Russian shelling heavy in east; Ukraine strikes key bridge

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Russia’s navy pounded residential areas throughout Ukraine in a single day, claiming good points, as Ukrainian forces pressed a counteroffensive to attempt to take again an occupied southern area, putting the final working bridge over a river within the Russian-occupied Kherson area, Ukrainian authorities mentioned Saturday.

A Russian rocket assault on town of Kramatorsk killed three folks and wounded 13 others Friday evening, in accordance with the mayor. Kramatorsk is the headquarters for Ukrainian forces within the nation’s war-torn east.

The assault got here lower than a day after 11 different rockets have been fired on the metropolis, one of many two most important Ukrainian-held ones in Donetsk province, the main target of an ongoing Russian offensive to seize jap Ukraine’s Donbas area.

The Russian Protection Ministry claimed Saturday its forces had taken management of Pisky, a village on the outskirts of town of Donetsk, the provincial capital that pro-Moscow separatists have claimed since 2014.

Russian troops and the Kremlin-backed rebels are searching for to grab Ukrainian-held areas north and west of town of Donetsk to broaden the separatists’ self-proclaimed republic. However the Ukrainian navy mentioned Saturday that its forces had prevented an in a single day advance towards the smaller cities of Avdiivka and Bakhmut.

Russian Protection Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov additionally claimed that Russian strikes close to Kramatorsk, 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Donetsk metropolis, destroyed a U.S.-supplied a number of rocket launcher and ammunition. Ukrainian authorities didn’t acknowledge any navy losses however mentioned that Russian missile strikes Friday on Kramatorsk had destroyed 20 residential buildings.

Neither declare might be independently verified.

The Ukrainian governor of neighboring Luhansk province, which is a part of the struggle over the Donbas area and was overrun by Russian forces final month, claimed that Ukrainian troops nonetheless held a small space. Writing on Telegram, Luhansk Gov. Serhii Haidai mentioned the defending troops remained holed up inside an oil refinery on the sting of Lysychansk, a metropolis that Moscow claimed to have captured, and in addition management areas close to a village.

“The enemy is burning the bottom on the entrances to the Luhansk area as a result of it can not overcome (Ukrainian resistance alongside) these few kilometers,” Haidai mentioned. “It’s troublesome to depend what number of hundreds of shells this territory of the free Luhansk area has withstood over the previous month and a half.”

Additional west, the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk area reported extra Russian shelling of town of Nikopol, which lies throughout the Dnieper River from Europe’s largest nuclear energy plant.

Gov. Yevhen Yevtushenko didn’t specify whether or not Russian troops had fired at Nikopol from the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant. Writing on Telegram, he mentioned Saturday that there have been no casualties however residential buildings, an influence line and a fuel pipeline have been broken.

Nikopol has undergone day by day bombardment for a lot of the previous week, and a volley of shells killed three folks and broken 40 condominium buildings on Thursday, he mentioned.

Russia and Ukrainian officers have for days accused one another of shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant in contravention of nuclear security guidelines. Russian troops have occupied the plant for the reason that early days of Moscow’s invasion, though the ability’s pre-war Ukrainian nuclear employees proceed to run it.

Ukrainian navy intelligence alleged Saturday that Russian troops have been shelling the plant from a village simply kilometers away, damaging a plant pumping station and a fireplace station. The intelligence directorate mentioned the Russians had bused folks into the facility plant and mounted a Ukrainian flag on a self-propelled gun on the outskirts of Enerhodar, town the place the plant is situated.

“Clearly, it is going to be used for one more provocation to accuse the armed forces of Ukraine,” the directorate mentioned, with out elaborating.

Ukrainian officers have repeatedly alleged that Russian forces have been cynically utilizing the plant as a protect whereas firing at communities throughout the river, realizing that Ukrainian forces have been unlikely to fireplace again for worry of triggering a nuclear accident.

They mentioned Russian shelling on Friday evening killed one girl and injured two different civilians within the metropolis of Zaporizhzhia, which is 122 kilometers (76 miles) from the plant. Ukraine’s southern Mykolayiv area additionally mentioned a girl died there within the shelling.

For a number of weeks, Ukraine’s navy has tried to put the groundwork for a counter-offensive to reclaim southern Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Kherson area. A neighborhood Ukrainian official reported Saturday {that a} Ukrainian strike had broken the final working bridge over the Dnieper River within the area and additional crippled Russian provide traces.

“The Russians now not have any functionality to completely flip over their tools,” Serhii Khlan, a deputy to the Kherson Regional Council, wrote on Fb. His claims couldn’t be instantly verified.

Within the north, 5 civilians have been injured in a single day as Russia launched missiles on the border Kharkiv area, dwelling to Ukraine’s second-largest metropolis.

The governor of neighboring Sumy mentioned 200 missiles have been fired at his area from Russian territory within the final 24 hours. Sumy Gov. Dmytro Zhyvytsky reported a widespread lack of crops as wheat fields caught hearth, however he didn’t point out any casualties.

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