Russian forces shell Ukraine’s Donetsk region

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  • Heavy Russian shelling around the Donetsk region – Ukrainian Army
  • Russians threatening Zaporizhzhia are “targets” -Zelenskiy
  • A humanitarian cargo must head for Ethiopia

KYIV, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces have reported heavy Russian shelling and attempted advances on several towns in the eastern region of Donetsk, which have become a key part of the nearly six-month war, but have said he repelled many attacks. .

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also reported the Russian bombardment of more than a dozen towns on the southern front – in particular the Kherson region, mainly controlled by Russian forces, but where Ukrainian troops regularly capture of the territory.

Much attention has been focused on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine amid fears of disaster following fresh bombings in recent days as Russia and Ukraine blame each other for other.

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for the creation of a demilitarized zone and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned Russian soldiers who fire on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant or use it as a base for shoot that they will become a “special target”. Ukrainian forces.

The Zaporizhzhia plant dominates the southern bank of a vast reservoir on the Dnipro River. Ukrainian forces controlling towns and villages on the opposite bank came under intense Russian bombardment. Read more

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which is seeking to inspect the plant, has warned of a nuclear disaster unless the fighting stops. Nuclear experts fear the fighting will damage spent fuel pools or reactors at the plant.

Zelenskiy said Ukraine has repeatedly offered different formats to Russian leaders for peace talks, with no progress.

“So we have to defend ourselves, we have to respond to every form of terror, to every bombardment – the ferocious bombardment that doesn’t stop for a single day,” he said in a video late Sunday.

FIGHT IN THE EAST, SOUTH

Kyiv has said for weeks that it is planning a counteroffensive to retake Zaporizhzhia and neighboring Kherson province, most of the territory Russia seized after its Feb. 24 invasion and still holds.

The Ukrainian military command said on Sunday morning that Russian soldiers had unsuccessfully continued to attack Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka, which since 2014 has become one of the outposts of Ukrainian forces near Donetsk. Read more

Ukrainian military expert Oleg Zhdanov said the situation was particularly difficult in Avdiivka and nearby towns, such as Pisky.

“We don’t have enough artillery power in place and our forces are asking for more support to defend Pisky,” he said in a video posted online. “But the city is basically under Ukrainian control.”

In the nearby Russian-occupied region of Luhansk, in the park under an abandoned, charred building, Lilia Ai-Talatini, 48, watched as her mother’s body was exhumed from a makeshift grave to be taken to a cemetery for a proper burial.

Ai-Talatini told Reuters it took him 10 days to reach his parents’ apartment, which was on the Russian side of the town of Rubizhne, during heavy fighting in March.

“Mother was already dying…her hands were blue, her complexion was sallow, there were dark circles under her eyes,” she said. “The next day, mom passed away.”

An official from the Lugansk People’s Republic, a small state created by pro-Moscow separatists, said a team had been working in Rubizhne for 10 days and had exhumed 104 sets of remains.

“Clearly shrapnel wounds predominate, but there are also gunshot wounds,” said Anna Soroka, estimating there were 500 unofficial graves in the city.

Reuters could not independently verify the Battlefield accounts.

Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” to demilitarize and “denazify” its smaller neighbor, while Ukraine and its Western allies view Moscow’s actions as a war of aggression.

The conflict has pushed Moscow-Washington relations to a low point, with Russia warning it could sever ties.

Having been largely isolated on the world diplomatic scene, Russia has won more sympathy from China, whose own ties with Washington have crumbled due to tensions over Taiwan. Read more

And on Monday, North Korean state media said Russian President Vladimir Putin had told leader Kim Jong Un that the two countries would expand their “comprehensive and constructive” relations. Read more

In July, North Korea recognized the breakaway Russian-backed “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, and officials raised the possibility that its workers could be sent there to help build and repair the country. other works.

Ukraine immediately severed ties with Pyongyang following the decision.

GRAIN VESSELS

Amid the fighting, more ships carrying Ukrainian grain have left or prepared to leave under a deal struck late last month to ease a global food crisis.

A shipment bound for Ethiopia, the first since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is set to leave in the coming days, while sources said the first grain ship to leave Ukraine in framework of a UN agreement was approaching Syria. Read more

“The world needs food from Ukraine,” Marianne Ward, deputy director of the World Food Programme, told reporters. “This is the start of what we hope will be normal operations for the world’s starving people.”

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Reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kyiv, Yoruk Isik and Ece Toksabay in Istanbul, Andrea Shalal in Yuzhne, Maya Gebeily in Beirut and Jonathan Saul in London, and Reuters bureaus; Written by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Simon Cameron-Moore

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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