Ukrainian cities shelled, including city near nuclear power plant

Mykolaiv, a city in southern Ukraine, was shaken by powerful explosions on Thursday, and a city adjacent to the nation’s largest nuclear power plant took a barrage of shelling amid Russian strikes in various locations, according to Ukraine’s presidential office.

According to the office’s daily bulletin, nine areas of Ukraine have seen hostilities, resulting in at least four civilian deaths and 10 further injuries in the past 24 hours.

Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine controlled by separatists, was also shelled; according to Russian-backed local officials, six civilians were hurt and five were killed.

Two neighborhoods of Mykolaiv, which has been bombarded often in recent weeks, according to Kyiv, were hit.

According to reports, 60 rockets were launched by Russian forces at Nikopol in the district of Dnipropetrovsk. According to Ukrainian police, some 50 residential structures in the 107,000-person city were destroyed, and some missiles that hit power lines left the city’s citizens without energy.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, which was taken over by Russian forces early in the conflict, is situated across the Dnieper river from Nikopol.

According to experts at the Institute for the Study of War, Russia is purposefully bombarding the region, “placing Ukraine in a tough situation.”

The Institute’s most recent report stated that there are two options: “Either Ukraine returns fire, risking international condemnation and a nuclear incident (which Ukrainian forces are unlikely to do), or Ukrainian forces permit Russian forces to continue firing on Ukrainian positions from an effectively “safe zone.”

This week, the director of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency expressed concern about the state of affairs at the Zaporizhzhia facility.

According to Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian military targeted two Ukrainian ammunition dumps close to the town of Novoivanivka in the Zaporizhzhia area and a fuel depot close to the Zaporizhzhia train station on Thursday.

The second-largest city in Ukraine, Kharkiv, was receiving Russian artillery fire in the north, according to the presidential office. In the city, which has moreover frequently been targeted, several industrial sites were attacked. A five-story residential structure in Chuhuiv, a neighboring city, was struck by a missile.

Residential structures were being bombarded in all major cities in the eastern Donetsk area, where combat has been concentrated lately, and a school was damaged in the hamlet of Ocheretyne. Residents of the area are being evacuated as it struggles to survive without gas supplies and, to some extent, without power and water.

The center area of Donetsk was shelled on Thursday, according to separatist officials there with Russian support. A goodbye ceremony for a well-known separatist officer murdered just a few days before was being conducted next to the theater when the area was attacked.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s advisor Mykhailo Podolyak of Ukraine refuted any connection. He claimed that the bombardment was carried out by Russian or rebel troops without providing any supporting proof.

Both Russia and Ukraine have accused the other of shooting on areas that they control.

The Donetsk neighboring area of Luhansk has already been taken over by Russian military. Serhiy Haidai, the region’s Ukrainian governor, said on social media that “even essential mining employees are being seized” as locals are enlisted to fight against Kyiv’s soldiers.

Another mayor was apparently kidnapped by Russian forces in the nearly totally seized southern Kherson district after he allegedly refused to cooperate with them, according to Ukrainian officials.

Serhiy Lyakhno, the mayor of the hamlet of Hornostaivka, is reportedly being held captive as Russia deploys additional troops nearby in preparation for a Kyiv counteroffensive and a scheduled vote on the region’s incorporation into Russia.

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