1. Russian Invasion of Ukraine
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (RNBO) reported at 12:30 PM Kyiv time that in the last 24 hours the conflict in the zone of the anti-terrorism operation (ATO) has substantially increased. For the first time in April, Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions with Grads (truck-mounted multiple rocket launchers), in direct contravention of the Minsk Agreements. Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Ukrainian positions 18 times with mortars and 6 times with artillery. Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled Novolapsa village in Donetsk oblast with Grads. The RNBO reported that in the last 24 hours, 1 Ukrainian soldier was killed and 14 were wounded. The press center of the ATO reported that from midnight to 6 PM Kyiv time on 28 April, Kremlin-backed terrorists fired on Ukrainian positions 30 times, with small arms, automatic grenade launchers, mortars and self-propelled artillery. The press center of the ATO reported that Kremlin-backed terrorists shelled a residential area of Chermalyk (towards Mariupol). One civilian was killed.
2. Nadiya Savchenko transferred to civilian hospital
Ukrainian pilot and MP Nadiya Savchenko, illegally imprisoned by the Russian Federation, has been moved to a civilian hospital, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported. “Russian Federal Penitentiary Service spokeswoman Kristina Belousova said on April 28 that Savchenko was moved to a clinic in the capital because of her deteriorating health, but did not say whether her move to a civilian hospital was permanent. Savchenko had previously maintained a hunger strike for more than 80 days over the winter. Savchenko’s lawyer, Mark Feigin, said on April 27 that the military pilot had resumed the hunger strike over the weekend, and was in bad health,” RFE/RL reported. Savchenko, a Ukrainian air force pilot, who was serving in eastern Ukraine, was abducted by Kremlin-backed terrorists in mid-June and taken to Russia, where she has been illegally detained and imprisoned since that time. She was elected an MP of Ukraine’s parliament in October and appointed a delegate to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in January.
3. US Vice President’s remarks at the International Support Conference for Ukraine
US Vice President Joe Biden delivered video remarks at the International Support Conference for Ukraine. Biden stated, “I want you to know that the American people support you[…] And of course we stand by the brave people of Ukraine and your military as you defend your soil against Russian aggression. Russia today is occupying Ukrainian land, sending Russian troops, Russian-hired thugs and mercenaries, Russian tanks, Russian missiles into Donbas. This brazen attempt to redraw the boundaries of Europe by force threatens Ukraine and our shared aspiration for a Europe whole, free, and at peace. […] Russian aggression has also created a huge humanitarian tragedy—close to 2 million Ukrainians pushed out of their homes, 1.2 million displaced internally into communities all across the country. We call on the world to help Ukraine carry this burden. […] Ukraine is fighting for its future on the battlefields of the East. But Ukraine also has to fight for its future in the halls of power in Kyiv. You’re fighting to build a democracy that respects the will of the people—instead of catering to the whims of the powerful; an economy where what you know matters more than who you know; a society under the rule of law, where the cancer of corruption is removed from the body politic and a measure of dignity is restored to the people’s lives of Ukraine. […] That’s what the Kremlin fears most, as all of you know: a prosperous, democratic, independent and reform-oriented Ukraine that cannot be bribed, coerced, or intimidated. And that’s what you have to continue to build, so your friends and relatives who live in Russia can actually see what is possible when a country embarks on real reforms.” Biden’s full remarks are available at http://ukraine.usembassy.gov/statements/biden-remarks-04282015.html