April 18 events in “Babel” review: The occupiers launched an offensive in Donbas, Medvedchuk asks to exchange him for residents and defenders of Mariupol

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.

On the night of April 18, the Russians hit the Olymp sports complex in Kreminna, with an area of 2,400 square meters. At least two people were killed and four were injured in the Russian occupiersʼ shelling of Zolote. Several houses were damaged. In the morning, Russian troops launched missile strikes on Dnipropetrovsk Oblast v— 60% of the missiles were shot down by air defenses. In addition, the occupiers fired five missiles at Lviv, killing seven people and wounding 11 others. One child was among the injured.

There are a large number of civilians on the territory of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, including children and infants. The chief of patrol police of the city Mikhail Vershinin reported about it. He noted that the Russians are using the civilian population left in Mariupol to dig up the rubble and collect the corpses. People "work" for food, in particular at mass graves. In this way, the Russian army is clearing the tracks of its crimes.

For the second day in a row, the occupiers did not allow humanitarian corridors to be opened. Russian troops do not stop shelling, so it is dangerous to take people out now.

In the city of Starobilsk, the occupiers plan to open the "Cossack cadet corps" for 400 cadets. Russia plans to open similar institutions in Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk. After "training", the occupiers will send minors to war.

Ukrainian troops withdrew from the Kreminna, Luhansk Oblast because the Russians began to level the city to the ground. This was done in order to regroup. The head of Luhansk Oblast Military Administration Serhiy Haidai assures that there is nothing serious in this, itʼs a normal maneuver.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Oleksiy Danilov said that in the morning the Russian occupiers began the second phase of the offensive. In two places they managed to break through — Kreminna and another small town. The fighting continues. The Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council once again called on Ukrainians who are currently in the places where hostilities are starting to evacuate.

The United Nations Office resumed work in Kyiv and initiated a meeting between Ukraine and Russia to discuss humanitarian issues.

In the annexed Crimea, local media reported the death of Captain 3rd Rank, commander of the large landing ship "Caesar Kunikov" Alexander Chirva. The occupier died of his wounds "during the battle", other details are not provided. Russian ship Caesar Kunikov was in the port of Berdiansk and was damaged after the Ukrainian military struck the Saratov ship and sank it.

The detained Viktor Medvedchuk addressed the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and the godfather of his daughter, Russiaʼs President Vladimir Putin, with a proposal to exchange him for defenders and residents of Mariupol.

Ukraine has sent the first part of a completed questionnaire, which will assess whether it can be granted the status of a candidate country for membership in the European Union.