Russia is looking for ways to plug gaps in the budget for prolonged war – UK Intelligence.

Russian officials are looking for ways to plug gaps in their budget while planning a prolonged war against Ukraine.

One such a way is to issue a portion of Russia's sovereign debt in foreign currency. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced such a possibility on 28 September.

"The move almost indicates that Russia anticipates external financial support from foreign states it deems ‘friendly.’ Once the development is completed, investors from other countries can purchase Russia’s sovereign debt and finance some of Russia’s future budget shortfalls.

Such investors would indirectly finance Russia’s invasion of Ukraine," UK Defence Intelligence noted.

"In recent months, Russia’s own banks have been the main entities purchasing Russian state debt. However, they are unlikely to have the capacity to fund anticipated future budget deficits fully.

Russian officials likely see external debt issuance as one way to plug gaps in Russia’s finances as they plan for a long war in Ukraine. However, it remains unclear whether Russia will successfully implement the measures."

Kremlin resorts to nuclear blackmail again.

The ISW has stated that the Kremlin continues to attempt to use nuclear threats to deter the provision of Western military aid to Ukraine ahead of Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive.

ISW analysts suggest that the Kremlin will likely try to force Belarus to integrate into the Union State further when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko meet in Moscow on 5 and 6 April.

The report recalls that the Kremlin announced on 4 April that Putin and Lukashenko would meet for private bilateral talks on 5 April and attend a meeting of the Supreme State Council of the Union State in Moscow on 6 April.

The Kremlin continues to try to use nuclear threats to deter Western military assistance to Ukraine ahead of a planned Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu justified Russia's decision to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, accusing NATO of intensifying combat training and intelligence activities near the Russian and Belarusian borders, and accused the West of escalating the war in Ukraine by providing additional military aid to Ukraine on 4 April.

In addition, the Kremlin continues to falsely assure the Russian public that the war in Ukraine will not have significant long-term economic consequences.

Russians hit Sumy Oblast using mortars and grenade launchers

Russian occupation forces attacked three settlements in Sumy Oblast on Tuesday, 4 April. They deployed mortars and grenade launchers and dropped VOG grenades.

A civilian was injured, and the premises of a trading outlet were damaged by two VOG grenades delivered by UAV to a village in the Krasnopillia region.

The Russians fired on the region of Bilopillia almost all day: mortars (49 strikes) and grenade launchers (58 strikes).

Russian forces attacked the region  Seredyna-Buda using mortars deployed from the territory of the Russian Federation and delivering 15 strikes.

Two private homes and a power line were damaged in the attack.