The withdrawal of Russian forces from Kiev and Chernihiv continues into April 1st. As Ukrainian troops reoccupy the abandoned territory, unconfirmed reports emerge of executed civilian prisoners and poisoned warehouse stocks. A number of destroyed BMD Airborne Combat Vehicles are recorded in Hostomel, likely from the first days of the invasion.
Russia Abandons the Kiev Front
Ukraine has liberated Ivankiv and Dymer north of Kiev, following Russia’s withdrawal on day 36. Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, and Borodyanka are now in Ukrainian hands. A Russian checkpoint was removed near Stoyanka, west of Kiev.
A column of 30 Russian trucks was recorded in Belarus, headed towards Homel. The departure of 8 Russian helicopters from Machulishchy may signal a Russian withdrawal of air assets from Belarussian military bases.
Ukraine Attacks Belgorod
Belgorod (in Russia) has been under attack from what may be Ukrainian shelling, missiles, or saboteurs, with an oil depot destroyed on day 37, and arsenals blown up in previous days. A helicopter attack was claimed to be responsible for day 37’s oil depot explosion, and appears to be verified by the following footage. All security services in Kursk are on high readiness alert due to events in Belgorod, the regional governor said. If reports of Ukrainian attacks are true, this would be the first airstrike on Russian territory since 1945.
Later in the day, a Ukrainian missile hit a rural road south of Belgorod, recorded by dashcam. Ukraine has a limited supply of Tochka-U tactical missiles, and does not currently appear to have received additional missile stockpiles from NATO in undeclared military aid. The identity of this projectile remains unknown. According to the governor of the region, several power lines have been damaged due to explosions in this area.
A Russian military convoy was recorded in Novy Oskol, 55 miles east of Belgorod.
Donetsk and Luhansk
The Ukrainians claim that a joint forces operation destroyed 78 pieces of Russian army equipment near Donetsk. No footage is currently forthcoming.
A Russian Mi-28 helicopter appears to have been shot down near Pervomaisk, close to Luhansk. The Mi-28 is one of Russia’s newest attack helicopters, first brought into active service in 2009. Previous reports of downed Mi-28s have turned out to be other helicopters; only 126 M-28s have been built.
Russian MLRS rockets shelled Lysychansk, where an evacuation of 1,300 civilians were taking place. There were no casualties reported among evacuees.
The General Staff of Ukraine confirmed that Izyum, south of Kharkiv, has been captured by Russian troops. The Russians claimed to have fully occupied the town last week, however Western observers were sceptical about whether the Russians had successfully crossed the river to secure the southern quarter of the town. Those doubts have now been resolved.
Missile Strikes, Shelling, and Airstrikes Across the South
Russian airstrikes and shelling caused casualties in Saltovka, on the outskirts of Kharkiv.
3 Iskander ballistic missiles hit Odessa, causing casualties.
Fires burned to the west of Kherson as night fell.
MLRS rocket artillery shelled the southern outskirts of Kryvih Rih, setting a petrol station on fire.
A ceasefire in Mariupol has allowed citizens to leave the city in private vehicles.
A prisoner swap took place in the Zaporizhzhia region, in which 86 Ukrainian servicemen were released from captivity. The number of Russians exchanged is unconfirmed.
Peace talks have resumed via video link. The future of the conflict remains uncertain.