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Ukraine news: Intense fighting, shelling of towns

KYIV, Ukraine –

Villages and towns in Ukraine saw more fighting and heavy shelling on Wednesday as tense Ukrainian and Russian forces advanced on different fronts after more than eight-and-a-half months of war .

At least nine civilians were killed and 24 others injured in 24 hours, the Ukrainian president’s office said. It accused Russia of using drones, missiles, heavy artillery and aircraft to attack eight areas in the southeastern part of the country.

Ukrainian and Russian forces also clashed overnight in Snihurivka, a town about 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of the southern city of Kherson. The Ukrainian military hopes to retake the Russian-occupied city, the only regional capital captured during the February 24 invasion of Moscow and the main target of an ongoing counter-attack.

Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Kremlin-appointed administration in the Kherson region, said in a Telegram post that Ukrainian troops had “gained a foothold” along a railway line north of Snihurivka. In a separate post, he claimed Russian forces repelled the Ukrainian advance.

The Kherson region is one of four Ukrainian provinces that Russian President Vladimir Putin illegally annexed and then put under martial law by Russia. The Russian army has concentrated most of its firepower to secure control of other regions – Luhansk, Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia.

Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reiterated that the return of all occupied territory is a condition for any peace talks with Russia. The Kremlin is unlikely to give up its internationally recognized claim to the areas annexed in September or Crimea that Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014.

The president’s office said Russia’s widespread attacks on Ukraine’s energy system continued. Two cities not far from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant were set on fire overnight. More than 20 residential buildings, industrial plants, gas pipelines and power lines were damaged in Nikopol, located across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Farther west, in the Dnipropetrovsk region, the Governor of Ukraine reported “major” strikes overnight with Iranian-made drones exploding, causing 4 energy company workers in the city of Dnipro. injured.

Governor Valentyn Reznichenko told Ukrainian TV channel: “Attacks on civilian infrastructure are war crimes.

In a related development, a senior Russian security official arrived in Iran for high-level talks late Tuesday, Russian media reported.

News of the trip of Nikolai Patrushev, the powerful secretary of Russia’s Security Council chaired by Putin, comes days after Tehran admitted that it had supplied Moscow with drones filled with explosives. exploded, after weeks of official refusal.

A Washington-based think tank linked Patrushev’s visit to discussions about the possible sale of Iran’s surface-to-surface ballistic missiles to Russia. The Institute for the Study of War said late Tuesday that the Kremlin was “continued its efforts to covertly acquire weapons for use in Ukraine, in order to minimize the impact of international sanctions and fill Russia’s dwindling domestic weapons stockpile.

The increasingly close military and political cooperation between Moscow and Tehran at the time of the war in Ukraine worried the United States and other Western powers.



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