ISSN 2330-717X

Zelenskyy Insists Ukraine Has ‘Significant Potential’ To Advance At Front Line

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(RFE/RL) — Ukraine has a “significant potential” to advance its forces on the battlefield and needs to increase the intensity of attacks on Russian forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly address on July 21.

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Zelenskiy said a meeting of Ukraine’s military command on July 21 defined tasks in tactical areas that must be carried out to strengthen positions and worked out supply issues related to delivering the latest weapons arriving from Western allies to the troops in the field.

The participants of the meeting agreed that Ukrainian forces “have a significant potential to advance our forces at the front and to inflict new significant losses on the occupiers,” he said.

Zelenskiy also noted that that several members of the U.S. Senate have proposed a resolution recognizing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine as genocide.

He said it was the first result of the visit of his wife, Olena Zelenska, to Washington this week.

A bipartisan group of seven senators introduced the resolution on July 20 shortly after Zelenska spoke to members of Congress about the war, highlighting the suffering of Ukrainian civilians.

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The resolution recognizes that Russia’s actions, including forced deportations to Russia and the killing of Ukrainian civilians in mass atrocities, constituted a genocide against the people of Ukraine.

The resolution calls on the United States, along with NATO and European Union allies, to support the government of Ukraine to prevent further acts of Russian genocide against the Ukrainian people and supports tribunals and international criminal investigations to hold Russian political leaders and military personnel accountable.

Russia’s military kept up its relentless artillery bombardment of civilian-populated areas earlier on July 21 amid what Kyiv said were failed attempts by Russian forces to gain ground.

Ihor Terekhov, the mayor of Kharkiv, said one of the most densely populated areas of Ukraine’s second-largest city was being shelled, while the regional governor said two people had been killed and 19 wounded. Russia denies targeting civilians.

Russian forces also bombarded a residential area of Nikopol, a city south of Zaporizhzhya, killing at least two civilians and wounding at nine others overnight, including several children.

The head of the military administration of the eastern Donetsk region, Pavlo Kyrylenko, urged people to evacuate, saying Russian forces had destroyed schools in Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka and shelled the industrial part of Kramatorsk and central Bakhmut.

The mayor of the southern city of Mykolayiv said the city had been targeted again on the evening of July 21 after being shelled earlier in the day, injuring one person and damaging infrastructure, energy facilities, and storage areas. He said 13 residential buildings in the city center were damaged by the shock wave and debris caused by the evening shelling.

Ukraine’s armed forces said earlier that they engaged Russian troops in the south and east of the country, killing more than 100 enemy combatants.

The Ukrainian military also reported heavy Russian shelling on the front line in the east amid what they said were largely failed attempts by Russian ground forces to advance.

The Russian-installed administration in the partially occupied Ukrainian region of Zaporizhzhya said Ukraine had conducted a drone strike on a nuclear power station there, but the reactor was not damaged.

The reports could not be independently verified.

British military intelligence meanwhile said on July 21 that Russian forces and Moscow-backed separatists continue to attempt small scale assaults along the front line in the east.

Russian forces are likely closing in on Ukraine’s second biggest power plant at Vuhlehyrska, some 50 kilometers northeast of Donetsk, as Moscow appears to be prioritizing the capture of critical national infrastructure, British intelligence said in its daily bulletin.

In Kyiv, the prosecutor-general’s office reported that law enforcement officers uncovered an illegal scheme to help Ukrainian citizens of military age get out of the country.

A 34-year-old resident of the Kyiv region was behind the scheme, which offered to organize unimpeded crossings for a price of 1,600 euros, the press service of the prosecutor-general’s office said. The man was arrested while meeting with a “client,” who paid him $800.

He planned to cross the border based on documents about studies at institutions in Poland. Zelenskiy barred men aged 18 to 60 from leaving the country shortly after the war began.

RFE RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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