April 17 events in “Babel” review: the Armed Forces of Ukraine counterattack in Kharkiv Oblast and successfully defend in Donbas, a monument to Zhukov was demolished in Kharkiv

Dmytro Rayevskyi

From the very beginning of Russiaʼs full-scale war against Ukraine, Babel has been conducting daily live text coverage and promptly informing about the main news in the telegram channel. We also do a daily digest of the highlights of the day in case you havenʼt been able to follow live.

By the morning of April 17, the Ukrainian military in Donbas had repulsed 10 enemy attacks and destroyed enemy vehicles. On the southern borders, the enemy lost 36 servicemen, 15 armored vehicles and artillery units, and 2 Grad rocket systems. During the day, the enemy hit Mykolayiv Oblast with five cruise missiles and multiple rocket systems, damaged infrastructure, there are no losses. Also, the occupiers fired at Kharkiv 23 times with artillery, mortars, and MLRS, there was one missile strike killing three civilians.

In Kharkiv Oblast, as a result of a counteroffensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Bazaliyivka, Lebiazhe, and part of Kutuzivka were liberated. In the area of ​​the village of Mala Rohan, Ukrainian units advanced further east.

In Sievierodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast, on Palm Sunday, the Russians for the fourth time fired on the Holy Christ-Christmas Cathedral. This time the shells hit the roof. In total, about 10 religious buildings have been damaged in Luhansk Oblast since the beginning of the war.

The UN fears that the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea could provoke a global food catastrophe and famine. Ukraineʼs repositories are overflowing with grain that could help feed 400 million people worldwide. However, the war disrupted the supply chain, and ports cannot operate properly near the war zone. German Agriculture Minister Jem Ozdemir has already said that Ukraine needs to be armed in order to prevent a global famine.

A monument to Soviet Marshal Zhukov was dismantled in Kharkiv. The inscription "Glory to Ukraine" and the national emblem appeared on the pedestal. It is unknown who demolished the monument.

In Mariupol, the Russian occupiers are issuing "permits" to move around the city, without which it will be impossible to walk the streets from next week.

The Ulyanovsk Mechanical Plant, which produces radar systems and air defense equipment for the Russian army, has in fact been shut down. The main supplier of components was Germany, but after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, cooperation was terminated. The plantʼs management is looking for opportunities to circumvent sanctions and establish supplies through third countries, including Kazakhstan.

The EU is currently preparing a sixth package of sanctions against Russia. It examines sanctions against Russiaʼs Sberbank, which accounts for 37 percent of Russiaʼs financial sector, and restrictions on Russian oil purchases.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has concluded that telephone conversations with Putin are futile. During the last conversation, to all calls for a ceasefire and to meet with Zelensky in person, the Russian dictator replied that "the time has not come yet". Draghi said that "the horror of the war with its massacre, with what they did to children and women, does not depend on words and phone calls" and promised to speed up work in the EU on the abandonment of Russiaʼs energy resources.

Ukraine has already completed the questionnaire required for EU accession. This document will be submitted to the European Commission, which will assess whether Ukraine meets the criteria for membership in the European Union. The decision to grant Ukraine candidate status is expected in June.