War in Ukraine: Elite Ukrainian unit apparently engaged in counter-offensive

Russia: Ukrainian elite unit involved in offensive

Friday, June 9, 7:05 a.m.: According to a Russian commander, an elite Ukrainian unit is involved in the ongoing counter-offensive. According to the commander of the Russian 58th unit, the 47th brigade of Ukraine entered the fighting. According to Oliver Carroll, a journalist with The Economist, the 47th brigade is one of the best equipped with western materiel brigades at Ukraine’s disposal.

Dam burst: Selenskyj chairs crisis meeting on drinking water supply

11:55 p.m.: President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held an emergency meeting on drinking water supply in the Dnipropetrovsk region after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam. There are problems with the water supply in the cities of Kryvyi Rih, Marganets, Pokrov and Nikopol, reported the military governor of the region, Serhiy Lysak, according to a statement from the presidential office. The Minister of Development and Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov presented a project for the construction of a new reservoir, which should be at least partially on the territory of the existing one.

The Kachowka Dam was destroyed on Tuesday night. As a result, huge amounts of water flowed into the lower reaches of the Dnipro, which burst its banks and flooded large areas of southern Ukraine. At the same time, the level in the actual reservoir dropped dramatically. According to the authorities, the drinking water supply in the adjacent regions is at risk.

According to the Office of the President, the meeting also dealt with the construction of new water pipes in the Dnepropetrovsk region, which are to replace the old ones from the Kakhovka reservoir. At a previous meeting with environmental activists, Zelenskyy put the number of people potentially affected by drinking water shortages in Ukraine at “hundreds of thousands”.

Water level in Kachowka reservoir falls below critical mark

9:12 p.m.: “The level is already 12.50 meters, which is below the dead point of 12.70 meters,” said the head of the hydroelectric power plant operator Ukrhidroenergo, Ihor Syrota, on Ukrainian television on Thursday. This means that no more water can be taken to supply drinking water to the surrounding villages and to cool the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant on the south bank of the Kakhovka reservoir.

According to Syrota, the water level in the reservoir falls by about a meter every day. He estimates that this trend will continue for another week. If the dam is destroyed to the core, the level could drop to up to 3 meters. This means that the Dnipro will return to its original riverbed before it was dammed.

The Kachowka Dam was built in the 1950s. The building was destroyed on Tuesday night, and Ukraine and the West blame Russia for it. Moscow denies this and blames Kiev. The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is located on the south bank of the reservoir, but is not affected by the floods. The lowering of the water level there will of course make the cooling of the decommissioned reactors more complicated in the future. There is no acute danger yet, because the nuclear plant has artificially created cooling ponds.

Recordings show German Leopard 2 tanks in the Ukrainian offensive for the first time

3:22 p.m.: The supplied Leopard 2 tanks are intended to provide important support for the major Ukrainian offensive. Now pictures show for the first time that the German battle tanks are in action. As the “Bild” newspaper reported, Russian drone footage was published in the Messenger service Telegram, which shows exactly this.

Ukrainian units are to return to the front south of the city of Orikhiv (between Zaporizhia and Mariupol in the south-east of the country). The formation is led by two Leopard 2A4 tanks. According to “Bild”, there are also British and US combat vehicles in the column.

There is no confirmation of the information from the “Bild” newspaper from the Ukrainian side. The course of the major offensive is top secret. There is an information blackout. However, there were reports from Russian sources that Ukraine had massively shelled nearby sectors of the front in the Zaporizhia region.

Destroyed dam in southern Ukraine: Russian occupiers report five dead

12:00 p.m.: As a result of the devastating floods after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam, several people lost their lives in the Russian-occupied part of the southern Ukrainian region of Cherson. The chief of occupation of the particularly affected city of Nowa Kakhovka, Vladimir Leontyev, spoke of five deaths on Russian state television on Thursday morning. In addition, more than 40 people were injured. These numbers could not be verified independently. For days, the Ukrainians have been warning of the high number of casualties on the occupied side of the Dnipro River and accuse the Russians of not doing enough to evacuate civilians.

The dam in the city of Nowa Kachowka, which was occupied by Russian troops, was destroyed on Tuesday night. Since then, huge amounts of water have flowed out of the reservoir, and numerous places have been flooded. Like many international observers, Ukraine blames Russia for the disaster. The government of the attacked country is convinced that Moscow had the dam blown up in order to hinder the planned Ukrainian counter-offensive. Moscow denies the allegations and blames Kiev.

Cooling water is pumped from the reservoir at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

10.55 a.m.: At the Ukrainian Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, work is being done at full speed to fill up the cooling water reserves. This is necessary if, as a result of the destruction of the Kachowka dam and the outflow of huge amounts of water, it will soon no longer be possible to pump water from the reservoir behind it, said the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, on Wednesday evening. The Russian-occupied power plant is located at the northern end of the reservoir.

According to him, the lowering of the water level had slowed down slightly on Wednesday. If the level drops below 12.7 meters, no more water can be pumped onto the power plant site. Grossi did not rule out that the level could drop below this mark within a few days. Therefore, as long as it is still possible, water is pumped continuously from the reservoir into collection basins on the site. When these pools are full, there will be enough water to cool the six reactors for several months. Although the reactors are shut down, they still need cooling water.

According to Grossi, he wants to travel to Zaporizhia himself next week to get an idea of ​​the situation there. The IAEA wants to strengthen its team in Zaporizhia.

Russian bloggers write about heavy Ukrainian attacks in the night

10.35 a.m.: According to British intelligence experts, heavy fighting is still going on in several sectors of the front in Ukraine. The Ukrainians retained the initiative in most areas, the Defense Ministry’s daily intelligence report on the war in Ukraine said in London on Thursday. The Russian troops were probably ordered to attack as soon as possible. Chechen units made an unsuccessful attempt to take the town of Mariivka near the city of Donetsk.

In addition, reports by Russian military correspondents about ground attacks with tanks by the Ukrainian army, which are taking place in the Zaporizhia region in particular, are increasing. The Telegram channel “Sladkov+” writes: “The offensive has begun. We have numbers. I wish the men in the trenches steadfastness. We don’t sleep.” The channel “Zapiski Veterana” says that “there hasn’t been such a movement at the front for a long time”. “Now it’s happening.”

According to “Operazija Z”, the Russian positions were shelled for hours during the night. Ukraine was able to achieve at least partial success and climb a hill. However, most bloggers continue to believe that these are just Ukrainian test attacks.

Zelenskyj visits flood area in southern Ukraine

Thursday, June 08, 10:32 a.m.: A few days after the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy traveled to the flooded region. In the Cherson region, among other things, he got an idea of ​​the ongoing evacuations, Zelenskyj announced on Thursday via his official Telegram channel.

Security expert: “Russia has no more options militarily”

8:34 p.m.: Security expert Christian Mölling from the German Council on Foreign Relations sees the alleged blowing up of the Kachowka dam in southern Ukraine as evidence of Russia’s military weakness. In the “RTL Direkt” program, Mölling said on Wednesday evening (pre-recording): “We simply have to state that Russia obviously has no more options militarily and (…) is digging into the box that is actually prohibited by international humanitarian law . (…) You obviously accept considerable damage and basically leave scorched earth behind in order to possibly have a short-term military advantage,” said the deputy director of the German Society for Foreign Relations (DGAP). He considers it “relatively unlikely” that the dam broke due to “material fatigue”, as well as one of Kiev’s motives.

When asked what the consequences of the flooding in the Cherson region would be for the Ukrainian counter-offensive, Mölling said in an interview with RTL presenter Pinar Atalay: “We are seeing an increase in Ukraine’s military activities. It can therefore be assumed that this will continue step by step. But there will be no wild howls of battle.” There will be “no offensive that starts with a trumpet blast at five in the morning.”

Mölling called the rupture of the dam a “huge humanitarian and environmental disaster”. It can be assumed that “the full extent of such drama will only actually become visible in the next few days and weeks,” Mölling continued.

Ukraine launches major offensive near Zaporizhia

5:16 p.m.: Ukraine has apparently launched a major attack in the Zaporizhia area. This is reported by several war observers on Twitter. Accordingly, there is fierce fighting at the front. More detailed information is not known.

“A window is now opening for us,” says the Russian crew chief after the flood

12.30 p.m.: The Russian occupation chief in the southern Ukrainian region of Cherson, Vladimir Saldo, sees a military advantage for his own army after the destruction of the dam. “From a military point of view, the operational and tactical situation has developed in favor of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation,” Saldo said on Russian state television on Wednesday in view of the devastating floods that the dam rupture triggered in the region. “You can’t do anything,” is his view of the Ukrainian troops who are planning a counter-offensive to liberate the occupied territories.

With the Dnipro River swollen many times its actual size, Saldo said: “For our armed forces, on the other hand, a window is now opening: we will see who and how will try to cross the water surface.”

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