Russia pounds major Ukrainian cities after expanding the purpose of the war

Kharkiv, Ukraine — Russian artillery bombardment in the densest areas of Ukraine’s second-largest city, killing at least three people and injuring at least 23 in barrages that hit mosques, medical facilities and shopping areas did. witness.

Police in the northeastern city of Kharkiv said cluster munitions struck the Barabashobo market. An Associated Press journalist saw a woman crying over her dead husband’s body. The bombardment also hit bus stops, gyms and homes, according to local officials.

The bombing came on Wednesday after Russia repeated plans to occupy territory beyond eastern Ukraine, which Russian troops had spent months conquering the Donbas region of Ukraine south of Kharkiv. It also followed this week’s Ukrainian attack on the bridge that the Russians used to supply their troops in the occupied territories near the country’s South Black Sea coast.

Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said the attack early Thursday targeted one of the city’s busiest areas, with a prewar population of about 1.4 million.

“Russian troops have randomly bombarded Kharkiv, a peaceful residential area, and civilians have been killed,” Telehoff said.

Cluster munition claims could not be confirmed independently. An AP journalist on the scene saw a car with burnout and a bus pierced by shrapnel.

Kharkiv Governor Oleh Syniehubov said the four were in serious condition and one of the injured in the bombardment was a child. He said Russian troops also bombarded the wheat fields and set them on fire.

Elsewhere, Russian troops bombarded the southern city of Mykolaiv and the eastern cities of Kramatorsk and Kostantinovka, destroying two schools, Ukrainian officials said. A man’s body was recovered from the rubble of a school in Kramatorsk, and rescuers say they were afraid that two more would be trapped there.

The scattered attacks represent the purpose of a broader war that goes beyond Russia’s previously declared focus on Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts in the Donbas region.

Russia Ukraine War
Ukrainian soldiers carry a US-supplied stinger as they travel along the roads of the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine on June 18, 2022. (Efrem Lukatsky / AP Photo)

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told state-owned RT Television and RIA Novosti News Agency on Wednesday that Russia plans to maintain control of more territories, including the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions of southern Ukraine. Moscow’s current strategy also envisions profits elsewhere, Lavrov said.

Ukrainian troops apparently attacked the main bridge on the Dniepuru River twice in a few days on Wednesday in an attempt to loosen Russia’s control over the southern region of Kherson. Ukrainian troops reported Thursday that Russian troops attempted to attack the Vrehilska power plant in the Donetsk region, but said “Ukrainian defenders have appealed to the enemy to flee.”

In other developments on Thursday:

— The operator of a major pipeline from Russia to Europe states that natural gas has begun to flow again after a 10-day outage for maintenance. However, the outlook was uncertain as the gas flow did not reach full capacity. The NordStream1 pipeline to Germany has been closed since July 11th due to annual maintenance. Pipelines are the main source of gas for Russia in Germany. German officials feared that the pipeline would not resume at all amid heightened tensions over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Turkish officials said an agreement on a UN program to block Ukraine’s grain exports and allow Russia to export grain and fertilizer would be signed in Istanbul on Friday. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office said he, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and Russian and Ukrainian officials would oversee the signing ceremony. Guterres has been working on a plan to enable the export of millions of tonnes of grain stockpiles stuck in the port of the Black Sea in Ukraine due to the war. The move has the potential to mitigate the global food crisis that has soared wheat and other grain prices. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment.

— The operator of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant states that Russian troops have placed explosives and weapons in parts of the Zaporizhya nuclear power plant, creating serious danger. Heavy weapons and explosives are located in a building that houses one of the six reactors at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, according to Energoatom. “Ironically, they continue to absolutely violate all norms and requirements regarding fire, nuclear and radiation safety,” the statement said.

—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow would consider increasing its natural gas supply to Hungary in response to a formal request from Budapest. He spoke after meeting with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó in Moscow. According to a Russian news agency, Szijjártó tried to get another 700 million cubic meters of gas from Russia this year.

— Russia has banned 39 representatives of Australian security agencies and defense companies from entering the country in response to sanctions imposed by Canberra earlier this year.

Associated Press