Russia pounds Ukraine, Zelenskiy warns of attacks ahead of Independence Day

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  • Zelenskiy warns Moscow could try “something particularly ugly”
  • Ukraine Independence Day also marks six months since invasion
  • Two civilians killed in Donetsk region in last 24 hours

Aug 22 (Reuters) – Russian forces continued their offensive in several Ukrainian regions on Monday, as President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned of the potential for more serious attacks ahead of Ukraine’s 31st anniversary of independence from the Soviet government.

Artillery shells rained down on Nikopol, a town near Zaporizhzhya, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, while rockets hit near the Black Sea port city of Odessa over the weekend.

Zelenskiy has called for vigilance, saying Moscow could try “something particularly ugly” before Wednesday, Ukraine’s independence day and also six months since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

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Zelenskiy said he had discussed “all threats” with French President Emmanuel Macron and had also sent messages to other leaders, including Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“All of Ukraine’s partners have been informed about what the terrorist state can prepare this week,” Zelenskiy said in his overnight video address, referring to Russia.

He also said that if Russia went ahead with plans to try imprisoned Ukrainian defenders in Mariupol, it would have violated international rules and cut itself off from negotiations.

“If this despicable show trial went through… this would be the limit beyond which negotiations are no longer possible,” he said. “There will be no more talks. Our state has said everything.”

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 had tried to facilitate dialogue.

But he dismissed speculation about talks between Zelenskiy and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying there was “no practical platform to hold this meeting,” the report said.

In Russia, authorities are investigating a suspected car bomb attack outside Moscow that killed the daughter of Alexander Dugin, an ultra-nationalist Russian ideologue who advocates the absorption of Ukraine by Russia. read more

While investigators said they were considering “all versions” to determine who was responsible, Russia’s foreign ministry speculated there could be a link to Ukraine, something an adviser to Zelenskiy rejected.

“Ukraine had nothing to do with this, of course, because we are not a criminal state like the Russian Federation, and moreover not a terrorist state,” Mykhailo Podolyak said on Ukrainian TV.

MORE RUSSIAN BATTLES

As Ukraine prepared to celebrate its Independence Day, embroiled in a war that has flattened towns and cities, killed thousands and forced millions to flee, officials reported more Russian attacks on targets in the east and south of the country.

In the eastern region of Bakhmut, Russian forces have been damaged by artillery and multiple missile launch systems in the areas of the Soledar, Zaytseve and Bilogorivka settlements, Ukraine’s general staff said in its daily update on Monday.

They continued to focus their efforts on gaining full control over the territory of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, and preserving the conquered territories of Kherson and parts of the Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv regions, the General Staff added.

The shelling of Nikopol is particularly worrying.

Four people have been injured as a result of nighttime rocket attacks on Nikopol, Krivyi Rih and Synelnykovsky districts in the Dnipropetrovsk region, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram Monday.

In the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, two civilians have been killed in the past 24 hours, the regional government said.

Russia denies targeting civilians.

The fighting at Zaporizhzhya and a rocket attack on the southern city of Voznesensk, not far from Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear power plant, have raised fears of a nuclear accident.

On Sunday, US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Macron held a phone call in which they emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of nuclear facilities while underlining their “steadfast commitment” to Ukraine. read more

Moscow says it is involved in a “special military operation” to disarm and “denazify” its neighbor. Ukraine and its allies say Moscow has started an unprovoked war of aggression.

Russia said on Sunday that its Kalibr missiles had destroyed an ammunition depot containing missiles for US-made HIMARS missiles in Ukraine’s southeastern Odessa region, home to ports crucial to a UN-brokered plan to curb Ukrainian agricultural exports. help re-enter global markets.

Kiev said a granary had been hit. read more

Reuters could not independently verify the battlefield reports.

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Reporting by Ron Popeski and Natalia Zinets; Writing by Himani Sarkar; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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