Russia launches new assault on 2 towns in Ukraine’s Donetsk region

Russian forces launched an assault on two key towns in the eastern region of Donetsk on Saturday and continued rocket fire and shelling of other Ukrainian towns, including one near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, it said. Ukrainian military and local officials.

The two towns of Bakhmut and Avdiivka have been seen as key targets in the ongoing Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine, with analysts saying Moscow must take Bakhmut if it is to advance on regional centers in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

“In the Donetsk direction, the enemy is carrying out an offensive operation, concentrating its main efforts on the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions. It uses ground attack and army aviation,” the general staff said. Ukrainian on Facebook.

The last Russian strike on Sloviansk dates back to July 30, but Ukrainian forces are strengthening their positions around the city awaiting further fighting.

“I think it won’t be calm for long. Eventually there will be aggression,” Colonel Yurii Bereza, head of the National Volunteer Guard regiment, told The Associated Press.

Russian shelling has killed five civilians and injured 14 others in the Donetsk region over the past day, Donetsk Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Telegram on Saturday, saying two people were killed in Poprosny, and one in Avdiivka, Soledar and Pervomaiskiy.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Local residents look at the damage after an early morning strike by Russian forces in Kostiantynivka, eastern Ukraine. August 6, 2022.

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images


The governor of the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region said three civilians were injured after Russian rockets fell on a residential area in Nikopol, a town across the Dnieper. of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The nuclear plant has been under Russian control since troops from Moscow seized it at the start of the war.

“After midnight, the Russian army hit the Nikopol area with (Soviet-era) Grad rockets and the Kryvyi Rih area with cannon artillery,” Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram.

Enerhoatom, a Ukrainian state-owned company, said Friday that Russian rockets damaged plant facilities, including a nitrogen-oxygen unit and a high-voltage power line. Russian-appointed local officials acknowledged the damage, but blamed it on the Ukrainians.

Another Russian missile attack overnight damaged unspecified infrastructure in the regional capital of Zaporizhzhia. Russia fired 60 rockets at Nikopol on Thursday, damaging 50 residential buildings in the city of 107,000 and leaving residents without power.

Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned this week that the situation was becoming more perilous by the day at the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

“All the principles of nuclear safety have been violated” at the plant, he said. “What is at stake is extremely serious.”

He expressed concern about the way the plant is operated and the danger posed by the fighting taking place around it. Experts from the US Institute for the Study of War said Russia was intentionally bombing the region, “putting Ukraine in a difficult position”.

The Ukrainian company operating the nuclear power plant said on Saturday that Russian troops were using the plant’s basement to hide from Ukrainian shelling and had banned its Ukrainian personnel from going there.

“Ukrainian personnel do not yet have access to these premises, so in case of further shelling people have no shelter and are in danger,” Enerhoatom said on its Telegram channel.

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