April 15, 2022
Ukraine Invasion Update 23
Institute for the Study of War, Russia Team
with the Critical Threats Project, AEI
The Ukraine Invasion Update is a weekly synthetic product covering key political and rhetorical events related to renewed Russian aggression against Ukraine. This update covers events from April 8-14. All of the ISW Russia’s team’s coverage of the war in Ukraine—including daily military assessments and maps, past Conflict Updates, and several supplemental assessments—are available on our Ukraine Crisis Coverage landing page.
Key Takeaways April 8-14
- Ukraine and Russia are both unlikely to advance ceasefire negotiations until the ongoing Russian campaign in eastern Ukraine develops further. The Kremlin likely seeks to capture at minimum the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, while Kyiv seeks to further degrade the Russian military and potentially conduct major counteroffensives.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin may be purging elements of his intelligence service and blaming close allies for Russian intelligence and planning failures in the lead-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- The Kremlin is likely falsely blaming Ukrainian forces for planning or conducting provocations in areas where Russian forces intend to commit or have already committed atrocities.
- Independent actors are unlikely to be able to verify Ukraine’s April 11 claim that Russian forces used chemical weapons in Mariupol, but Russian forces retain the capability to use chemical weapons beyond this specific instance.
- The Kremlin is reframing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a Western war against Russia in a likely effort to maintain Russian domestic acceptance of the war.
- Belarus and Russia are increasing economic ties—and likely Kremlin influence over Belarus—as sanctions cut off both states from international markets.
- Finland and Sweden are increasingly reconsidering their non-aligned status and may move to join NATO in the coming months.
- Western countries continued to search for alternatives to Russian energy while the Kremlin tried to downplay the effects of Western sanctions on its economy and energy sector.
- NATO countries continue to secure their eastern borders and provide military assistance (including several high-end capabilities) to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression.
Key Events April 8-14
Ceasefire negotiations have effectively collapsed. Both Russian and Ukrainian officials are unprepared to engage in serious negotiations in the coming weeks in any format. Virtual negotiations are continuing without progress. Kyiv and Moscow are both likely counting on the outcome of Russia’s offensive in eastern Ukraine to recalibrate their negotiating positions.
Kyiv is unlikely to accept a peace deal without Russian forces withdrawing to at minimum their pre-February 24 positions and likely hopes to further degrade the Russian military in eastern Ukraine and possibly retake Russian-occupied territory before reengaging with the Kremlin. Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak stated on April 9 that Ukraine is prepared to pay a high price for victory and that Ukrainian military victories in the east will provide substantial leverage to negotiate “powerful” security guarantees with the Kremlin. Podolyak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky separately emphasized on April 11 that Ukraine is not prepared “to give up territory for peace.” Ukrainian anger over Russian atrocities against Ukrainian civilians will additionally likely entrench Ukraine’s unwillingness to negotiate with the Kremlin.
The Kremlin will likely stall negotiations until Russian forces redeploy from other axes to eastern Ukraine, hoping to translate any Russian military gains into leverage over Ukrainian negotiators. Putin said on April 12 that negotiations have reached an impasse. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on April 8 that Russia could complete its invasion of Ukraine in the “foreseeable future.” Russian forces will likely continue ongoing offensive operations in the Donbas region, feeding reinforcements into the fight as they become available rather than gathering reinforcements and replacements for a more coordinated and coherent offensive. The Kremlin likely hopes to capture at minimum the entirety of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts before resuming negotiations.
A direct meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents remains unlikely in the coming weeks. Peskov said on April 14 that Putin is not opposed to meeting with Zelensky, but that negotiators must first agree to the text of an agreement, effectively postponing further negotiations and limiting the possibility of direct negotiations between Putin and Zelensky. Ukrainian Presidential advisor Podolyak said on April 13 that only a direct meeting between Zelensky and Putin can end the war, but that Ukraine must first prove itself economically and on the battlefield.
The United States and its partners will likely be unable to verify Ukrainian claims of Russian use of chemical weapons in Mariupol, a location the Kremlin may have intentionally chosen due to international observers’ lack of access to the area. The Ukrainian Azov Regiment claimed in a Telegram post that a Russian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) dropped a “poisonous substance of unknown origin” on Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant. Mariupol Deputy Mayor Sergei Orlov confirmed a “chemical poisoning” on April 12, citing military forces. Ukrainian Donetsk Regional Military Governor Pavel Kirilenko confirmed on April 12 that Russian forces dropped an unknown substance from a drone but said it was too early to identify whether the substance could be classified as a chemical weapon. The inability to verify the attack introduces doubt into the Ukrainian narrative and sets the stage to dismiss future Ukrainian reports of Russian chemical attacks. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States and Ukraine are not in a position to confirm the Russian deployment of chemical weapons in Mariupol due to challenges in verifying the attack.
However, the Kremlin has previously set informational conditions to blame Ukrainian forces for Russian-conducted attacks in eastern Ukraine and retains the capability to conduct chemical warfare. The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed it had “reliable data” on April 7 that Ukraine was planning a chemical provocation against Russia and has repeatedly and falsely accused Ukraine of developing chemical and biochemical weapons in alleged US-funded biolabs throughout the country. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed on April 10 that Ukrainian “Neo-Nazis” were preparing a chemical “provocation” at the Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant in Donetsk Oblast, stating they planned to blow up toxic chemical storage facilities when DNR forces approached the plant. The alleged April 11 Russian chemical attack targeted a different coke and chemical plant in Donetsk. These pre-emptive claims are part of the standard Kremlin playbook for chemical weapons usage in Syria: Kremlin-linked media outlets first claim that opposition forces are planning a chemical weapons attack in a given region, then attack the area themselves, allegedly proving their narrative. Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Defense Spokesperson Eduard Basurin called for Russian forces to use chemical weapons against Ukrainian troops in the Azovstal area of Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast, mere hours before the reported attack. While we cannot confirm this specific claim of a Russian chemical attack, Russian forces retain the capability and possible intent to use chemical weapons in Ukraine.
The Kremlin is likely falsely blaming Ukrainian forces for planning or conducting provocations in areas where Russian forces intend to commit or have already committed atrocities. The Kremlin likely seeks to introduce doubt into future attributions of war crimes and to diminish global support for Ukraine by blaming Ukrainian forces for crimes already committed by Russian forces. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported on April 13 that the Kremlin ordered Russian forces use mobile crematoriums to destroy evidence of civilian deaths, and Russian forces will likely take additional measures moving forward to hide evidence of their violence against civilians.
- Russian media amplified statements on April 9 by a biological weapons “expert” that Ukrainian forces blew up a nitric acid tank in Rubizhne, Donestk Oblast. These claims follow two Russian strikes that ignited nitric acid tanks at a chemical plant in Rubizhne on April 5 and April 9.
- DNR Head Denis Pushilin claimed on April 9 that Ukrainian forces are preparing a “series of massive attacks on the cities of Donbas” to blame civilian deaths on Russian troops. Russian forces are redeploying en masse for a larger-scale offensive in Donbas that will likely lead to civilian deaths. The Kremlin is likely attempting to preempt blame for those civilian deaths to avoid the international backlash that occurred after Russian forces withdrew from the Kyiv region, leaving behind evidence of atrocities against civilians in Bucha. Putin said on April 12 that Ukrainians “are being used against Russia” and that the “Bucha tragedy is a fake” and a British special operation.
- The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed on April 10 that Ukrainian servicemembers “are preparing another provocation to accuse Russia of the alleged massacres of civilians in Irpin, a suburb of Kyiv.” Tass claimed that Ukrainian forces intend to use bodies killed by Ukrainian shelling to stage alleged Russian war crimes in Irpin. This claim likely does not indicate planned future attacks; Russian forces withdrew from the Kyiv axis in late March and early April. Instead, the Kremlin likely intends this claim to reinforce its narrative that Ukrainian forces staged the Bucha massacre.
- Russian news outlet Pravda amplified claims on April 11 that Ukrainian forces were ordered to execute civilians in Rubizhne, where heavy fighting has taken place. That false claim indicates that Russian forces may be killing civilians in Rubizhne and intend to blame any civilian deaths on Ukrainian defenders.
- Kremlin Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Maria Zakharova warned on April 13 about the plans of Ukrainian authorities to organize a provocation in Sumy, from which Russian forces were withdrawing as of April 14. This claim indicates that Ukrainian forces retaking Sumy may uncover additional evidence of Russian atrocities against civilians.
- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov claimed on April 13 that Ukrainian forces are “plotting” additional chemical weapons attacks in Donbas and said that the Kremlin could not rule out the “repetition” of attacks on locations containing toxic substances, a reference to the nitric acid tanks in Rubizhne. This claim indicates that the Kremlin may conduct additional chemical weapons attacks in eastern Ukraine and will likely continue to target dangerous areas, including chemical plants.
- The Kremlin falsely framed the April 8 Russian strike on Ukraine’s Kramatorsk train station as a Ukrainian provocation to deflect responsibility and justify Russia’s “special operation” in Ukraine. Pro-Kremlin media initially claimed on April 8 that Russian forces targeted Ukrainian forces and their equipment at the Kramatorsk station but retracted these statements after Ukrainian officials reported over 50 civilian casualties. Russian state media outlet Tass later reported on April 8 that the Kremlin believes that the Ukrainian “provocation” justifies Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine.
The Kremlin continued to set conditions for additional chemical, biochemical, or radiological false-flag attacks against Ukraine for which it would blame Ukrainian forces and the West. The Kremlin has emphasized this long-running narrative since December 2021.
- Russian Deputy Security Council Head Dmitry Medvedev reiterated on April 12 that the United States is funding biolabs and developing biological weapons in Ukraine.
- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov said on April 13 that the Kremlin “could not rule out a scenario” in which nuclear material was brought to Ukraine from other countries. Syromolotov did not specify who would bring such material, to what type of material he was referring, or for what such material might be used. ISW previously assessed that the Kremlin could conduct a radiological false flag attack in Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly and falsely claimed that Ukraine was seeking a nuclear weapon to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Chief of the Russian Military Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces Igor Kirillov expressed concern over alleged US bioweapons research on April 14.
- Kirillov announced on April 14 that the Russian Ministry of Defense had uncovered the names of US and European officials in charge of the alleged US bioweapons program in Ukraine.
- Kirillov reiterated his claim on April 14 that Ukrainian forces purchased 50 drones that can spray toxic chemicals to conduct chemical and biochemical attacks, likely to reinforce the Kremlin narrative that the reported chemical weapons attack in Mariupol was a Ukrainian false flag and to deflect blame for any future Russian chemical weapons attacks in Ukraine.
The Kremlin is reframing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a Western war against Russia in a likely effort to maintain Russian domestic acceptance of the war. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that the purpose of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is to end the “reckless” US expansion towards global dominance on April 11, diverging from the Kremlin’s typical narrative that it invaded Ukraine to “denazify” the government. Lavrov claimed that the United States and the European Union used the Russian military operation in Ukraine as a pretext for unprecedented aggression against Russia in order to subordinate Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin echoed Lavrov’s claims on April 12, stating that the United States is fighting Russia for world domination via Ukrainian proxies in a conflict ”more complex than the Cold War.” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned that Russia will treat any US or NATO military shipments to Ukraine as legitimate military targets on April 13, threatening potential military escalation against the West. Kremlin efforts to rhetorically frame the war in Ukraine as a struggle with the United States and its allies are unlikely to deter ongoing Western support for Ukraine. The Kremlin instead likely intends to maintain Russian domestic acceptance of the war in Ukraine amid mounting casualties and economic costs by framing the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine as a defensive war with the West.
Russian Domestic Opposition and Censorship
Russian and Russian-controlled regions bordering Ukraine declared yellow (high) levels of terrorist alerts on April 11, likely to facilitate the transfer of Russian forces through civilian areas toward eastern Ukraine. Governors in Krasnodar, Belgorod, and Voronezh oblasts, as well as Crimea, declared an increased terrorist threat level in some districts on April 11.  The Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff assessed on April 13 that Russia likely ordered these measures to facilitate troop movements through Russian border areas into Ukraine. The Kremlin may also seek to play up the threat that Ukrainian forces may pose to Russian territory to maintain Russian domestic support for the Russian invasion. Russia’s interior ministry claimed on April 14 to be taking comprehensive measures in response to alleged bomb threats from Ukrainian territory. Russian Ministry of Defense spokesperson Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov threatened to target decision-making centers in Kyiv in retaliation for alleged Ukrainian “attempts of sabotage and strikes” within Russian territory. Russian officials alleged that Ukrainian forces fired mortars into and conducted airstrikes on the Russian region of Bryansk on April 13 and 14. ISW could not independently confirm these reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin may be purging elements of his intelligence service and blaming close allies for Russian intelligence and planning failures in the lead-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov reported on April 12 that Russian authorities transferred Colonel-General Sergei Beseda, a senior official in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and the head of the Fifth Service, from house arrest to the notorious Lefortovo Prison. Beseda was reportedly placed under house arrest before March 19 due to the early failures in Russia’s invasion. His Fifth Service is the de-facto foreign intelligence arm of the FSB and the branch responsible for political subversion in Russia’s near abroad, including Ukraine. Anonymous sources told the Moscow Times that the Kremlin is questioning Beseda for his failure to create a viable pro-Kremlin opposition in Ukraine to aid Russia in its invasion. Bellingcat reported on April 11 that the FSB also fired or arrested around 150 officers from the Fifth Service over intelligence failures in Ukraine.
Former Russian parliamentarian Ilya Ponomarev claimed on April 11 that Russian military sources told him that longtime Putin ally Vladislav Surkov is under house arrest in Moscow. The arrests of Surkov and Beseda, as well as the FSB purges, indicate that Putin is increasingly skeptical of the advice that led to Russia’s failures in Ukraine. However, purging longtime intelligence officials with Ukraine expertise may harm the Kremlin’s ability to monitor Ukrainian leadership and to make informed military decisions. Such purges could also harm morale in the rest of the FSB, leading to generally worsened intelligence provisions.
The Kremlin is attempting to deter the expression of anti-war sentiments among politicians and the Russian public. Russian authorities detained opposition politician and founding member of the Russian Anti-War committee Vladimir Kara-Murza on April 11, likely to intimidate opposition activists. Russian courts on April 12 sentenced four former editors of the student publication Doxa to two years each of hard labor for involving minors in anti-government protests. The four had been detained in April 2021; the Kremlin likely ordered harsher court sentences against protest organizers to be delivered now to deter additional anti-war protests or dissent surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russian Reactions to Sanctions:
Russian officials seek to claim that Western sanctions, not Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, are undermining international institutions even as Russia selectively defaulted on its debts. Russian Security Council Deputy Head Dmitry Medvedev stated on April 8 that sanctions against Russia could “cause further collapse of all international institutions” and may result in “a destroyed world order and severe consequences for the global economy.” Medvedev warned that anti-Russia sanctions qualify as acts of aggression and that Russia has the right to “self-defense.” The Duma began deliberating a new bill on April 7 that would punish entities inside Russia that comply with Western sanctions with a 10-year prison sentence, up to 5 years of forced labor, or a 1 million ruble fine.
Sanctions are continuing to damage Russia’s already-fragile economy. Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated on April 7 that Russia began preparing for current sanctions a year ago and asserted that Russia is “safe from the point of view of the economy and macro stability.” The S&P announced on April 8 that Russia fell into selective debt default after Russia offered its required payment in rubles, not dollars, on April 4. The S&P said that ruble payments were insufficient because debt holders could not easily transfer rubles into other denominations. The S&P also stated on April 8 that Russia has a 30-day grace period to pay its debt in dollars. Western sanctions will impede Russia’s ability to access $315 billion of its foreign currency reserves. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov claimed on April 8 that Russia “will sue” and rejected the legitimacy of Russia’s debt default, asserting that Russia “took all the necessary actions to ensure that investors received their payments.” Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Gennady Gatilov framed India and China on April 8 as partners for Russia when claiming that Russia “intends to counteract the diplomatic war” with the West.
Belarus and Russia are increasing economic ties—and likely Kremlin influence over Belarus—as sanctions cut both states off from international markets. Belarusian state media outlet Belta claimed on April 12 that the US “has declared a full-scale war” on the Union State. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko stated on April 13 that there are “new windows of opportunity” for Russia and Belarus as Western sanctions impact the Union State market. Russian President Vladimir Putin called Belarusians and Russians “brothers” on April 12 and emphasized the need to deepen Russian-Belarusian integration “against the backdrop of Western sanctions.” Lukashenko stated on April 8 that Belarus will support Russia "in the case of any difficulties” and specifically mentioned that Belarus can increase fuel supplies to Russia. Lukashenko also pointed to the EU energy and agricultural markets when stating on April 7 that sanctions “make the states that impose them weaker.” Putin and Lukashenko also agreed on a project for a common electrical power market, additional joint military exercises, favorable prices for oil and gas for Belarusian domestic consumption with payments in rubles, and the joint construction of a nuclear power plant to be commissioned by the end of 2022.
The arrest of Viktor Medvedchuk, Russia's key political proxy in Ukraine, will likely provide a morale boost to Ukrainian forces and a political boost to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukrainian forces captured “Putin’s man in Ukraine,” pro-Kremlin Ukrainian Member of Parliament Viktor Medvedchuk, on April 12 following his escape from house arrest in February. The Kremlin may have intended to appoint Medvedchuk as the head of a Russian proxy regime in Kyiv after Russian forces overthrew the Ukrainian government early in the invasion. Zelensky said on April 12 that Ukrainian forces captured Medvedchuk disguised as a Ukrainian soldier during an attempt to flee Ukraine. Zelensky said Medvedchuk wearing a military uniform places him under the laws of war and offered to trade Medvedchuk for Ukrainian POWs. The Kremlin responded that Medvedchuk is not a Russian citizen in a likely attempt to downplay the political importance of his arrest.  First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Konstantin Zatulin criticized Ukrainian officials on April 13 as “engaged in the trade of their own citizens” for offering to exchange Medvedchuk for captured Ukrainian soldiers. Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov falsely claimed on April 13 that Medvedchuk had never had a ”behind the scenes” relationship with Russia.
Drivers of Russian Threat Perceptions:
Finland and Sweden are increasingly reconsidering their non-aligned status and may move to join NATO in the coming months. European Union members Finland and Sweden held a joint press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on April 13 to discuss how evolving security concerns have led them to explore the possibility of joining NATO. The Finnish government released a white paper on April 13 that outlines the security concerns Finland faces following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and assesses whether Finland should pursue NATO membership. Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin stated that an independent decision for Finland to pursue accession to the Western military alliance would be made in the coming weeks. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson expressed that Sweden is rethinking their security position and considering requesting to join NATO but did not specify a timeline for that decision. Andersson said that the Swedish government is working on a security environment report, similar to the report Finland issued, that is due at the end of May to assess whether Sweden should pursue NATO membership. Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia would more than double the number of forces in its western flank and deploy nuclear weapons to the Baltic region to restore “balance” to the Baltics if Finland and Sweden join NATO.
Western countries continued to search for alternatives to Russian energy while the Kremlin tried to downplay the effects of Western sanctions on its economy and energy sector.
- EU and US diplomats told the New York Times on April 14 that the European Union is planning a phased ban on Russian oil imports, likely before the end of the year. The EU is unlikely to ban Russian gas imports, on which many Europeans rely for heating and electricity, in the immediate future. The EU began a phased ban on Russian coal imports on April 7.
- Italy signed a declaration of intent with Algeria on April 11 to increase the supply of Algerian natural gas to Italy and wean itself off Russian energy.
- Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on April 12 that Greece has accelerated plans to explore natural gas to wean itself off Russian energy.
- Tass likely falsely claimed on April 10 that European states have recently significantly increased their purchases of Russian gas.
- The world’s top oil trader, Vitol Group, announced on April 13 that it will stop trading Russian oil by the end of 2022.
- Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated on April 8 that Russia will “reorient coal supplies to alternative markets” when the EU stops importing coal and emphasized that coal “is still a very popular commodity.”
- Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov told Russian newspaper Izvestia on April 13 that the Kremlin is prepared to sell oil and oil energy products at any price range to friendly countries.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted on April 14 that Western sanctions were disrupting the Russian energy sector and that payments for energy exports were under strain since sanctions by “unfriendly countries” have been delaying the transfer of funds. Putin warned that Western countries’ attempts to phase out Russian energy will have disastrous economic effects. Putin argued that there is no “reasonable replacement” for Russian gas and that supplies from other countries will cost Europeans much more.
NATO countries continue to secure their eastern borders and provide military assistance to Ukraine to counter Russian aggression.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated on April 10 that NATO is working on developing a permanent military presence along its eastern borders given a perpetual Russian security threat.
- US President Joe Biden spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 13 and pledged an additional $800 million in military assistance, including heavier weaponry such as artillery systems, armored personnel carriers, Javelins, helicopters, and 300 additional Switchblade drones. Anonymous US defense officials told the Washington Post on April 14 that the United States will resume directly training the Ukrainian military as part of the package.
- Slovakia supplied Ukraine with an S-300 air defense system on April 8, highlighting NATO’s inclination to send heavier weaponry to Ukraine to help defend against Russian missiles and airstrikes. The United States sent one Patriot missile system, along with a US crew to operate it, to Slovakia as a replacement for its own defenses. Slovakia is reportedly also considering sending MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine to ensure the protection of its own airspace as it moves away from Russian military supplies.
- Australia announced on April 8 that it will send three Bushmaster armored personnel carriers to Ukraine with 17 more to follow. 
- The United Kingdom will provide Ukraine with 120 armored vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems following United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on April 9.
- EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell announced that the EU will allocate $544.3 million to provide weapons to the Ukrainian army on April 9.
- The European Union has approved an additional $542 million to reimburse member states for military aid they are providing Ukraine on April 13.
- The German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has offered to sell Ukraine 100 Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers according to the German newspaper Welt.
- Latvia stated on April 13 that it will train Ukrainian troops to use the drones it has provided Ukraine.
Turkish Defense Company Baykar has likely sold additional military supplies to Ukraine since March 25. Two Ukrainian aircraft flew from Tekirdag, northwestern Turkey, to Rzeszow, Poland, on March 25 and April 10. Baykar’s training and armament shipping centers are located in Tekirdag. Ukraine has ordered at least 36 of Baykar’s Bayraktar TB2 armed drones and unspecified other military equipment in the past several years. Several Ukrainian officials also met with Baykar CEO Haluk Bayraktar and Turkish government officials to discuss “military-technical” cooperation on March 29-30 following March 29 Russian-Ukrainian talks in Istanbul, Turkey. Ukraine imported $59.1 million of Turkish defense products from Turkey in the first quarter of 2022, compared to $1.9 million in Q1 2021—a thirty-fold increase An anonymous Turkish official told Reuters on April 8 that Russian officials complained to Turkey over its drone sales to Ukraine. The Turkish government played down any governmental support to Baykar’s sales in response, likely to maintain critical defense and economic ties with Russia. However, Baykar is closely tied to the Turkish government, including through Selcuk Bayraktar, Baykar’s Chief Technology Officer and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law. The Turkish government often plays the leading role in negotiating and approving defense sales between Turkish companies and foreign governments.
 https://www dot president dot gov.ua/news/mihajlo-podolyak-poziciyi-ukrayini-na-peregovorah-z-rosiyeyu-74265; https://www dot rbc.ua/rus/news/zelenskiy-vozmozhnyh-ustupkah-rossii-gotovy-1649680707.html; https://interfax dot com.ua/news/general/823186.html
 https://www dot rbc.ua/rus/news/zelenskiy-rezni-buche-vozmozhnost-peregovorov-1649960363.html; https://iz dot ru/1320810/2022-04-14/zelenskii-zaiavil-o-suzhenii-vozmozhnostei-dlia-peregovorov-o-mire-s-rf
 https://novosti dot dn dot ua/news/322733-putin-zayavil-o-tupike-v-peregovorah-s-ukrainoj
 https://tass dot com/politics/1437829
 https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-says-checking-unverified-information-that-russia-used-chemical-weapons-2022-04-12/ ; https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/12/russia-ukraine-war-news-live-updates/#link-NHRQMZPM4ZBEVCZYLQ75ZQWNL4
 https://t.me/mariupolrada/9188 ; https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61077641 ; https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/12/russia-ukraine-war-news-live-updates/#link-NHRQMZPM4ZBEVCZYLQ75ZQWNL4;
 https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-europe-61075759?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=62554bbcaea8d714b740a695%26Official%20claims%20%27chemical%20poisoning%27%20in%20Mariupol%262022-04-12T10%3A05%3A23.897Z&ns_fee=0&pinned_post_locator=urn:asset:b65bcfb0-fecb-4717-8eaa-3dc560751b81&pinned_post_asset_id=62554bbcaea8d714b740a695&pinned_post_type=share; https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/12/russia-ukraine-war-news-live-updates/#link-NHRQMZPM4ZBEVCZYLQ75ZQWNL4
 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/12/russia-ukraine-war-news-live-updates/#link-LQ4X7MPNBFCTVH66DP7EPOXBKU ; https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-business-united-nations-europe-chemical-weapons-b0b6355061ee524fcc896481d030d261; https://www.rbc dot ua/rus/news/ssha-preduprezhdali-ukrainu-gotovnosti-rf-1649734593.htm
 https://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/russian-offensive-campaign-assessment-march-17; https://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/warning-update-russia-may-conduct-chemical-or-radiological-false-flag-attack-pretext
 https://tass dot ru/politika/14315237
 https://tass dot ru/proisshestviya/14336181
 https://t dot me/stranaua/35990; https://www dot pravda.com.ua/news/2022/04/11/7338843/; https://apostrophe dot ua/news/26562\
 https://interfax dot com.ua/news/general/823756.html; https://www dot ukrinform.net/rubric-ato/3456348-russians-use-13-mobile-crematoriums-to-burn-civilian-bodies-in-mariupol-intelligence.html
 https://www dot pravda dot com.ua/eng/news/2022/04/9/7338435/; https://riafan dot ru/22872189-_voennii_ekspert_nikulin_nazval_podriv_vsu_tsisterni_s_kislotoi_v_rubezhnom_lokal_noi_katastrofoi_; https://tass dot ru/proisshestviya/14336323; https://tass dot ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/14334179; https://tass dot ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/14333935
 https://riafan dot ru/22871431-pushilin_ukrainskie_siloviki_gotovyatsya_nanesti_ryad_massirovannih_udarov_po_donbassu
 https://meduza dot io/paragraph/2022/04/12/putin-nazval-ubiystva-v-buche-feykom-i-provokatsiey-lukashenko-peredal-emu-dokumenty-o-spetsoperatsii-anglichan-v-etom-gorode; https://inforesist dot org/putin-s-lukashenko-nazvali-reznyu-v-buche-fejkom-i-speczoperacziej-anglichan/
 https://tass dot ru/proisshestviya/14336193
 https://military.pravda dot ru/news/1697564-prikazali_rasstrelivat_mirnykh_zhitelei_rubezhnogo/
 https://riafan dot ru/23017705-zaharova_predupredila_o_planah_vlastei_ukraini_po_organizatsii_provokatsii_v_sumskoi_oblasti
 https://riafan dot ru/22990386-mid_rossii_ukrainskie_natsionalisti_mogut_pribegnut_k_himicheskomu_terrorizmu
 https://tass dot com/defense/1435103
 https://www.pravda dot ru/news/politics/1698143-biolaboratorii/; https://russian dot rt.com/world/news/989468-medvedev-ssha-biolaboratorii-ukraina?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS; https://tass dot ru/politika/14357429
 https://iz dot ru/1319831/2022-04-13/v-mid-rf-dopustili-vvoz-na-ukrainu-iadernogo-materiala-iz-za-rubezha
 https://russian dot rt.com/world/news/990417-mo-biooruzhie-ssha?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS
 https://tass dot com/politics/1437883; https://lenta dot ru/news/2022/04/14/oruzh/
 https://tass dot com/world/1437793
 https://tass dot ru/politika/14343567
 https://tass dot ru/politika/14343021
 https://tass dot com/politics/1436579
 https://iz dot ru/1320048/2022-04-13/riabkov-predupredil-ssha-o-posledstviiakh-pri-popytkakh-zamedlit-spetcoperatciiu-rf
 https://www.rosbalt dot ru/russia/2022/04/11/1952960.html; https://www.rosbalt dot ru/russia/2022/04/11/1952955.html; https://iz dot ru/1319038/2022-04-11/v-dvukh-raionakh-krasnodarskogo-kraia-vveden-povyshennyi-uroven-terroristicheskoi-ugrozy; https://tass dot com/society/1436021; https://tass dot com/politics/1435825; https://tass dot ru/proisshestviya/14343471
 https://tass dot com/politics/1437941
 https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-putin-covid-health-business-5b55e7a5658f580bf887ff5e885316a6; https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-04-14-22/h_08c2b71fe1dc199d4d967315d20419dc
 https://www.themoscowtimes dot com/2022/04/11/why-is-a-russian-intelligence-general-in-moscow-lefortovo-prison-a77301
 https://meduza dot io/news/2022/04/12/vladimira-kara-murzu-arestovali-na-15-sutok
 https://meduza dot io/news/2022/04/12/redaktorov-doxa-prigovorili-k-ispravitelnym-rabotam-po-delu-o-vovlechenii-podrostkov-v-protesty
https://tass dot com/world/1434967; https://tass dot com/world/1434967; https://tass dot ru/politika/14327135
 https://tass dot com/economy/1433781; https://tass dot com/politics/1434969; https://russian dot rt.com/world/news/987892-medvedev-sankcii-agressiya?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS
 https://tass dot ru/ekonomika/14316723
 https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/11/investing/russia-default-sp/index.html; https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-will-take-legal-action-if-forced-into-sovereign-debt-default-newspaper-2022-04-10/
 https://tass dot com/politics/1434953; https://tass dot com/politics/1434953; https://paper dot dropbox.com/ep/redirect/external-link?url=https%3A%2F%2Fria.ru%2F20220408%2Fsanktsii-1782569113.html&hmac=aOj4GgJwGrzK%2FxCqYIdwSM0XWmTqxrgpjkJIkoJJLM8%3D
 https://www.belta dot by/politics/view/schekin-zapad-objjavil-polnomasshtabnuju-vojnu-sojuznomu-gosudarstvu-495755-2022/.
 https://www.belta dot by/politics/view/putin-v-nyneshnej-situatsii-vazhno-uglubljat-belorussko-rossijskuju-integratsiju-495674-2022/; https://www.belta dot by/politics/view/putin-belorusy-nashi-ne-mladshie-bratjja-a-prosto-bratjja-495687-2022/; https://iz dot ru/1319455/2022-04-12/putin-otmetil-vazhnost-integratcii-rossii-i-belorussii-na-fone-sanktcii; https://tass dot ru/politika/14354909
 https://iz dot ru/1317516/2022-04-08/lukashenko-poobeshchal-rf-podderzhku-ot-belorussii-pri-liubykh-trudnostiakh
 https://www.belta dot by/president/view/lukashenko-u-belarusi-i-rossii-esche-budut-uchitsja-kak-preodolevat-sanktsii-495793-2022/
 https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-04-12-22/h_7f974ead1eef427452418bd075db2ace; https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/12/russia-ukraine-war-news-live-updates/#link-B72T6KCUOJD6FEQJXNFBDZPMLU; https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/12/russia-ukraine-war-news-live-updates/#link-B72T6KCUOJD6FEQJXNFBDZPMLU; https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/12/world/ukraine-russia-war-news; https://www.belta dot by/president/view/lukashenko-i-putin-poseschajut-kosmodrom-vostochnyj-v-amurskoj-oblasti-495573-2022/
 https://t.me/stranaua/36278; https://inforesist dot org/zelenskij-predlagaet-obmenyat-medvedchuka-na-plennyh-ukrainczev/; https://belsat dot eu/ru/news/13-04-2022-zelenskij-predlozhil-rossii-obmenyat-zaderzhannogo-medvedchuka-na-plennyh-ukrainskih-voennyh/
 https://nv dot ua/world/geopolitics/v-kremle-otreagirovali-na-predlozhenie-zelenskogo-po-obmenu-medvedchuka-poslednie-novosti-50233547.html
 https://iz dot ru/1320097/2022-04-13/v-gd-raskritikovali-predlozhenie-zelenskogo-po-obmenu-medvedchuka-na-plennykh
 https://hromadske dot ua/posts/u-kremli-vidhrestilisya-vid-medvedchuka-ale-obicyayut-stezhiti-za-jogo-doleyu; https://iz dot ru/1320103/2022-04-13/peskov-zaiavil-ob-otsutstvii-zakulisnykh-otnoshenii-medvedchuka-s-rossiei
 https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/-/government-report-discusses-changes-in-finland-s-security-environment ; https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-04-13-22/h_18480501a37b3f6938eb01b7ff87bb3d
 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/14/russia-ukraine-war-news-putin-live-updates/#link-KFTFERA2OZB33N7LH2MWUKNZGY; https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-04-14-22/h_f0b8d63069c160c87982531e95c48444.
 https://tass dot ru/ekonomika/14335323
 https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/2999113/800-million-in-additional-security-assistance-for-ukraine/ ;https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-04-14-22/h_5ba085c65c78c2d76151004acd1bd4d5; https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-04-13-22/h_f074c999e9e5b98c62420bdb96fbcc22 ; https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/04/13/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-call-with-president-zelenskyy-and-additional-security-assistance-to-ukraine/ ; https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-zelenskyy-kyiv-business-duda-a2cb5ecc4f2677d20fe98481a2d0292c
 https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/08/world/ukraine-russia-war-news; https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/russia-ukraine-latest-news-2022-04-08/card/australia-responds-to-ukraine-military-aid-request-with-armored-vehicles-weapons-package-EB9vD52doUaz0BPM53v1
 https://ru.krymr com/api/zgtopme_iip_
 https://reform dot by/307493-es-vydelit-500-mln-evro-na-oruzhie-dlja-ukrainy; https://www.eeas.europa.eu/eeas/ukraine-high-representative-borrell-visited-kyiv-reinforce-eu-support_en
 https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/04/13/world/ukraine-russia-war-news ; https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/04/13/eu-support-to-ukraine-council-agrees-on-third-tranche-of-support-under-the-european-peace-facility-for-total-1-5-billion/
 https://interfax dot com.ua/news/last.rss
 Ukraine has bought more than 20 Bayraktar TB2 armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Turkish drone magnate Baykar in recent years and reportedly ordered a further sixteen on January 27 that were reportedly delivered in early March. https://www.dailysabah.com/business/defense/ukraines-defense-imports-from-turkey-up-30-fold-in-q1
 https://twitter.com/Podolyak_M/status/1508837916491100164?s=20&t=5RMiwCYPXw2e9MTfjZh1gQ ; https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/ukraines-delegation-stays-in-turkey-for-military-technical-talks