Ukrainian troops strengthen their positions in the south, carrying out two deadly raids on the supply lines of the Russian military that have occupied the Kherson region since the beginning of the war. “They can’t do anything about it on the battlefield,” says the president Volodymyr Zelensky. But Moscow replies that massive military aid from the West to Kiev will not be able to prevent a Russian victory, and meanwhile herald new, albeit limited, successes on the eastern Donbass front.
In the meantime, as has been happening for several days, the two sides exchange accusations of carrying out bombings near the nuclear power plant in the region of Zaporizhzhia, controlled by the Russians. A member of the pro-Russian local government, Vladimir Rogov, said Ukrainians have resumed hitting the city of Energodar, and rockets have also fallen along the Dnieper bank, where the plant is located. Kiev claims that it is the Russians who carry out the bombing, and the intelligence services of the Ministry of Defense accuse the Russians of planning an action against the site under false Ukrainian banners.
Kiev forces announce that they have hit and put a second bridge over the Dnieper is out of order, on the Nova Kakhovka dam, used by the Russians to supply their troops in the Kherson region, which they have controlled since the first days of the war. The raid follows what struck the Antonivsky bridge last month using US-supplied Himars missiles. Thus, British military intelligence points out in its daily bulletin, the two main supply arteries for invading forces “are now probably out of order”. What enables the Ukrainians to continue their counter-offensive in the region more effectively.
The Kiev commands claim to have succeeded in repelling several new attempts by the Russians to advance into the eastern Donbass region. But of the opposite sign are the Russian military bulletins, according to which the joint Russian forces and the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk have wrested the village of Piski from Ukrainian control and destroyed a Himars missile system. The spokesman for the Moscow Defense Minister, Igor Konahenkovhe added that Russian bombing killed 70 Ukrainian soldiers in the Gavrilovka area, in the north-eastern Kharkiv region, and about 270 in two locations in the Donetsk region.
“The multi-billion dollar injections of military aid for Ukraine do not have a substantial impact on the pace of our special operation. Its objectives and tasks will be fulfilled,” said the director of the North America department of the Russian foreign ministry. Alexander Darchiev. The diplomat accused Washington of “waging war on Russia down to the last Ukrainian”.
But that doesn’t stop the two powers from talking to each other. Darchiev himself has indeed confirmed that the US and Russia continue to negotiate an exchange of prisoners. Moscow should free the basketball player Brittney Grinerand possibly former Marine Paul Whelan, in exchange for the notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, nicknamed the ‘merchant of death’. Bout was arrested in Thailand in 2008 and is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.