Ukraine: Russian ‘formation’ at Makiivka defunct after attack
The Ukrainian army says it has attacked a Russian “formation” in the Russian-controlled eastern Ukrainian city of Makiivka. “Due to the effective fire of units of the defense forces, another formation of Russian terrorists in temporarily occupied Makiivka ceased to exist,” the Ukrainian army said on Telegram on Tuesday evening.
She also released a video showing a powerful explosion lighting up the night sky and revealing the outline of at least one building. The Ukrainian army did not provide any further information about the attack.
Selenskyj warns of an attack on nuclear power plants
Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of an allegedly imminent attack on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. “We now have information from our secret service that the Russian military has placed objects resembling explosives on the roofs of several reactor blocks of the Zaporizhia NPP,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his daily video address on Tuesday evening. An attack on the power plant could possibly be simulated and Ukraine accused of being the mastermind. Zelenskyj called for international pressure on Russia to prevent this. Moscow, on the other hand, said the Ukrainian armed forces themselves were planning an attack on the nuclear power plant, which is close to the front.
“Unfortunately, there was no timely and widespread response to the terrorist attack on the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. And that can inspire the Kremlin to new evils,” said the Ukrainian leader. On June 6, an explosion destroyed the Kachowka Dam, causing huge masses of water to pour out of the adjacent reservoir and flood hundreds of towns and villages. The Ukrainian side is convinced that Russia deliberately blew up the structure that supplies cooling water to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. Many international experts also believe that this is likely, but Moscow denies it and in turn accuses Kiev of the crime.
Moscow and Kiev accuse each other of planned attacks on nuclear power plants
Even before Selenskyj’s video speech, both warring parties had overstated allegations in the evening. As early as Wednesday night, the Ukrainian armed forces would try to attack the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant with rockets and drones, Renat Karchaa, adviser to the head of the Russian atomic energy agency Rosenergoatom, claimed on state television on Tuesday. The Ukrainian General Staff, in turn, wrote in its daily situation report about alleged explosive devices on the roof of the nuclear power plant, the explosion of which was intended to give the impression of a shelling.
According to the situation report of the Ukrainian general staff, the explosive devices were attached to the roofs of the third and fourth reactor blocks, but were probably not intended to damage the reactors themselves. At the same time, the military leadership in Kiev emphasized that Ukraine would not violate the norms of international law.
Karchaa accused the Ukrainians of just such a violation. Accordingly, not only should the nuclear power plant be fired upon, but a bomb containing nuclear waste should also be dropped at the same time. The high-ranking Moscow official did not provide any evidence for the accusation, nor did the Ukrainian side. Although both warring parties repeatedly accuse each other of planned provocations around the power plant, the accusations have recently become increasingly severe. Rescue workers in the regions around the Ukrainian cities of Cherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia and Dnipro have recently been training for a possible nuclear emergency.
Russian troops have occupied the Zaporizhia power plant in southern Ukraine since March 2022. The huge complex came under fire several times during the fighting, fueling international concerns about a nuclear catastrophe. For safety reasons, the nuclear power plant has now been shut down. An observer mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency is on site.
Zelenskyy thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for his willingness to work to ensure the safety of the nuclear facility. The Ukrainian head of state said he spoke to Macron about the nuclear power plant, but also about arms deliveries and the upcoming NATO summit in Lithuania next week.
Putin: Still believe in Russian victory in the war against Ukraine
According to his own statements, Russian President Vladimir Putin remains convinced of Moscow’s victory in the war of aggression against Ukraine. “There is no doubt about it,” he said at a meeting with graduates of the College of Public Administration, according to the state news agency Tass on Tuesday. The Kremlin chief himself ordered the war of aggression against Ukraine in February 2022.
At the time, he stated that the war aims included protecting the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine and demilitarizing the neighboring country. In addition, for its own security, Russia must prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, according to Putin.
After more than 16 months of war, Russia still occupies large areas of Ukraine, but is far from achieving these war goals. After a series of defeats in the war and a recent mercenary uprising in his own country, Putin has recently been less open about whether he still believes in victory.
Dozens injured in attack on eastern Ukrainian city
According to local authorities, 25 people were injured by the impact of several projectiles in the city of Makiivka in eastern Ukraine, which is controlled by Russian troops. Two children were among the injured, said the Moscow-appointed head of the partly Russian-occupied Donetsk region, Denis Puschilin, on his Telegram channel on Wednesday night. “The blast was felt by the majority of residents of Makiivka and Donetsk.” According to Pushilin, houses, a hospital, schools and a kindergarten were damaged. According to Russian military blogs, Himar artillery rockets, which Ukraine received from the United States, were used for the shelling.
According to Ukrainian sources, the force of the explosion is due to the fact that the shelling hit a fuel or ammunition depot. The information provided by the warring parties cannot usually be verified independently.
What will be important on Wednesday
Ukraine continues its counter-offensive to liberate the territories occupied by Russia. The Russian military, in turn, is trying to prevent Ukrainian troops from breaking through the fortified front line. The situation around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant remains tense, where the warning of a planned attack initially did not seem to be confirmed.