Russian-Ukrainian War: What Happened Today (April 19)

As Monday draws to a close in Kyiv and Moscow, here are the main developments of the day:

Ukrainian and Russian leaders said a new phase of Russian operations in Ukraine has begun. Ukrainian officials dubbed it the Battle of Donbass, referring to the eastern area that Moscow had previously pressed kyiv to cede to Russian-aligned separatists. The Kremlin has recognized two breakaway republics in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions that make up Donbass.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said a “substantial part” of the Russian military was now involved in the military operation. The Luhansk regional governor said Russian forces had captured the town of Kreminna. Rockets and artillery shells fell on several Ukrainian towns, with Ukrainian media reporting explosions and sirens of air raids hundreds of miles away. Ukrainian troops were soon to receive more heavy weapons from the United States and NATO in the form of artillery, helicopters, drones and armored vehicles.

The Pentagon said Russia’s “limited offensive operations” so far in the east are a “prelude” to larger operations. The Russian military has continued to add tactical battalion groups, which the United States sees as an attempt by Russia to avoid repeating its mistakes since the start of the invasion, including the lack of food, fuel and other supplies. A senior US defense official said Russia was now focusing on a more limited region and had spent a lot of time building up substantial supplies.

The next phase of the peace talks remains uncertain. Ukraine’s chief negotiator Mykhailo Podolyak said it was difficult to predict when the talks might resume due to the continued siege of Mariupol and the new offensive. Russia has accused Ukraine of undermining the talks with shifting demands.

In depth

As Russia launches a new offensive, what has it learned from the first?

A native of Mariupol has created a site allowing residents to find their missing relatives.

Facebook post helped Ukrainian family find refuge in US

The Russian invasion disrupts the young and thriving Ukrainian publishing industry.

Who is the real Elvira Nabiullina? NPR’s Planet Money newsletter delves into the Russian central banker’s past.


Russia confirms that a new offensive is underway in eastern Ukraine.

Previous developments

You can read more daily recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find NPR’s full coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR Ukrainian state podcast for updates throughout the day.

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