 due to Russia’s refusal to register new vessels entering the Black Sea and the demand to regulate the work of Ukrainian ports.

Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Bulgaria temporarily banned the import of grain and a number of food products from Ukraine. State governments are under pressure from local farmers, who claim that cheaper Ukrainian agricultural products lead to lower prices on the domestic market. The European Commission reacted to this situation by offering to allocate 100 million euros to support farmers in five states neighboring Ukraine (including Romania). On April 18, the Polish and Ukrainian sides agreed to unblock the transit of Ukrainian grain and food through the territory of Poland.

On April 21, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, signed a draft law on amendments to the Law of Ukraine “On Geographical Names” regarding the decolonization of toponymy and regulating the use of geographic names in populated areas of Ukraine. The law prohibits the production and public use of symbols of Russian imperial policy throughout Ukraine.


On April 21, the 11th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group  was held at the US Air Force base “Ramstein” in Germany. During the meeting, in particular, issues of strengthening air defense, supply of ammunition, as well as provision and maintenance of weapons systems already provided to Ukraine were discussed. US Defense Minister Lloyd Austin said that the participating countries of the “Ramstein” format have already provided Ukraine with more than 230 tanks, thousands of other military equipment and ammunition, as well as $55 billion security assistance.

During the meeting, the partner countries announced new packages of military assistance to the country, aimed at covering immediate needs on the battlefield and long-term needs for assistance in the field of security. The US announced a new $325 million aid package that includes additional HIMARS missiles, artillery shells, TOW missiles, AT-4 anti-tank weapons systems and other weapons and equipment. Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand announced a new Canadian $39 million military aid package to Ukraine, which includes a contribution to the Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) Trust Fund, which will provide Ukraine with fuel, modular bridges and NATO CAP medical first aid kits.

In turn, the Netherlands and Denmark announced the transfer of 14 new Leopard 2 tanks to the Armed Forces. Portugal will provide Ukraine with five M113 and M577 armored emergency rescue and medical vehicles. The Minister of Defense of Latvia announced the decision to transfer to Ukraine all the Stinger air defense systems available to the Latvian side. Finland will send military equipment to Ukrainian military personnel participating in exercises within the framework of the EU’s European Military Assistance Mission for Ukraine (EUMAM-Ukraine).

On April 18, a meeting of G7 foreign affairs ministers took place. As a result of the meeting, a joint statement was approved in which Russian nuclear blackmail was condemned, a warning was issued to third countries regarding the supply of weapons to the Russian Federation for the war against Ukraine, and intentions to strengthen sanctions against Russia and its allies were presented. In addition, the day before, the nuclear powers of the Group of Seven (Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Japan and France) concluded an agreement aimed at ousting Russia from the international nuclear energy market and ending the dominance of the Russian Federation in global nuclear fuel markets.

International leaders continue to visit Kyiv. On April 20, President Volodymyr Zelenskyi held talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who visited Ukraine for the first time since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The leaders discussed the supply of certain types of weapons, preparations for the Vilnius NATO summit, to which Ukraine has been invited, as well as security guarantees for Ukraine on the way to the Alliance.

On April 19-20, the International Summit of Cities and Regions was held in Kyiv, aimed at expanding the cooperation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities under the President of Ukraine with representatives of local communities around the world and involving them in supporting Ukraine. As part of the summit, the President of Ukraine met with the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the President of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union, Vasco Cordeiro.

The President of Ukraine had a telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy.

The information in the newsletter is collected from official sources—reports of state authorities of Ukraine, Ukrainian and international news agencies. The accuracy of the data is carefully checked by the project team and corrected in case of fake news.