Russia launched a series of attacks on Friday, according to the Ukrainian armed forces. The attacks reportedly destroyed seven homes in the village of Veletenske in the Kherson region and damaged a nursery. There were no injuries. The Ukrainian Air Force shot down 11 out of 16 attacking drones in Kyiv, Dnipro, and Lviv. The Black Sea grain deal was extended, with Russia extending the deal for 60 days, while Ukraine extended it for 120 days. According to the Ukrainian army, another 880 Russian soldiers were killed on Friday, bringing the total to over 164,000 Russian service personnel killed since the outbreak of the war in February last year. Wagner, a Russian mercenary group, plans to recruit around 30,000 new fighters by mid-May. Lastly, the UK Ministry of Defence predicts that Russia will likely introduce wider conscription to meet its military requirements.
Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Attacks, Drone Strikes, and Mercenary Recruitment
Russia has reportedly launched a series of attacks on Friday, as confirmed by the Ukrainian armed forces. In the village of Veletenske, located in the Kherson region, seven homes were destroyed, and a nursery was damaged. Fortunately, no one was injured. Additionally, Ukrainian forces have “repelled more than 100 enemy attacks.” The Guardian has not verified this update, which also reported 10 Iranian-made drones being shot down.
According to the Ukrainian Air Force, 11 out of 16 drones were destroyed as they attacked the peaceful western region of Lviv, Dnipro, and Kyiv. Ukraine’s air defences shot down all attacking drones in Kyiv.
On the positive side, parties to the Black Sea grain deal announced that the initiative was extended, but no details were given as to the duration of the extension. However, a spokesperson for Russia’s defense ministry said it notified other parties that the deal was extended for 60 days, while a Ukrainian minister claimed it was extended for 120 days.
The Ukrainian army has published unverified totals, claiming that another 880 Russian soldiers were killed on Friday, bringing the total to over 164,000 Russian service personnel killed since the war’s outbreak in February last year. Ukrainian forces disabled five tanks, seven armoured combat vehicles, and eight artillery systems, according to a Facebook update by the general staff.
In an audio message on Telegram on Saturday, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, announced plans to recruit about 30,000 new fighters by mid-May. Wagner recruitment centres are reportedly hiring an average of 500-800 people per day in 42 Russian cities.
Lastly, the UK Ministry of Defence has predicted that Russia will likely introduce wider conscription to meet its military requirements. The Russian Duma deputies introduced a bill to change the conscription age for men from 18-27 to 21-30, and the law is expected to be passed and come into force in January 2024, as per the intelligence update.
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