Ukrainian military says it repelled more than dozen attacks

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KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Ukrainian military said on Monday it had repulsed more than a dozen Russian attacks in the east and north of the country, including attempts to advance into key cities in the eastern industrial heartland known as the donbas.

In the regular Facebook update, the army general staff said that Russian troops had tried to penetrate to Kramatorsk, one of the two major cities in the eastern province of Donetsk that remain under Ukrainian control, but “they failed completely and withdrew chaotically.” back to their previous positions.”

In the same post, the military said Russian forces had launched a failed attack on Bakhmut, a strategic city in the Donetsk region, whose capture would clear the way for Russia to take Kramatorsk and the de facto Ukrainian administrative capital, Sloviansk.

The Donetsk region is one of two provinces that make up the Donbas, where fighting has largely concentrated in recent months since Kremlin forces withdrew from the capital Kiev.

Russian officials announced the complete conquest of the Luhansk region, the second of the two, early last month, although the Ukrainian governor has repeatedly claimed that Kiev’s forces are holding out in a small area near the regional border.

In the same update, the military claimed that Russia had attempted to breach Ukrainian defenses in the northern region of Kharkov, home to Ukraine’s second-largest city, but that it was “toughened hard and thrown back”.

Meanwhile, the Russian FSB, the main successor to the KGB, said it had thwarted a “sabotage and terrorist attack” on an oil pipeline in Russia’s southern Volgograd region, blaming two Russian citizens who colluded with Ukrainian security forces. .

The claims could not be immediately verified.

Elsewhere, Russian and Ukrainian officials exchanged more allegations on Monday over renewed shelling of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plantwith each side claiming the other was responsible for the attacks that have heightened fears of catastrophe.

The Kremlin-backed government’s news agency in Enerhodar, the Russian-controlled city where the plant is located, told the Interfax agency that Ukrainian troops carried out “massive shelling” at the facility, as well as the residential and industrial areas of Enerhodar.

According to the statement, the shelling came from nearby Nikopol, a Ukrainian-owned city overlooking the factory across the Dnieper River.

The mayor of Nikopol later said that Russians themselves fired on Enerhodar.

Mayor Yevhen Yevtushenko and other municipal authorities in Nikopol have repeatedly accused Russian troops stationed at the factory of shelling the city, knowing that Ukrainian troops there were unlikely to return fire.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy renewed his call for new sanctions against Moscow and its nuclear industry in response to the situation. He described the actions of Russian forces there as “nuclear blackmail” that could encourage malicious actors worldwide.

As Russian forces continue their artillery shelling around Ukraine, at least three Ukrainian civilians were killed and 20 others injured, Ukrainian officials said.

The dead and 13 injured were blamed on Russian shelling that hit towns and villages in the Donetsk region, regional officials said.

In the country’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, seven civilians were injured by Russian shelling that hit residential buildings and an area near a bus stop. Kharkiv Governor Oleh Synyehubov said an 80-year-old woman was among the injured.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said on Monday that Russian warplanes attacked Ukrainian army positions in the southern Kherson region and in the Donetsk region. He added that the Russian air force also hit a facility in the Kharkov region, killing at least 100 and wounding 50 “mercenaries” from Poland and Germany. His claims could not be independently verified.

During the opening of a weapons show outside Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the army, which he said “liberated the Donbas step by step”.

He also vowed to expand arms sales to Russian allies, whom he praised for continuing to firmly support Moscow despite Western pressure.

The Ukrainian army, for its part, claimed to have destroyed more than 10 Russian warehouses containing ammunition and military equipment in the past week.

In other developments Monday:

— Lawyers for American basketball star Brittney Griner have appealed her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession, Russian news agencies reported. Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was convicted on Aug. 4. She was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February after vape canisters containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage.

— The Ukrainian parliament extended martial law and the country’s general mobilization for another 90 days.

— Zelenskyy fired the heads of three regional branches of the Ukrainian security service SBU, in the Kiev, Lviv and Tarnopil regions. Zelensky’s office did not elaborate on the reasons behind the move. Last month, he fired SBU chief Ivan Bakanov and a chief prosecutor because there were too many people in their departments accused of collaborating with the Russians.

— The trial of five European men imprisoned in eastern Ukraine started in a court administered by Kremlin-backed separatists, Russian media reported.

Three of the five – a Swede, a Croat and a Briton – face the death penalty on charges of serving as mercenaries and “taking training to seize power” under the laws of the self-proclaimed, unrecognized Donetsk People’s Republic, Russian state media reported.

The other two, both British, face jail time.

— A British military reconnaissance plane has violated Russian airspace, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement that Russian air defense forces in northwestern Russia had seen the plane heading for the border from the direction of the Barents Sea. A Russian fighter identified the plane as a British Air Force RC-135 and drove it out of Russian territory, the ministry said.

— German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Berlin would not support several other European countries who have called for an EU-wide measure to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens.

The nations that support such a ban say Russians should not take a vacation in Europe while Moscow is waging war in Ukraine. Finland and Denmark want an EU decision and some EU countries bordering Russia are already no longer issuing visas to Russians.

“This is not the war of the Russian people. It is (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war and we need to be very clear on that subject,” Scholz said.

____

Follow the coverage of the AP about the war

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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