A Russian strike killed at least three people and wounded 10 others in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday, the city’s mayor said. The attack started a fire in a block of flats, Igor Terekhov said via Telegram.
Kharkiv was besieged in the first days of the invasion in February, however, thus far Russian troops have been unable to take control of Ukraine’s second largest city.
Russia shakes up Black Sea fleet command after series of blows in Crimea
Russia’s Black Sea fleet based in annexed Crimea has installed a new commander, RIA news agency cited sources as saying on Wednesday, after Russian military bases on the peninsula were rocked by explosions in the past nine days. If confirmed, the removal of the previous commander Igor Osipov would mark the most prominent sacking of a military official in the nearly six months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
UN chief to meet Zelensky, Erdogan, with focus on grain exports, nuclear power plant
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ukraine on Thursday, with grain exports and concerns about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to top the agenda.
Ukrainian forces said on Thursday they had beaten back a Russian attack in the southern region of Kherson, while shelling by Kremlin forces in Kharkiv in Ukraine’s north killed several people.
In the 24th week of the devastating war in Ukraine, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said Moscow has “no need” to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine, while President Vladimir Putin accused the United States of destabilizing global affairs.
The town of Nikopol across the river from the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has again come under rocket fire from the Russians, Ukrainian authorities say.
Residential areas had been hit and four people were injured, said Valentyn Reznichenko, head of Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration.
Twenty rockets from multiple rocket launchers called GRAD and 10 shells from artillery hit Nikopol, he added.
Nikopol has frequently come under fire from the Russian base on the opposite bank of the river Dnipro, where the nuclear power plant is situated.
Russian troops squeezed in south Ukraine as Kyiv ramps up strikes
Russian forces in the occupied Kherson region in southern Ukraine are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain the flow of ammunition, armor and fuel to front-line units, according to Ukrainian officials and Western analysts, thanks to a concerted Ukrainian campaign to cut off river and rail supply lines as well as target ammunition depots.
The Russians are moving command posts from the north of the Dnipro River to the south bank as bridges have been heavily damaged, Ukrainian officials say.
The first deputy head of Kherson regional council, Yuri Sobolevsky, claimed that a significant portion of the Russian military command had already left Kherson city. Ukrainian forces are about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) north of the city, towards Mykolaiv.
Much of Kherson region has been occupied since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As part of Kyiv’s counteroffensive to try to retake lost territory in the south, Ukrainian forces are targeting critical bridges to disrupt supply routes in and around Kherson.
The Institute for the Study of War, a US-based think tank, said Sunday that the Russians may be leaving for the other side of the river “to avoid being trapped in Kherson city if Ukrainian strikes cut off all ground lines of communication connecting the right bank of the Dnipro River to the Russian rear.”
Videos have appeared on social media in the past few days showing renewed long-range artillery attacks on the Antonivskyi bridge and a road bridge over the dam near Nova Kakhovka, rendering them impassable for heavily armored vehicles. In some areas, the river is up to 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) wide, making pontoon bridges impractical.
The Ukrainians have also targeted several railway lines from the Russian-occupied Crimea Peninsula into the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. On Tuesday, a series of fierce explosions rocked the town of Dzankhoy on the main line towards Kherson. Recent video showed a substantial stock of military vehicles and ammunition at the site.
Two railway lines from Crimea were struck in the last 10 days. Last week, local residents reported several hours of explosions in the Henichesk district, a port area along the Sea of Azov, and the railway further west at Brylivka was also struck.
“Within the last week, we have destroyed over 10 ammunition warehouses and military equipment clusters. These and other hit prevent heavy equipment being transferred by bridge,” said the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South.
None of this suggests an imminent Russian withdrawal from Kherson, however.
Ukrainian wheat shipment leaves for Ethiopia
A cargo ship loaded with more than 23,000 metric tons of wheat destined for Ethiopia has departed from Ukraine, Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said Tuesday. The vessel is headed for Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, with the wheat ultimately destined for neighboring Ethiopia under the UN World Food Program’s response to a drought in the East African country.
By Ana Dumbadze