Russian Missile Strikes Hit Ukrainian Energy Facility, Residential Areas


Russian forces carried out more sporadic missile strikes Saturday in Ukraine, targeting facilities that provide power to the country and its residential areas. 

Kyiv regional Governor Oleksiy Kuleba said the strike damaged a key energy facility in Ukraine’s capital region, but no causalities were reported, and the location was not disclosed. 

Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, urged Kyiv-area residents and people in three neighboring regions to conserve energy during the evening hours of peak demand. 

The attack on the power transmission facility came hours after Ukrainian officials said Russia fired artillery into residential areas of Nikopol, southeast of Zaporizhzhia. Yevhen Yevtushenko, head of the Nikopol district military administration, said five people were wounded in the Saturday morning attack on the city. He said the attacks were focused on “maximum damage to civilians.” 

Russian troops killed in Russia

Elsewhere on Saturday, at least 11 Russian troops were killed and 15 more were wounded when two Russian volunteer soldiers opened fire at a military firing range in the southwest Belgorod region near Ukraine, according to the Russian Defense Ministry. 

The Defense Ministry said the pair of volunteers were from a former Soviet nation and were killed by return fire, describing the incident as a terrorist attack.

Dozens of people in Ukraine have been killed and scores more wounded in the last week as Russian forces bombarded Ukrainian cities with missile strikes, hitting power stations, residential buildings, roads and recreational areas.

Russia’s latest military campaign appeared to be in retaliation for a truck bomb that exploded a week ago, severely damaging the only bridge that links Russia to the annexed Crimean Peninsula. 

No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing. 

Fighting in the south and east

Ukraine’s military has been concentrating its efforts on regaining territory in the south and east. It announced Saturday that its forces had repelled Russian attacks near 11 settlements. 

The General Staff reported that Ukrainian soldiers repelled attempted Russian advances near the settlements of Novosadove, Yakovlivka, Berestove, Bakhmut, Bakhmutske, Opytne, Krasnohorivka, Nevelske, Pervomaiske, Mariinka, and Pobieda in the Donbas region.

Ukrainian officials said its military also hit five Russian command points along with seven concentrations of Russian troops and shot down six Russian drones. 

More US assistance

The escalation in the fighting comes as the United States announced another round of military assistance for Ukraine. The White House pledged $725 million in a security package to help Kyiv.

U.S. officials said the aid package does not include significant new capabilities or counterair defenses. Instead, it focuses on resupplying Ukraine with ammunition and weapons that Kyiv has been successfully using in its counteroffensive against Russia.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said Saturday that although Russia has deployed more troops called up as part of a conscription program announced last month, the soldiers are likely poorly equipped. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin defended recent moves to escalate the war by sending more troops to Ukraine. 

Putin said Friday there was no need for massive new strikes on Ukraine and that Russia was not looking to destroy the country. At the same time, the Russian leader maintained he had “no regrets” about the war in Ukraine and the recent mobilization of 222,000 Russians reservists to fight in the conflict.

Putin said Russia should be finished calling up reservists in two weeks. The Russian Defense Ministry set a goal last month of mobilizing 300,000 reservists, sparking opposition in Russia and leading to tens of thousands of men leaving the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Friday that Russia was in an “atmosphere of hopelessness.” 

“Yes, they still have people to throw on the battlefield, they have weapons, missiles and ‘Shaheds’ [Iranian drones], which they use against Ukraine.” 

‘Ukraine is moving forward’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Friday that Russia was in an “atmosphere of hopelessness.”

“Yes, they still have people to throw on the battlefield, they have weapons, missiles and ‘Shaheds’ [Iranian drones], which they use against Ukraine.”

But despite its resources, “Russia is already in the atmosphere of its defeat, already in the atmosphere of hopelessness for itself,” Zelenskyy said, asserting Moscow has no chance to win because “Ukraine is moving forward.”

Iran rejected allegations that it has supplied Russia with weapons “to be used in the war in Ukraine,” its foreign ministry said Saturday. 

Ukraine and many of its Western allies have accused Moscow of using Iranian-made drones in attacks on around the country in recent weeks. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian “emphasized that the Islamic republic of Iran has not and will not provide any weapon to be used in the war in Ukraine,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, power has again been restored at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility. Ukrainian engineers continue to operate the plant under the watch of Russian soldiers. 

Moscow recently said it was nationalizing the facility, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and is in one of four Ukrainian provinces that Putin declared were annexed to Russia this month. 

The site has come under intense rocket attacks numerous times since the start of the war setting off fears of a potential nuclear disaster. In a statement late Friday Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said employees at the nuclear plant were now facing “unacceptable pressure” to sign employment contracts with the Russian nuclear energy company, Rosatom.


The VOA is the Voice of America

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