Russian forces attack the Donetsk region of Ukraine

KIEV—Ukrainian forces have reported massive offensives by Russian forces and attempted advances on several towns in the eastern Donetsk region that have been the main focus of the nearly six-month war, but the offensive has continued. claimed to have repulsed many.

The Ukrainian Army Chief of Staff also reported that Russian forces had shelled more than a dozen towns on the Southern Front. The Kherson region in particular is mainly controlled by Russian forces, although Ukrainian forces occupy the territory.

Much attention has been focused on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, amid fears of catastrophe from the recent new shelling that Russia and Ukraine have blamed on each other.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a demilitarized zone.

The Zaporizhia plant occupies the southern bank of the vast reservoir of the Dnipro River. Ukrainian forces controlling towns and cities on the opposite bank come under heavy artillery fire from the Russian-held side.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which inspects nuclear power plants, has warned that unless the fighting is over, there will be a nuclear disaster. Nuclear experts fear the fighting could damage factories’ spent fuel pools and reactors.

Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant
Soldiers with Russian flags in their uniforms stand guard near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhia region, Ukraine, August 4, 2022. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

fight east and south

For several weeks, Kyiv has been planning a counteroffensive to recapture Zaporizhia and the neighboring Kherson province, the largest part of the territory Russia occupied and still holds after the February 24 invasion. claims.

The Ukrainian military command said early Sunday that since 2014, attacks by Russian soldiers on Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka, one of the Ukrainian military outposts near Donetsk, have continued to fail. rice field.

Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zdanov said the situation was particularly difficult in neighboring towns such as Avdiuka and Pisky.

“Our artillery forces are inadequate and our troops are calling for more support to defend Piski,” he said in a video posted online. It’s basically under Ukrainian control.”

Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield testimony.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have soured over the conflict, and Russia has warned it could cut ties.

North Korean state media reported on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin told Kim Jong-un that the two countries would expand their relations “inclusive and constructive”.

In July, North Korea recognized the breakaway “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk, backed by Russia, as independent states.

Ukraine immediately cut ties with North Korea over the move.

grain ship

Amid the fighting, more ships carrying Ukrainian grain departed or were ready to depart as part of a deal struck late last month to ease the global food crisis.

The first shipment to Ethiopia since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was preparing to leave in the next few days.

Natalia Zinnetz