The good news
The Pentagon has begun additional training for the Ukrainian military. The advanced training has already started taking place at a military base in Germany.
Fourteen Ukrainians were released from captivity by the Russians in an exchange - seven civilians and seven soldiers, including one soldier now in her fifth month of pregnancy.
The bad news
Multiple containers of Ukrainian military uniforms have fallen into the hands of the Russians. The whereabouts and/or plans for the uniforms remain unknown.
Spravdi reports that Russian special services were planning to overthrow the state system of Ukraine, with an end date of May 2, the anniversary of tragic events in Odesa.
Ukraine strategic communications update for April 30
The Russians shot volunteers who went to evacuate the population to Popasna
- One of the buses with volunteers disappeared and there is no connection with him.
- Another was shot. There were no bodies inside, but he was covered in blood.
- On April 30, the Russians fired on the Ukrainian Senkivka checkpoint. The occupiers fired around forty 120-mm mortars, but thankfully there do not appear to be any victims.
On the night of April 30, the Russians shelled residential areas, hospitals, and industrial zones in Kharkiv. As a result of the attack, the apartments of two 9-story residential buildings were on fire.
Center for Strategic Communications analyzed 500 messages from the RT Russian Telegram channel posted between April 26 and 29. Here’s what they found.
- 64 messages were about the success of Russian weapons
- 20 messages portray the Russian military as do-gooders bringing humanitarian aid. Multiple messages talk about life in Mariupol normalizing (how is unclear since over 90% has been damaged by shelling, missiles, and fire).
- Altogether, over 150 messages blame Ukrainians for the Russian invasion. Claims and numbers of instances include (please note that none of the following bulleted statements should be taken for factual reporting):
- Ukrainian military kill civilians (29 times)
- Ukraine is shelling Russian civilians or other targets on Russian territory (17 times)
- Ukraine would be well within the international laws of war to attack Russia as it is the instigating belligerent in this needless conflict. That said, it’s not clear which attacks came from where. Intercepted calls contain the voices of soldiers explaining that Russia was shelling itself to permit escalation.
- If Russia wants to escalate, it could make up a reason. Accusations that Ukraine had shelled a small non-strategic town earlier in the war were questionable as Russian media said it was a helicopter attack despite no videos like there were with the earlier helicopter attack on Belgorod. Further, video evidence suggests the explosive may have been mines.
- Ukraine uses illicit weapons (several messages)
- Ukraine is attacking Transnistria (45 times)
- No evidence supports this claim. Messaging surrounding a recent attack on a state building in Russian-occupied Transnistria follows a pattern that the Kremlin has, in the past used to justify “special operations.”
- NATO is to blame for the war in Ukraine (9 times)
- Please see video:
- Almost 90 claims dealt with Russia confronting the West, with lots of accusations of Russophobia, nuclear threats, and accusations Poland wants to take Ukraine. This is false. Please see the April 29 report for Russia’s latest conspiracy theory, which is about Poland.
- Only 13% of the media reviewed was nonconfrontational.
- 79% of messages contained hostile narratives.
- Approximately every 5th message praised the Russian army’s kindness.
- Over 30% of the content vilified Ukrainians or in some way blamed them for Russia’s invasion.
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- April 30 - The Pentagon trains the Ukrainian military and the exchange of prisoners
- April 29 - Belarusian KGB claims a bill shows the US preparing for war with Russia
- April 29 - Russia cooks up a conspiracy theory about Poland, more anti-semitism, and US bad
- April 29 - Positive data was reported for Valneva, Pfizer’s Lyme disease vaccine candidate for children