Ukraine: Soviet-era dam destroyed near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
A significant Ukrainian force has launched an assault on Russian lines in the southern Zaporizhzhia region.
The Kremlin has been claiming to have repelled Ukrainian attacks across various points for a number of days, but Russian military bloggers noted an increase in clashes overnight Wednesday and into Thursday.
Appearing to confirm an operation was underway, the Ukrainian deputy defense minister, Hanna Maliar, said Russia was “actively on the defensive” in the Orihiv area of Zaporizhzhia region.
Zaporizhzhia – one of four partly occupied regions illegally annexed by the Kremlin – has long been seen as a possible point of a main Ukrainian strike, but Kyiv has worked to mask its plans by launching attacks on multiple points across the vast frontlines.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin’s forces have been accused of attacking the Ukrainian city of Kherson during evacuation efforts following the collapse of the nearby Kakhovka dam.
The Prosecutor General’s office said two other people were injured in the incident and that four were injured in a separate location, and that a war crimes investigation had been opened.
Ukraine goes on the attack in Zaporizhzhia – as counteroffensive steps up
A significant Ukrainian force has launched an assault on Russian lines in the southern Zaporizhzhia region – with a surge in attacks that pointed towards its counteroffensive is shifting into high gear.
A number of US and Ukrainian officials suggested this was the start in earnest of Kyiv’s bid to reclaim territory lost to Russian occupation during Moscow’s invasion. Ukraine’s commanders and government have always said there would be no official announcement of the start of the counteroffensive and there has been an increase in military activity all week.
The combat against Russian positions – including intense fighting outside of the town of Tokmak, a Russian logistical hub, is said to involve western-supplied tanks and armored vehicles and infantry backed by artillery.
Eleanor NoyceJune 8, 2023 21:13
ICYMI: Destruction of Ukraine and a ‘new low’ if Russian forces are responsible, Sunak says
Rishi Sunak said the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine would mark a “new low” in the conflict if Russian forces were found to be responsible.
The prime minister said the immediate priority was the humanitarian response to the catastrophe, which has flooded villages, endangered vital crops and threatened drinking water supplies.
Mr. Sunak, speaking to reporters as he traveled to Washington for talks with US president Joe Biden, said if it was an intentional act to blow up the dam it would be “the largest attack on civilian infrastructure” since the start of Vladimir Putin’s war.
Martha MchardyJune 8, 2023 03:00
Zelensky cheers ‘results’ in Bakhmut in Ukraine’s counteroffensive battle
Volodymyr Zelensky has hailed what he described as “results” in heavy fighting in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, one of the pockets where the Ukrainian counteroffensive is underway.
“There is very heavy fighting in the Donetsk region,” Mr. Zelensky said in his daily video message, speaking from inside a train after visiting areas affected by the breach of the Kakhovka power dam.
“But there are results and I am grateful to those who achieved these results. Well done in Bakhmut. Step by step,” he said.
The war-time president referred to other areas where fighting is going on, but said he would provide no details.
Arpan RaiJune 9, 2023 03:52
Before-and-after satellite images show the profound toll of Ukraine dam collapse
Before-and-after images of the area downstream from a dam that collapsed Tuesday vividly show the extent of the devastation of a large, flooded swathe of southern Ukraine.
Before the Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River broke, farm fields appeared green and crossed by peaceful streets and farm roads and dotted with trees. Afterward, only metal roofs and treetops poke above the murky water. Greenhouses and homes are almost entirely submerged.
The pre-collapse satellite photos were taken in May and early June. Photos of the same area taken after the dam collapsed clearly show how much of it has become unlivable. Brown water as high as people covers much of the territory captured in the images.
Eleanor NoyceJune 9, 2023 03:00
ICYMI: Zelensky visits flood-hit Kherson to survey damage after dam breach
More than 40,000 people in areas downstream from the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant are at risk of losing their homes and livelihoods after the breach unleashed torrents of flood water from the Dnipro river.
“In Kherson, I visited a crossing point where people are being evacuated from flooded areas,” the president of Ukraine wrote, sharing footage of his visit.
“Our task is to protect lives and help people as much as possible. I thank the rescuers and volunteers.”
Zelensky visits flood-hit Kherson to survey damage after dam breach
Volodymyr Zelensky has visited the flood-hit areas of Kherson to evaluate the response to damage caused by the Kakhovka dam attack. More than 40,000 people in areas downstream from the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant are at risk of losing their homes and livelihoods after the breach unleashed torrents of flood water from the Dnipro river. “In Kherson, I visited a crossing point where people are being evacuated from flooded areas,” the president of Ukraine wrote, sharing footage of his visit. “Our task is to protect lives and help people as much as possible. I thank the rescuers and volunteers.”
Eleanor NoyceJune 9, 2023 02:00
Kremlin says ammonia pipeline blast is negative for Black Sea grain deal
The Kremlin said on Thursday that there would be a “negative impact” on the fate of a Black Sea grain deal from a blast which damaged a pipeline used to export Russian ammonia via Ukraine that Moscow wants restarted.
The Togliatti-Odesa pipeline, which once pumped up to 2.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually for global export to Ukraine’s Pivdennyi port on the Black Sea from Togliatti in western Russia, has lain idle since the start of the war in February last year.
Russia has accused Ukrainian forces of blowing up a part of the pipeline, the world’s longest carrying ammonia, in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region on Monday. The regional Ukrainian governor said Russia had shelled the pipeline on Tuesday. Neither side provided evidence to back their allegations.
Asked by reporters about how the damaged pipeline could affect the fate of the Black Sea grain deal, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “It can only have a negative impact.”
He described it as “yet another complication in terms of extending the deal,” adding that Russia did not know “what kind of destruction” there had been to the ammonia pipeline.
Russia has threatened to walk away from the Black Sea grain deal on 17 July if demands to improve its own food and fertilizer exports are not met. The deal, struck in July last year, facilitates the “safe navigation” of grains, foodstuffs and fertilizers – including ammonia – for export to global markets.
Eleanor NoyceJune 9, 2023 01:00
Renowned human rights campaigner Oleg Orlov on trial for ‘discrediting’ the Russian military
The co-chair of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights group Memorial, Oleg Orlov, went on trial in Moscow Thursday, charged with “discrediting” the Russian military in his criticism of Russia’s campaign in Ukraine.
If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.
Orlov has been fined twice for anti-war pickets, with the new charges based on an article he wrote denouncing Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Discrediting the Russian military is a criminal offense under a law adopted after Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022. The law is regularly used against Kremlin critics.
Memorial and its supporters have called the trial politically motivated.
Eleanor NoyceJune 9, 2023 00:45
ICYMI: Zelensky won’t attend G20 summit in India, New Delhi confirms
Volodymyr Zelensky will not attend the main G20 conference as an invite for the summit this year was sent out only to the members of the Group of 20, host country India has confirmed.
The confirmation by Delhi has put an end to speculation and expectations that Mr Zelensky would participate in the event that will bring together world leaders of major economies in Delhi.
Speaking during a special press conference marking nine years of the foreign policy of the Narendra Modi government, foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said invitations were being sent out to G20 members only.
Shweta Sharma has the full story:
Eleanor NoyceJune 8, 2023 23:45
Eight injured in two missile strikes in central Ukraine – governor
Two missiles hit sites near the city of Uman in central Ukraine on Thursday, injuring eight people, the regional governor said.
Ihor Taburets, governor of Cherkasy region, wrote on the Telegram messaging app that the missiles hit an industrial site and a car wash in the evening. He said two of the injured were seriously injured, according to preliminary information.
Pictures posted on his Telegram channel showed emergency teams combing through sites largely reduced to rubble, with smoke rising in the background.
The strikes occurred during air raid alerts announced throughout Ukraine for about an hour in mid-evening.
Reuters could not independently verify the accounts.
A missile attack in April on an apartment building in Uman killed 23 residents, in the first such strike in several weeks.
Eleanor NoyceJune 8, 2023 22:45
Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden stressed ‘unwavering support’ for Ukraine
Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden stressed their “unwavering support” for Ukraine, with the president saying the US will help Kyiv for “as long as it takes”.
The two leaders emphasized the need for long-term security arrangements for the war-torn nation as deterrence against aggression from Russian president Vladimir Putin.
At a joint press conference at the White House on Thursday, Mr. Biden was asked about hesitation about more funding for Ukraine among some lawmakers in the rival Republican Party.
The Democratic US president said: “I believe we’ll have the necessary funding to support Ukraine as long as it takes.
Eleanor NoyceJune 8, 2023 21:45