Russian missiles rain down on Ukraine as war approaches six months


  • Russia might be doing something ‘particularly ugly’, says Ukraine
  • Ukraine Independence Day marks six months since invasion
  • Missiles hit Ukraine’s Odessa region
  • New shelling reported near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
  • Russian nationalist’s daughter killed in car bombing

Aug 21 (Reuters) – Artillery shells rained down on a town near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and Russian missiles struck near the Black Sea port of Odessa on Sunday as Ukraine put warned of the potential for more serious attacks from Russia as the war approached its six-month anniversary.

Wednesday marks 31 years of Ukraine’s independence from Soviet rule as well as six months since the invasion and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged vigilance, saying Moscow may try “something particularly ugly”.

In his nightly video address on Sunday, Zelenskiy said he had discussed “all threats” with French President Emmanuel Macron and that information had also been sent to other world leaders, including Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

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“All of Ukraine’s partners have been briefed on what the terror state can prepare for this week,” Zelenskiy said, referring to Russia.

The Financial Times, in an article published on Sunday, quoted Gennady Gatilov, Moscow’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, as saying that Erdogan tried to facilitate the dialogue. But he dismissed speculation about talks between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying there “was no practical platform to hold this meeting”, according to the report.

Putin ordered what he called a “special military operation” to demilitarize his smaller neighbor and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine and Western donors accuse Moscow of waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

Russian authorities were investigating a suspected car bombing outside Moscow that killed the daughter of Alexander Dugin, an ultra-nationalist Russian ideologue who advocates for Russia to absorb Ukraine. Read more

While investigators said they were considering ‘all versions’ when it came to establishing who was responsible, the Russian Foreign Ministry speculated there might be a link to the Ukraine, which an adviser to Zelenskiy rejected.

“Ukraine, of course, has nothing to do with it because we are not a criminal state, like the Russian Federation, and moreover we are not a terrorist state,” Mykhailo Podolyak told the Ukrainian television, suggesting the incident was “karmic” revenge. for supporters of the invasion of Moscow.

As Ukraine prepared to mark its Independence Day, embroiled in a war that destroyed towns and villages, killed thousands and forced millions to flee, authorities reported new Russian strikes on targets in the east and south of the country.

Of particular concern was the bombing of Nikopol, a town near Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

Nikopol was shelled five times overnight, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram. He said 25 artillery shells hit the town, causing a fire in industrial premises and knocking out electricity to 3,000 residents.

Fighting near Zaporizhzhia and Saturday’s missile attack on the southern Ukrainian town of Voznesensk, not far from Ukraine’s second-largest atomic power plant, raised fears of a nuclear accident.

On Sunday, US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Macron held a phone call stressing the importance of ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities, while stressing their “unwavering commitment” to the ‘Ukraine. Read more

CRUISE MISSILE STRIKES

Local authorities have also reported nightly missile attacks in Ukraine’s Odessa region, home to ports critical to a UN-brokered plan to help Ukrainian agricultural exports reach global markets again. Read more

Five Russian Kalibr cruise missiles were fired from the Black Sea at the region overnight, a regional administration spokesman said, citing information from the Southern Military Command. Two were shot down by Ukrainian air defenses and three hit agricultural targets, but there were no casualties.

Russia said on Sunday that the missiles had destroyed an ammunition depot containing missiles for US-made HIMARS rockets. Kyiv said an attic was hit.

A series of explosions have made headlines in recent weeks from Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. A Telegram message from Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Crimean governor appointed by the Russia, which is not recognized by the West, said a drone attack on the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet was foiled on Saturday morning.

In a daily Facebook update, the Ukrainian General Staff reported several attempted Russian assaults in the past 24 hours in Donbass, a region in eastern Ukraine partially controlled by separatists. pro-Moscow.

In the south, Russian forces successfully carried out an assault on the village of Blahodatne, on the border between Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, he added. The city of Mykolaiv was hit by several S-300 missiles early on Sunday, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said on Telegram.

The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces destroyed two M777 howitzers in combat position in the Kherson region and a fuel depot in the Zaporizhzhia region.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield reports.

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Reporting by Ron Popeski and Natalia Zinets; Written by Tomasz Janowski and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Nick Macfie, Gareth Jones, Daniel Wallis and Lincoln Feast.

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