Ukraine speaks of a difficult situation in the south of the country, but also successes through air strikes. Moscow confirms new missile and artillery strikes in east. Also in the south, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is caught in the crossfire - Kyiv and Moscow again blame each other for the shelling. Dozens of countries are now demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from the nuclear power plant site. The 172nd day of the war at a glance.
Ukraine sees successes in southern Ukraine - difficult situation
The situation continued to be particularly tense in southern Ukraine in the Cherson region and in the neighboring Zaporizhia region, where Kiev's troops are attempting to recapture towns. The General Staff in Kyiv spoke of a difficult situation. However, there have also been successful airstrikes against the Russian army.
In the south, however, the Ukrainian military has repeatedly managed to strike at the "Russian occupiers," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his daily video message on Saturday evening. For example, the car bridge of the Nowa Kakhovka dam in the Cherson region was no longer passable after several attacks. On top of that, the last of the only three river crossings across the Dnipro had now been destroyed. This is intended to prevent the supply of parts of the Russian army.
Russia shells dozens of towns
Russia says it fired at targets in dozens of towns in eastern Ukraine in new rocket and artillery attacks. The attacks were concentrated on the Donetsk region, in the neighboring region of Kharkiv the village of Udy had been taken, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced in Moscow.
The Ukrainian general staff in Kyiv also reported massive attacks in the east: in the Donetsk region, an attempt by the enemy to break through the defensive line to Sloviansk was repelled. The situation is largely unchanged, it said in Kyiv. The Russian military said it had set fire to and destroyed a fuel depot near Sloviansk.
According to Zelenskyy, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains difficult, but without major changes. The Kharkiv region in particular is repeatedly attacked, but the defense is holding up, he said in a video speech distributed on Saturday evening. Meanwhile, Russia has deployed "colossal resources" in terms of artillery, personnel and equipment in the Donbass.
Kadyrov sends new troops to Ukraine
In the Russian republic of Chechnya in the North Caucasus, head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov said he had sent new troops with “volunteers” to fight in Ukraine. In a video supposedly showing units at the airport in the Chechen capital Grozny, the uniformed men were sworn to "annihilate" Ukrainian nationalists. These recordings cannot be checked independently.
Artillery shells fell again in the Ukrainian city of Enerhodar at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Russian and Ukrainian sources said. Both sides blamed the other for the shelling. It was unanimously reported that a civilian had been killed. "Ukrainian nationalists fired rockets at a residential area of Enerhodar," the Russian occupation administration said, according to the TASS agency.
The Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyj also raised serious allegations against Russia in his video speech. The "occupiers" used the Zaporizhia NPP for "blackmail" by spreading fear "in an extremely cynical way," the president said. Russian troops "hide" behind the nuclear power plant to shell the Ukrainian-controlled cities of Nikopol and Marhanets. The Ukrainian mayor of Enerhodar warns that the situation at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe will continue to deteriorate. The risk "is growing every day," according to Dmytro Orlov.
West demands withdrawal of Russian troops from nuclear power plants
Meanwhile, 42 states and the EU demanded the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. "The stationing of Russian military and weapons at the nuclear facility is unacceptable," it said in a statement. Russia is violating the safety principles to which all member countries of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have committed. Control of the nuclear power plant must be handed over to the authorized Ukrainian authorities. The demand was made on behalf of the EU and all of its member countries. The USA, Great Britain, Norway, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and other countries also signed.
Russia, on the other hand, sees the United Nations' turn in the struggle for the safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. The task of the UN secretariat is "to give the green light for a visit to the nuclear power plant by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)," said Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov in an interview with the Russian state news agency TASS.
First grain freighter under contract for the UN
The first grain freighter on behalf of the United Nations left the southern Ukrainian port of Pivdennyj with wheat for Africa. This was announced by the governor of Odessa region Maxim Marchenko on Telegram. The UN's World Food Program (WFP) has chartered the freighter "Brave Commander". According to the UN, the cargo of 23,000 tons of wheat is destined for Ethiopia.
In his video message, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy described the transport of Ukrainian grain and foodstuffs via the Black Sea ports as good news. Meanwhile, 16 ships with corn, wheat, soybean, sunflower oil and other products have left to ease the situation on the global food market. The proceeds from the sale would benefit the state and the farmers, who could now sow the new seeds, Zelenskyj said. "It's an important element on the road to victory," he said.
Scholz embarks on visits to Norway and Sweden
Chancellor Olaf Scholz will embark on a two-day trip to the Scandinavian kingdoms of Norway and Sweden on Monday. In Norway's capital Oslo he wants to take part in the meeting of the Nordic prime ministers on Monday and hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Störe. Among other things, the security of Northern Europe after the Russian attack on Ukraine and energy issues will be discussed.
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