Ukraine Conflict: Day 29

On Thursday morning, as the conflict entered its second month, the Russian Alligator class landing ship Saratov was hit by Ukrainian rocket attack in the occupied port of Berdyansk, near Mariupol. There has been some dispute as to whether the ship is Saratov or its sister-ship Orsk. Footage of a large blaze has spread widely on social media. While currently unconfirmed, the Ukrainians have claimed to have destroyed the landing ship in this strike.

Prior to the strike, Russia had three ‘large landing ships’ (LST) of this class on active duty. One Alligator can carry 400 soldiers and 20 tanks, with a fully-loaded displacement of 4,700 tonnes. Days before the attack, Russian state media channel Sputnik had shown APCs unloading from a landing ship at Berdyansk (as we reported earlier) — allegedly the same vessel, Orsk.

The origin of the rocket strike remains unclear.

Russia claims control of the city of Izyum, south of Kharkiv. A river cuts the city in two, and while the Russians appear to have held the north of the city for quite some time (a week or two), they have until now been unable to establish themselves south of the river.

Russian ships shelled the coast of Odessa.

A Nova Poshta post office in Kharkiv was hit by Russian shelling, killing 6 and wounding 15, according to the regional administration. The building was apparently being used to distribute humanitarian aid to civilians. Shelling of Kharkiv has continued throughout the day, with several large fires recorded after nightfall.

It is now claimed that as many as 300 people may have died in the bombing of a theatre in Mariupol last week. Enduring what is reported to be a critical food shortage, constant bombardment, and a complete surrounding of the city, defenders refuse to surrender.

Bombardment of Kiev continues, and residents are asked to seal their homes and close their windows due to ‘hazardous air quality’ resulting from the smoke of clashes on the northwest front.

Dnipro was hit by several Russian missiles, with the Ukrainians claiming one shot down.

Russian Kamaz logistics vehicles were filmed carrying at least 14 9K720 Iskander ballistic missiles through Belarus, near Homel.

Foreign Aid

During yesterday’s NATO summit, the UK has announced it will send an additional 6,000 missiles to Ukraine, alongside £30 million to pay the salaries of Ukrainian soldiers and pilots.

Moscow will now accept payments for energy and gas exports in Roubles only. This is intended to force foreign buyers to trade on the Moscow Exchange in order to acquire currency in Roubles for making these purchases. While most of the West has announced that it will ban Russian energy imports, these bans have yet to fully come into effect.

Canada has banned its citizens from fighting in Ukraine as volunteers, claiming that doing so would be a ‘coup’ for Russian propaganda. Earlier reports claimed that foreign volunteers are being ‘used as cannon fodder’ in the war against Russia.

The USA will welcome up to 100,000 displaced Ukrainians, according to a statement released today by an anonymous senior official. This ‘won’t entirely count’ as part of the 125,000 per year annual cap on refugee immigration for the fiscal year of 2022.

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