Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Ukraine Strikes Russian Base Ahead of Talks With Turkey, U.N.

Ukraine—Ukrainian forces said they hit another base in Russian-occupied Kherson as the leaders of Turkey and the United Nations were expected to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky and discuss food shipments from Ukraine and the increasingly tense situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

The Ukrainian military’s Southern Command said Thursday that it had struck an ammunition depot in the village of Bilohirka, near the front line of fighting in the Kherson region. The rocket strike is the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted logistics in the Russian-occupied south—part of a strategy to starve Russian troops in the region of supplies and force them to withdraw from the territory they are holding west of the Dnipro River.

A day earlier, the Ukrainian military posted video to social media that appeared to show the aftermath of a long-range rocket strike on Nova Kakhovka, also in the Kherson region. And on Tuesday, pro-Ukrainian saboteurs destroyed an ammunition depot in Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014. Video on social media Thursday also showed large explosions overnight in Russian-occupied Amvrosiivka, in the eastern Donetsk region; Ukrainian officials didn’t immediately comment on the cause.

As Ukrainian strikes inside Russian-held territory increase, Russian forces are attempting to crack down on pro-Ukrainian insurgents. A Ukrainian army veteran was arrested in the Kherson region on suspicion of sending locations of Russian troops and bases to Ukrainian forces, Russian state-run news agencies reported on Thursday. In addition, Russia’s FSB intelligence agency on Wednesday said it had detained six Russian citizens in Crimea who belonged to a cell that spread what it called terrorist ideology with the support of Ukrainian emissaries, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres were in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Thursday for meetings about the deal Ankara helped broker with the U.N. to lift a Russian naval blockade on Ukrainian exports, which had led to food shortages throughout the Middle East and Africa. Four more ships loaded with agricultural products sailed from Ukrainian ports on Wednesday under the deal, according to Turkish officials.

Mr. Guterres was also expected to discuss the standoff at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant with Mr. Zelensky. Explosions in and around the plant, which Russian forces are occupying, have knocked one reactor off the power grid, injured at least one plant employee and led to fears of another nuclear catastrophe like the 1986 meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in northern Ukraine.

“Only absolute transparency and controlled situation at and around [the plant] can guarantee a gradual return to normal nuclear safety for the Ukrainian state, the international community” and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr. Zelensky said in an address posted online late Wednesday night. “The Russian army must withdraw from the territory of the nuclear power plant and all neighboring areas, and take away its military equipment from the plant.”

Russia has said it would give IAEA inspectors access—but only if they come via Russian-controlled territory and not through Kyiv, a plan that Ukraine opposes.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Thursday also claimed Ukraine was planning a false-flag provocation for Friday at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to frame the occupying forces. Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, didn’t provide evidence to support the claim. The Russian-installed head of the occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia, meanwhile, said a plan was in place to evacuate residents in case of an attack on the plant. Kyiv didn’t immediately respond to the claim.

Russia’s Defense Ministry also said Thursday that Moscow would consider shutting down the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant if the situation surrounding the facility continues to deteriorate.

The Ukrainian government, international nuclear-power watchdogs and the plant’s staff have accused Russia of stealing Zaporizhzhia’s power by severing its connection to Ukraine’s remaining territory.

In Kharkiv, in northeastern Ukraine, a Russian missile hit a residential building in the Saltivka neighborhood on Wednesday night, killing seven people and injuring at least 17 more, according to the city’s mayor. More missiles launched from Russia hit the city early Thursday morning, killing two more people. Russia’s Defense Ministry said its forces were targeting foreign fighters.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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