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Russian shelling of Zaporizhzhia and Sumy, Denmark's new aid to Ukraine - Monday brief

Russian shelling of Zaporizhzhia and Sumy, Denmark's new aid to Ukraine - Monday brief RBC-Ukraine collage

Yesterday, April 8, Russian troops attacked Sumy and Zaporizhzhia. Meanwhile, Denmark decided to provide a new aid package to Ukraine.

RBC-Ukraine collected the main news for April 8.

Shelling of Sumy region: Casualties reported

The Russian army carried out an air strike on the center of Bilopillia and the city of Sumy.

According to the prosecutor's office, at around 3:15 p.m., Russia carried out an air strike on a civilian infrastructure object in the city of Sumy. As a result, three civilians were injured.

Rocket strike on Zaporizhzhia: Three people killed as result of shelling

As a result of today's strike by the Russian army on an enterprise in Zaporizhzhia, three people were killed. A pre-trial investigation has been launched.

Around 12:30, servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces launched a missile strike on the infrastructure of Zaporizhzhia. The missile hit one of the local enterprises.

The head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration Ivan Fedorov reported about eight casualties.

Denmark allocates nearly €6M for restoring Ukraine's energy grid

The Danish government has allocated 40 million Danish kroner (approximately 5.8 million euros) to the Ukrainian energy system. This decision comes in response to recent severe Russian attacks on Ukraine's infrastructure.

"The last few weeks, Russia has increased its targeted attacks and we’ve seen extensive destruction against Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Denmark provides 40 million DKK as a contribution to the necessary rebuilding in order for Ukraine to maintain its energy supply," said Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy Dan Jørgensen.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that by allocating 40 million Danish kroner, Denmark is helping ensure a reliable electricity supply and therefore access to water and heat for the population during the upcoming winter. The money comes from the civil fund in the Danish government’s Ukraine Fund.

Previously, Denmark also provided an urgent package to help Ukraine prepare for energy supply in future winters.

"The catalogue is made by the Danish Energy Agency in close cooperation with the Ukrainian partners and will contribute to the selection of energy technologies, attraction of investments, anda foundation for donor assistance," the statement says.

US Senate expects Congress to approve aid to Ukraine in coming weeks

The United States Congress may approve new funding to help Ukraine over the next few weeks.

Republican Senator Joni Ernst recalled that in February she was among the senators who supported a bill with new funding for $60 billion for aid to Ukraine. She expects that the document will be put to a vote in the House of Representatives, but with amendments.

"Once the House passes these changes, the bill will go back to the Senate. I expect that to happen within the next few weeks, and we will work very hard to ensure that the aid package passes," the senator added.

According to Ernst, the proposal by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, regarding assistance to Ukraine in the form of a loan, may work.

The senator assured that the majority of congressmen support Ukraine, but there are differences regarding the level of expenditure.

"We know that it is very important for Ukraine to have the necessary ammunition to be confident in its ability to resist Russian aggressors. All of this is very critical, and I really hope that we will allocate assistance soon," she noted.

EU agreed to extend free trade for Ukraine with possibility of restrictions

Key institutions of the European Union have agreed to extend duty-free trade with Ukraine for another year. The decision includes an option for restrictions.

According to Radio Svoboda correspondent Rikard Jozwiak, the extension of free trade with Ukraine until June 2025 was supported by the EU Council, the European Commission, and the European Parliament.

This decision also includes a safeguard mechanism, under which quotas and tariffs can be reintroduced for particularly sensitive agricultural products, namely poultry meat, eggs, sugar, oats, maize, cereals, and honey.

The activation of the safeguard mechanism will depend on the import volumes observed during the period from mid-2021 to the end of 2023.

Fire on Russian missile ship Serpukhov: Intelligence revealed details of damage

The Russian missile ship Serpukhov suffered damage during the fire. Restoring its combat capability will require a significant amount of time.

As Defense Intelligence reported, the missile ship Serpukhov was disabled on April 7, as a result of the fire.

In the intelligence update, it was clarified that the fire completely destroyed the communication and automation systems of the ship.

"The restoration of the combat capability of the Serpukhov will require a significant amount of time," noted the intelligence.

Greece may transfer F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine

The Greek government may transfer up to 32 F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. However, this requires the approval of France.

According to the media, the Greek government plans to sell 108 fighters to be decommissioned (32 F-16C/-D Block 30, 24 Mirage 2000-5 Mk. 2 and 33 F-4E PI2000 units).

"Indeed, in July 2022, a positive opinion of the relevant parliamentary committee was requested for the sale of fighters and related and peripheral equipment (spare parts, simulators, instruments, and materials), the cost of which was estimated at 117 million euros. The sale never took place, and the condition of the fighters in open storage is constantly deteriorating," the article says.

The cost of 108 fighters can be approximately 2 to 2.5 billion euros.

"The 32 F-16C/-D Block 30s, the transfer of which to Ukraine is virtually certain, are another matter entirely. It is worth reminding that during their service, fighters of this type have undergone two design upgrades and have now spent about 60% of their service life on average," the article says.

Zelenskyy plans to visit South Africa in coming months

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy intends to visit South Africa in the coming months.

"Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy plans to pay SA an official state visit in the next few months as part of his African charm offensive amid a debilitating war with Russia," the media writes.

According to Business Day, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor said that the president intended to visit South Africa this year to establish stronger trade links with SA and to discuss the nature of the relationship, which he hopes will ensue after the war.