The Ukrainian counteroffensive to retake Kherson, the first major city to fall to Russia, continues, with its troops attacking the command post and Moscow’s troops retaliating with ground attacks to disrupt the operation.
Natalia Khmenyuk, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian Southern Command, said Ukrainian forces had destroyed ammunition depots and pontoon bridges and blocked the movement of Russian reserves.
Local media reports said gunshots were heard near the city center of Kherson.
“Our success is compelling and we will soon be able to disclose more information,” Humeniuk said.
Moscow denied reports of Ukrainian military progress and said its forces had routed those in Kyiv.
The Ukrainian military has released little news on the progress of the counterattack it launched in the Kherson region earlier in the week.
Two rinks used by the Russians to cross the river were reportedly hit. The bridge is important for supplying Russian troops west of the Dnieper, where Kherson is located.
Both sides claimed success on the battlefield during the first few days of what the Ukrainians described as a potential turning point in the war.
zero gas flow
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian General Staff on Friday said Russian forces had shelled dozens of cities and towns, including Kharkov (Ukraine’s second-largest city) in the north and the Donetsk region in the east.
More than seven million people have fled Ukraine and thousands have died since Russia invaded in February, in what Kyiv and the West have called Russia’s “war of gratuitous aggression” in which the city is on the brink of war. turned into rubble.
Moscow took action “Special Military Operations” Deter NATO expansion in neighboring countries, rid Ukraine of nationalists, and protect Russian-speaking communities.
Saturday’s development came as Moscow and Kyiv exchanged accusations over their actions under Russian occupation Zaporizhia Nuclear Power PlantUN inspectors arrived Thursday on a mission to avert a radiation disaster as the facility has been repeatedly attacked.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia could play a facilitator role with respect to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
A pro-Russian official in the Zaporizhia region, Vladimir Rogov, said Ukrainian forces had shelled Europe’s largest nuclear power plant several times, bringing down the main power line to the plant and forcing it to use backup power. .
Meanwhile, Russian energy giant Gazprom is delaying the resumption of gas supplies, exacerbating Europe’s problem of securing fuel for the winter when the cost of living is already skyrocketing.
Nord Stream 1, which flows under the Baltic Sea to supply Germany and others, was due to resume operations on Saturday after a three-day shutdown for maintenance, but the pipeline operator reported zero flow hours later. Reported.
Moscow has since condemned the sanctions imposed by the West. Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraineto interfere with the routine operation and maintenance of the Nord Stream 1.
‘The most serious situation’
A UN inspection team, led by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi, braved the heavy artillery fire. Arrive at Zaporizhia factory.
“This is not the first time an IAEA team has found itself in a situation of armed hostilities,” said Tariq Rauf, former IAEA verification and security chief, who said the IAEA had been involved in Iraq and the former Soviet republics in 2003. He pointed out that an inspector had been dispatched to Georgia in battle.
“But the situation in Zaporizhia is unprecedented because I believe it is the most serious situation that the IAEA has ever dispatched.”
Grossi said the physical integrity of the plant was breached several times after returning to Ukrainian territory. A report is due early next week, and two of his IAEA experts are at the plant for an extended period of time.
“There were moments when the fire was obvious. Two or three times heavy machine guns, artillery and mortars, it was very worrying for all of us.” Factory.
“Demilitarization of Stations”
The situation is further complicated by the occupation of nuclear power plants by Russia. The site is located on the southern bank of a huge reservoir of the Dnieper River, he is 10 km (6 mi) across the water from the Ukrainian positions.
Both sides have accused the other of firing near the facility. The facility is still run by Ukrainian staff, and in peacetime supplies more than one-fifth of Ukrainian electricity. Kyiv also accuses Russia of using it to protect its weapons, which Moscow denies. Russia has so far resisted international calls to withdraw troops from factories and demilitarize the region.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged the IAEA team to do more than inspect and write reports.
“Unfortunately, we have not heard from the IAEA any major requests for Russia to demilitarize the station,” Zelensky said in the video.
Commando style raid?
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Ukraine continues to shell factories using weapons from its Western allies. He rejected claims by Kyiv and the West that Russia deployed heavy weapons at the factory.
Local council mayor Mykola Lukaszuk said several towns near the factory came under shelling by Russian troops on Thursday.
Pro-Russian Rogov said Ukrainian forces had shelled the Russian-controlled town of Enerkhodar, near the power plant. He reiterated accusations that Ukraine had launched a commando-style raid on the facility with speedboats on the river, which Ukrainian officials dismissed as a hoax.