April 29,2024

Victory Chronicles-DAY 796

Russian stubs two Ukrainian defenders to death in Germany

Two Ukrainian fighters were fatally stabbed in Murnau am Staffelsee, Germany, with a Russian man as the prime suspect. The tragic event occurred on April 27 at a shopping center where the victims, aged 23 and 36, were discovered with stab wounds. One succumbed to his injuries at the scene, while the other died later in the hospital. Both individuals were in Germany for medical rehabilitation, and Ukrainian consuls are currently confirming their exact military units. 

Authorities are actively investigating to uncover the motives and full circumstances surrounding the killings. The 57-year-old Russian suspect was arrested at his home, and prosecutors have since sought his detention pending further investigation. This attack follows a similar incident in February where two Ukrainian basketball players were also fatally stabbed. While hatred towards Ukrainians is considered a possible motive, German police do not regard the attack as politically motivated.  


Symbolic number of the Day


According to the UK Defense Journal, British agencies have estimated that Russia has lost around 450,000 troops and over 10,000 armored vehicles since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. These estimates were provided by Leo Docherty, the Minister of the Armed Forces, in response to a question from a Labor MP regarding Russian losses in Ukraine. Docherty stated that approximately 450,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded, with additional desertions. However, the number of deaths among Russian private military company mercenaries is unknown. In terms of equipment, it is estimated that over 10,000 Russian armored vehicles have been destroyed, abandoned, or captured, including main battle tanks, aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, naval vessels, and artillery systems. While these estimates align with Ukraine’s official estimates of personnel losses, there are discrepancies in the figures for equipment losses.


War in Pictures


During the week of April 22-28, sapper units of the State Special Transport Service in Ukraine found and neutralized 4,140 explosive devices. Approximately 3,430.74 hectares of land were cleared of mines. The highest number of explosive items was seized in the Kharkiv Oblast, totaling 2,983. Since the start of Russia’s large-scale aggression, the State Service of Ukraine for Emergency Situations has discovered and neutralized a total of 145,574 explosive items. This has resulted in the clearance of approximately 86,149.57 hectares of land, including water areas covering 23.48 hectares. Additionally, highways spanning 881.66 kilometers, railroad tracks totaling 2,513.83 kilometers, power lines measuring 468.63 kilometers, gas pipelines spanning 51.87 kilometers, and residential areas covering 341.12 hectares have been cleared of explosive devices. 


Video of the Day

The 35th Separate Marine Brigade’s anti-aircraft gunners successfully destroyed a Russian Supercam reconnaissance drone using Strela 10 air defense systems. The drone was flying over Ukrainian military positions, collecting vital information. However, the Ukrainian military received timely coordinates and delivered an accurate strike, effectively stopping the enemy’s UAV operation. This video was shared by the Ukrainian Navy.


ISW report


The continued Russian stabilization of their salient northwest of Avdiivka presents the Russian command with a choice of continuing to push west towards its reported operational objective in Pokrovsk or trying to drive northwards to conduct possible complementary offensive operations with the Russian effort around Chasiv Yar. Ukrainian officials have previously identified Pokrovsk as the Russian operational objective in the Avdiivka direction, and Syrskyi reiterated this assessment on April 28.

Russian forces could alternatively decide to advance north from their tactical penetration in the Ocheretyne area along the H-20 (Donetsk City-Kostyantynivka) highway to pressure Ukrainian forces defending in the Toretsk area and possibly the operational rear of the Ukrainian defense in and west of Chasiv Yar. Russian forces have long aimed to seize four major cities that form a fortress belt in Donetsk Oblast (Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkivka, and Kostyantynivka), and Chasiv Yar is operationally significant because it would provide Russian forces with a staging ground to launch offensive operations against Druzhkivka and Kostyantynivka.

The Russian military command could decide that advances north along the H-20 highway would allow Russian forces to conduct subsequent complementary offensive operations from the east and south against the southern edge of the Ukrainian fortress belt in Donetsk Oblast. The Russian tactical penetration northwest of Avdiivka is roughly 20km southwest of Toretsk, roughly 18km south of Oleksandro-Kalynove (the next major settlement south of Kostyantynivka), and roughly 28km south of Kostyantynivka. This distance is notably not greater than the distance to Pokrovsk, which is roughly 30km west of the Russian salient northwest of Avdiivka. A drive up along the H-20 would be a serious undertaking and would not be rapid. The Russian command may decide to continue pushing west towards Pokrovsk because there may be greater opportunities for tactical gains in the area west of Avdiivka than towards the north, however, and because of the Russian preoccupation with reaching the western borders of Donetsk Oblast.


War heroes


Fighter Alla Pushkarchuk, with the call sign Ruta, died on April 25, 2024, as a result of shelling in Donetsk Oblast. At the end of the year, the defender would have turned 30 years old. 

Alla was from Volyn Oblast and held degrees in publishing and editing from the Institute of Journalism at Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts, and in theater studies from Karpenko-Kary Kyiv National University of Theater, Cinema, and Television. Her military career began in 2014 when she left her cherished role as a theater critic to enlist with the Right Sector. She served as a journalist and photographer with the 5th Separate Battalion of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army until 2018.

In her civilian life, Alla worked as a journalist at Ukrainian Week magazine, as a PR specialist at Komora Publishing House, and later as a news editor at Chitomo. She had a passion for collecting folk jewelry, was deeply engaged in cultural activities, and loved cats.

When the full-scale invasion commenced, she joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine alongside her husband, Maksym. Alla served on the front lines as a member of the 58th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade named after Hetman Ivan Vyhovskyi.

“I remember Ruta from the Air Force Academy – I went with her to Pisky in December 2014. Ruta was no more than 20 at the time, she was studying art history part-time and working in the press service – she took photos and essays from the front line, which she signed “Ruta Pushkarchuk”. “I remember how she used to tell her friend Ariyka, a combat medic of an assault company who was at a different position at the time, the content of Euripides’ tragedy Medea by phone from the front line in a rather extravagant way,” wrote Olena Bilozerska, a military and public figure, about Alla.

“The last (not the last, unfortunately) time we spoke with her was this year (2024 – ed.). We agreed to write to each other “when there is some good news”. There was none. There was a fatal shelling that took Ruta’s life… Alla was from the generation that grew up in the war and greedily made plans for the future. No one can replace Alla. Neither in peaceful life nor in war. This is an irreplaceable loss in the fullest sense…”, added Dmytro Krapyvenko, a colleague, journalist and fighter.

Alla will be buried in the village of Sokil, Rozhyshche district, Volyn Oblast, on April 30.

*Alla’s story on the Heroes Memorial – a platform for stories about the fallen defenders of Ukraine.


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