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A Su-34 in the sky over Kubinka airfield on Aug. 29, 2020. (Mihail Tokmakov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Key developments on April 9:

  • Ukraine hits aviation training center in Russia's Voronezh Oblast, source says
  • Russian attacks against 3 Ukrainian regions kill 2, injure 10
  • Germany to deliver 20 additional armored vehicles to Ukraine
  • IAEA: Drone attack reported on Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant's training center
  • Prosecutors investigating executions of 54 Ukrainian POWs by Russia

Ukrainian drones attacked a Russian aviation training center in the city of Borisoglebsk in Russia's Voronezh Oblast overnight on April 9, a representative of Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR), who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the Kyiv Independent.

The intelligence agency's spokesman later confirmed there was an attack, without clearly saying that Ukraine was behind it.

The Russian Telegram channel Astra claimed the aviation center for flight personnel training was attacked by two drones. The drones allegedly exploded, damaging the facade of the building and windows, according to the Telegram channel.

The representative of Ukraine's military intelligence told the Kyiv Independent that the operation was conducted by HUR without providing further details.

Andrii Yusov, a spokesperson for Ukraine's military intelligence agency, said that an aircraft factory was targeted in Russia's Borisoglebsk.

"We will not disclose any details, but according to preliminary information, the main production facilities of the enterprise were affected," Yusov told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) on April 9.

Source: Ukraine hits Russia’s Engels air base. Can it change how Russia attacks?
Russia’s Engels air base has once again come under attack on April 5 after what the Kyiv Independent’s sources in the military intelligence claimed was a drone strike on one of the Kremlin’s most strategically important military installations, deep inside Russia. According to a source in the milita…

Russian air defenses shot down two drones over Belgorod Oblast, two over Voronezh Oblast, and a Neptune anti-ship missile near the occupied Crimean coast overnight, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed.

The Kyiv Independent could not independently verify the claims.

Ukraine has intensified strikes against military and industrial targets in Russia in recent weeks. On April 5, a joint operation of military intelligence and the Armed Forces reportedly hit the Yeysk, Engels-2, and Kursk airfields.

Russia allegedly lost seven military aircraft during the drone attack on the Yeysk airbase in Krasnodar Krai in Russia, a source at Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR) told the Kyiv Independent.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and Ukraine's military allegedly carried out an attack against the Russian Morozovsk airbase overnight on April 5, sources familiar with the matter told the Kyiv Independent. Su-34 fighter-bombers and Su-27 fighters were reportedly based at the airfield.

At least six military aircraft were destroyed, and another eight were damaged, according to the source. Furthermore, about 20 Russian soldiers were reportedly killed or wounded.

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Russian attacks against 3 Ukrainian regions kill 2, injure 10

Russian attacks against Donetsk, Chernihiv, and Kharkiv oblasts on April 9 killed two people and wounded another 10, according to the latest updates by regional authorities.

In one of the latest attacks, Russian forces hit the outskirts of Sloviansk in Donetsk Oblast, injuring three people, Governor Vadym Filaskhin reported.

Sloviansk was hit in the afternoon, and three people aged 53, 64, and 66 suffered injuries, Filaskhin said on Telegram.

Russia has recently increased attacks against Sloviansk and nearby settlements, according to Vadym Liakh, the head of the city’s military administration.

A Russian attack on the town of Semenivka in Chernihiv Oblast earlier on the same day killed a woman, according to Governor Viacheslav Chaus. Russia used artillery and multiple-launch rocket systems to carry out the attack, Chaus said on Telegram.

Russian forces also attacked a civilian enterprise in downtown Kharkiv with guided aerial bombs on April 9, injuring at least four people, Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram.

The buildings caught fire and were destroyed as a result of the latest attack, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov reported.

Russia recently intensified attacks against Ukraine's second-largest city with the use of missiles, glide bombs, and drones, reportedly destroying almost all of its energy infrastructure.

Russian forces also struck Kostiantynivka and Sokil in Donetsk Oblast, killing one person and wounding three more, Governor Vadym Filashkin reported.

Settlements in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Oblast suffer from daily Russian attacks due to their proximity to the front line. Heavy fighting continues in Donetsk Oblast as Russia seeks to occupy the entire region.

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Germany to deliver 20 additional armored vehicles to Ukraine

The German government commissioned the German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall to deliver 20 additional Marder armored vehicles to Ukraine, the company announced on April 9.

The new delivery was previously announced in March and is valued in the "mid-double-digit million Euro range," according to a statement. Rheinmetall said that the new lot would be delivered sometime in 2024.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the company has already provided Ukraine with more than 100 Marder armored vehicles.

Earlier this year, Germany and Poland agreed to form an "armored vehicles coalition" to support Ukraine's defense capabilities. The initiative will officially begin operations on March 26.

"More partners have already signed up. This is one of the most important coalitions," Kosiniak-Kamysz said at a press conference with his German counterpart, Boris Pistorius, specifically naming the U.K., Italy, and Sweden.

Germany has become one of Ukraine's leading military donors, second only to the U.S. According to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany has supplied Ukraine with 17.7 billion euros (around $19 billion) in military assistance as of January.

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IAEA: Drone attack reported on Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant's training center

A drone attack allegedly targeted the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant's training center adjacent to the site, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on April 9, citing the plant's occupation administration.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, has been under Russian occupation since March 2022. IAEA teams have been based at the facility on rotation since September 2022.

Throughout its occupation, the plant has been repeatedly disconnected from the Ukrainian power grid due to Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure. Russian troops have also used the plant as a platform to launch strikes at Nikopol, situated just across the Kakhovka Reservoir, and other Ukrainian settlements nearby.

The IAEA said on X that the reported explosion at the facility's training center was "consistent with the IAEA team's observations."

"No direct threat to nuclear safety this time, but the latest incident again underlines an extremely serious situation," said the organization's head, Rafael Grossi.

Life near Russian-occupied nuclear plant: ‘I don’t know if tomorrow will come’
Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Independent talked to residents who are still in Russian-occupied Enerhodar and those who recently left but still have family in the city. For their safety, we do not disclose their identities. When Russian soldiers captured Enerhodar, the satellite city of the Zaporizhzhia…

The plant reportedly suffered at least three direct strikes on April 7. After the alleged attacks, Russia claimed Ukraine was responsible. Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) said Ukraine was not involved.

Russia has initiated a meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors set to take place on April 11 to discuss alleged attacks on the plant, Reuters reported, citing four unnamed diplomats.

Ukraine's nuclear energy agency Energoatom said on April 9 that Russia "upgraded its propaganda to another level," manipulating the IAEA's perspective and accusing Ukraine of security breaches at the plant.

Energoatom said that the only way to prevent nuclear and radiation emergencies is to comply with the IAEA's resolution, withdraw Russian troops and their equipment from the plant, demining nearby territories, and return control over the plant to the agency.

In March, the U.N. nuclear watchdog's Board of Governors passed a resolution demanding Russia to withdraw from Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

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Prosecutors investigating executions of 54 Ukrainian POWs by Russia

At least 54 Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) have been executed by Russian soldiers, the head of the War Crimes Department in Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office, Yurii Belousov, said on April 9.

A total of 27 criminal investigations into the executions are underway, Belousov said on national television. Presumably, some of these investigations concern group executions.

There have been a number of reports recently about Russian soldiers killing Ukrainian POWs in the embattled parts of Zaporizhzhia and Donetsk oblasts.

The Prosecutor General’s Office on April 7 opened an investigation into a video that purportedly showed Russian troops shooting three captured and unarmed Ukrainian soldiers in Kherson Oblast.

Belousov confirmed that they were executed near Krynky, a village on the predominantly occupied part of Kherson Oblast east of the Dnipro River.

Prosecutors are investigating the involvement of the Russian command, "which is responsible for such actions" as well, Belousov said.

"We are talking not only about unit commanders but also about the highest military and political leadership. Because this is not a single case, but evidence of Russian policy," Belousov added.

As of March 18, Ukraine had collected evidence on over 128,000 victims of war crimes, according to Veronika Plotnikova, the head of the Coordinating Center for Support of Victims and Witnesses of the Prosecutor General's Office.

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