Ukraine: All-out Russian strikes, at least eight dead
Russian forces on Thursday struck military and civilian infrastructure in many Ukrainian regions, including near the capital kyiv, leaving a total of at least eight dead and around 30 wounded, a real “terror of missiles”, denounced the President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Ukraine was still waiting for the first ships loaded with grain blocked due to the Russian invasion to leave its coasts for world markets, in accordance with the agreements signed on July 22 in Istanbul. The three ports designated to allow these exports via the Black Sea had started to operate again on Wednesday.
Europeans, for their part, remained worried after Russia sharply reduced its gas deliveries to them in recent weeks, in particular via the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which was operating at only 20% of its capacity on Wednesday.
“If Russia wants to cut off our gas, it will not wait until autumn or winter to do so, it will not allow us to fill our stocks during the summer,” said the head of European diplomacy on Thursday. Josep Borrell, nevertheless judging a “brutal” interruption of these supplies unlikely.
“She will do it as soon as possible to avoid that in winter we have reserves that allow us to hold out,” he added.
The day before, Volodymyr Zelensky had assured that Ukraine was preparing to increase its electricity exports to the European Union to help it “resist energy pressure” from Moscow.
– Extensive pounding –
On a large part of the Ukrainian territory, the shelling of the Russian army did not weaken Thursday.
Thus, at least five people were killed and 25 others injured, including 12 soldiers, in a strike on two hangars in Kropyvnytskyï, in the center, announced the governor of the Kirovograd region, Andriï Raikovitch.
“Aeronautical equipment”, a civilian An-26 aircraft and training devices were particularly damaged, he said.
The Russians had targeted railway infrastructure and a military airfield in the same city on Saturday, about 300 kilometers south of kyiv, causing the death of two civilians. A soldier also lost his life, while nine others were injured.
Also Thursday, in the region bordering Dnipropetrovsk, at least one person was killed and two injured in a bombardment, according to its governor Valentin Reznitchenko.
In the still Ukrainian-controlled part of the eastern Donetsk region of Toretsk, a man and a woman died on Thursday when a multi-storey apartment building was hit, emergency services said.
Kharkiv, the second largest Ukrainian city in the northeast, suffered two S-300 missile strikes which caused fires, according to its mayor, Igor Terekhovassen.
“The aggressors are trying to turn Kharkiv into a miserable city, similar to the ones they have in Russia,” he told AFP.
Not far from kyiv, in Lyutij, cruise missiles destroyed a building on a military base early in the morning, while two others were damaged, the Ukrainian army general staff said.
In total, six of these machines, of the Kalibr type, one of which was shot down by the anti-aircraft defense, were fired from Crimea, a peninsula annexed in 2014 by Moscow, underlined the same source.
Multiple rocket launchers from neighboring Belarus, an ally of Russia, have also caused “losses” among Ukrainian soldiers in the northern region of Cherniguiv.
In the south, a school was destroyed and at least one injured when a veritable rain of missiles fell, according to the governor of Mykolaiv.
– Hard situation” –
Continuing their offensive, Russian troops are still trying to advance near Siversk and Bakhmout, in the Donbass, an industrial region in the east that Moscow aims to completely conquer.
The situation there is “difficult but completely under control”, affirmed the staff of the Ukrainian army.
In the occupied southern region of Kherson, a few kilometers from the front and where the Ukrainians have launched a counter-offensive, three villages have been retaken from the Russians in the past two weeks.
On Wednesday, in the suburbs of Kherson, the Antonovski bridge, which spans the Dnieper, was partially disabled by a Ukrainian attack.
Essential for Ukrainian agriculture, the region is also strategic as it borders Crimea
“It’s a restless morning. Once again, we have the terror of the missiles”, noted Thursday Volodymyr Zelensky on Telegram.
But Ukraine “will not surrender and give up,” he promised.
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