Russia withdrew from the key airport near Kiev, 53 cultural heritages in Ukraine were destroyed
New satellite images show that, after weeks of occupying the Antonov airfield in Hostomel, just 28km northwest of the Ukrainian capital, the Russians abruptly withdrew.
CNN on March 31 quoted a US Department of Defense official as saying that they believe Russian forces are likely to have withdrawn from Antonov airport. New satellite images, published by technology firm Maxar on April 1, confirm this.
|A satellite image shows empty earth embankments at Antonov airfield in Hostomel, Ukraine on March 31. Photo: Maxar|
Previous satellite images show that, around military vehicles and artillery positions, the Russians have built protective earthen embankments. But now only empty embankments remain.
The capture of Antonov airfield was the first major victory of the Russian army on the first day they launched offensive campaign into neighboring countries 2/24. Several transport planes and attack helicopters ambushed the base while Ukrainian troops were there. American reporters even witnessed some intense gunfights here.
Since then, Ukrainian forces have resisted fiercely, preventing Russian forces from moving closer to western Kiev. Fierce fighting took place along the Irpin River and the towns of Irpin and Bucha, just south of the airbase and the surrounding village of Hostomel.
Over the course of weeks, the Russian Defense Ministry has released a number of videos praising the ease of its takeover of the airbase and showing soldiers walking around the airfield as proof of how safe the area is. However, the military Russia withdrawing from this implies they have changed their strategy.
Moscow earlier announced it would reduce military activities around the Ukrainian capital. It is not clear where Russian troops and equipment went after leaving Antonov Airfield.
Dozens of important cultural heritage of Ukraine were destroyed
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has certified at least 53 important cultural heritage sites of Ukraine, including 29 religious institutions, 16 historic buildings, 4 museums and 4 Monuments in the north and east of the country were destroyed during the Russian military offensive.
|UNESCO uses satellite images, such as that of the destroyed theater in Mariupol, to verify reports by Ukrainian authorities of sites damaged during the war. Photo: Maxar|
This is the latest list, but not exhaustive, as the organization’s experts are continuing to verify the reports, a UNESCO spokesman said. The spokesman revealed that UNESCO uses satellite images and eyewitness reports from the scene to verify information provided by Ukrainian authorities.
Of the sites that the organization has recorded as damaged, there are more than 12 in the eastern Kharkiv region, which has come under intense Russian fire; 5 sites in the capital Kiev and 5 more in the Chernihiv region, where a cluster of historical monuments is located. However, the list does not include information from the besieged city of Mariupol or the city of Kherson falling into Russian hands.
According to the Guardian, in a letter sent on March 17, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay reminded Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Moscow’s obligations to protect cultural heritage in conflict under an international convention. economic. “Any violation of these rules will hold those responsible internationally,” warned Ms. Azoulay.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture on April 1 considered a similar issue, announcing it had recorded 135 cases of Russian soldiers committing crimes against the country’s cultural heritage since the beginning of the war.
Russia – Ukraine exchange prisoners
According to senior Ukrainian officials, Kiev on April 1 exchanged 86 members of the armed forces taken prisoner with Russia.
|Ukrainian soldiers cross a collapsed bridge in the town of Irpin, on the outskirts of the capital Kiev, on April 1. Photo: Reuters|
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President Ukraine said on Telegram that the exchange helped 86 soldiers of the country, including 15 women, return safely. Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said the people had been sent home.
Ms. Vereshchuk pledged that Kiev would fight to the end to free those still held prisoner by Russia, and urged them to keep their will.
2,000 people evacuated from Mariupol
A convoy of 42 buses organized by the Ukrainian government and accompanied by the International Red Cross (ICRC) helped evacuate 2,000 people from the city of Mariupol besieged by Russian troops.
The convoy took them to the city of Zaporizhzhia still under the control of Ukrainian forces on the afternoon of April 1 after the Russian side allowed the vehicles to move.
Many previous evacuation attempts have failed. Moscow and Kiev blame each other for this.
|People gather near an apartment building destroyed by Russian bombardment in the port city of Mariupol, southern Ukraine. Photo: Reuters|
Sergei Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, said the city “was completely destroyed, it looked like rubble”.
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