Ukrainian forces say fight with Russia ‘stalled’ ahead of UN chief’s visit – National
Ukrainian forces said on Thursday they repulsed a Russian attack in the southern Kherson region, while shelling by Kremlin forces in Kharkiv in northern Ukraine killed seven people as the nearly six-month war dragged on without a let-up in fighting.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is due to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan later Thursday in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.
They will discuss how to find a political solution to the conflict with Russia, the threat to the world’s food supply and the risk of a disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which has been taken over by Russian forces.
Ukraine War: Russian base in Crimea rocked by explosions
The war has forced millions to flee, thousands killed and deepened a geopolitical rift between the West and Russia, which says the goal of its operation is to demilitarize its neighbor and protect Russian-speaking communities.
“Russian forces have made minimal progress since last month, and in some cases we have made progress,” Ukraine’s presidential aide Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video. “What we are seeing is a ‘strategic dead end’.”
Seven people were killed and 16 injured in Russian bombing of a residential area in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, on Wednesday evening, Ukraine’s emergency service said.
“This is a sneaky and cynical attack on civilians without justification,” Zelenskyy said on the messaging app Telegram.
Putin boasts of Russia’s advanced weapons, Moscow says ready to share with allies
In the south, Ukrainian forces have routed an attempted advance by Russian forces near the town of Bilohirka, northeast of Kherson, Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said.
The Southern District of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Task Force said Ukrainian forces killed 29 “occupiers” and destroyed artillery, armored vehicles and a military supply depot.
Reuters could not independently confirm the battlefield reports.
Satellite images show damage to Russian air base in Crimea, Ukraine denies responsibility
Replaced Russia’s Black Sea Fleet chief
The United States, Albania, France, Ireland, Norway and Britain have asked the UN Security Council to meet on August 24 to discuss the fallout from the war in Ukraine, diplomats said, marking the six-month anniversary of the Russian invasion.
A series of explosions at military bases and ammunition dumps over the past week in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, indicates a shift in the conflict, with Ukraine appearing capable of penetrating deeper into Russian-held territory.
Moscow has blamed saboteurs for the attacks, while Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility but has hinted.
Ukrainian military intelligence said in a statement that after the recent explosions in Crimea, Russian forces urgently moved some of their planes and helicopters deeper into the peninsula and to airfields inside Russia. Reuters could not independently verify the information.
Russian forces continue barrage on Ukraine’s Donetsk region
On Wednesday, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted sources as saying Black Sea Fleet commander Igor Osipov had been replaced by a new chief, Viktor Sokolov.
If confirmed, it would be one of the most prominent firings yet by a military official in a war in which Russia has suffered heavy casualties in men and equipment.
The Black Sea Fleet, which has a revered history in Russia, has suffered multiple humiliations since President Vladimir Putin launched the February 24 invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “special military operation“.
In April, Ukraine hit Russia’s flagship, the Moskva, a giant cruiser, with Neptune missiles. It became the largest warship sunk in combat in 40 years.
The Ukrainians want to rebuild the world’s largest cargo plane destroyed in the Russian war
Crimea is the main supply route for Russian forces in southern Ukraine, where Kyiv is planning a counteroffensive in the coming weeks.
The Black Sea Fleet has also blocked Ukraine’s ports since the beginning of the war, intercepting vital grain exports that are only now getting back on track, and sending food prices skyrocketing around the world.
Three more ships carrying exports left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Wednesday, a monitoring group said, bringing the number of ships leaving Ukraine to 24 under a U.N.-brokered grain export deal.
The government in Kyiv has announced that it will increase the monthly volume of sea exports to 3 million tons in the near future in order to clear a backlog of 18 million tons of grain from last year’s harvest and start selling new crops.