Since Russia abandoned the northern front, fighting has concentrated around the southern region, along a broad front from Kherson to East Donbas and Kharkiv. Two sectors have seen particularly intense operations: the front between Mykolaiv and Kherson in the west, and the broad front around Donetsk and Luhansk. In the latter sector, intense bombardments have continued for several days, with the Ukraine General Staff claiming it has repulsed numerous Russian assaults.
Russian shelling took place at Ochakiv, where a Ukrainian airfield is sited. Mykolaiv was also subject to extensive shelling from Russian artillery, while an ‘agricultural’ fuel depot was destroyed by Russian missiles. Missile launches from Kherson were captured in local smartphone footage, that has since been deleted.’
Shelling also continued south of Kryvih Rih, while explosions were reported in Zaporizhzhia and Synelnykove.
The head of the Odessa regional administration has claimed that Russia launched two surface to surface missiles from its Bastion-P missile launcher systems in Sevastopol. These modern missiles are primarily intended for use against carrier battle groups, but may also be used in a high-precision anti-ground role.
Russian troops allegedly looted President Zelensky’s dacha, or holiday mansion, on the Black Sea island of Biryuchy.
Ukrainian flags were raised at the border checkpoints of Dniprovske, Dobryanka, and Hremyach. There is currently no indication that the forces reoccupying these sectors will extend into Russian territory; along 430km of Russian-Ukrainian border between Kharkiv and Homel, there will likely be opportunities for strategic shenanigans or saboteur infiltration.
Mariupol and East Donbas
Footage was circulating on social media that purports to show the surrender of 267 Ukrainian soldiers from Mariupol. Despite significant doubt being cast on this footage, with many observers speculating that the scene may be staged, there are numerous indications that it may be genuine.
Mariupol has been cut off for five weeks, subject to repeated bombardment and assaults. It is entirely possible that the defenders have reached the end of their combat supplies, ammunition, or even food and water. Under such circumstances, surrender is an entirely respectable course of action.
At the time of this update (10:00am, April 5th) major Russian operations appear to be taking place on the East Donbas and Kherson fronts. A full update will be published tomorrow as usual; so far, Ukraine reports that the Russians have only achieved very limited successes.