The Russian military operation in Ukraine continues today, Friday, as Russian army units are trying to extend control over Ukrainian regions, while Kiev continues to try to regain its territory with the support of the West.
In the latest developments on the ground, Ukrainian authorities said a series of explosions rocked the cities of Kharkiv and Zaporizhia on Friday after Russian forces stepped up their missile attacks on Ukraine in recent weeks, targeting power supply systems.
The rockets hit an industrial facility in the city, said Ihor Terekhov, mayor of Kharkiv, adding that rescuers have not yet assessed the extent of the damage or confirmed any casualties. Meanwhile, Ole Senegubov, the governor of the Kharkiv region, said five people were injured.
Information about the explosions in Zaporizhia was provided by the governor of the region, Oleksandr Starukh. No further details could be obtained.
Pro-Russian authorities in Kherson also reported that 4 people were killed by Ukrainian bombing of the province.
Ukraine, whose infrastructure has been bombed and is facing Russian forces in the south and east, expressed concern Thursday about the possibility of opening a new front in northern Belarus.
In a long-distance speech before the European Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia, which has suffered defeats on the front since September, of having transformed the Ukrainian electricity grid in a “battlefield”, targeting with air strikes to paralyze the country with the arrival of winter.
Zelensky called on European countries to provide Kiev with more advanced air defenses and impose cheaper sanctions on Moscow.
On Thursday evening, the Ukrainian president accused the Russians of digging a dam in a hydroelectric power plant in the Kherson region of southern Ukraine controlled by Moscow forces.
On Thursday, the Ukrainian military expressed fears that Moscow could open a new front in northern Belarus, which could threaten western arms transfer routes.
In this context, Zelensky stressed to the European Council that the Ukrainian proposal to send an international monitoring mission to the border between Ukraine and Belarus “is becoming more important every day”.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Ukraine’s Western allies focused their efforts on alleged Iranian-supplied arms shipments to Russia and adopted a sanctions package against Tehran.
But Russia has again described its accusation of using Iranian drones as “fantastic hypotheses”.
On Wednesday, Zelensky announced that his army had destroyed 233 of these Iranian drones during the month.
After several waves of Russian strikes on its infrastructure, Ukraine restricted the supply of electricity to residents and businesses on Thursday. in particular in Kiev.
In the Ukrainian capital, Mayor Vitali Klitschko urged companies, shops, cafes and restaurants to “save as much as possible” on lighting and light advertising.
In several other regions, local authorities urged residents to cut back on their consumption after Russia destroyed 30% of Ukrainian power plants in a week, according to data announced by Zelensky on Tuesday.
In southern Ukraine, the Russian administration of the Kherson region confirmed that the evacuation of civilians had begun and on Thursday included the transfer of 15,000 people fromarea recently annexed to Moscow.
Intends to transfer “between 50 thousand and 60 thousand” in a few days on the other side of the Dnieper.
The head of the pro-Russian municipal authorities, Vladimir Saldo, said that the city of Kherson would be evacuated in light of the advance of Ukrainian forces.
Putin visited a training center for mobilized soldiers in the Ryazan region, southeast of Moscow, on Thursday, according to a video clip broadcast on Russian television.
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