Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south, an IAEA mission for Zaporizhia | War in Ukraine

Ukrainian counter-offensive in the south, an IAEA mission for Zaporizhia | War in Ukraine

Last week, numerous shellings targeted the perimeter of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine.

< p class="e-p">A counter-offensive was launched in southern Ukraine by Kyiv forces which reported occasional successes, while the Russian army claimed to have pushed them back and inflicted “heavy casualties”. ”.

At the same time, a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was expected to secure the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, the largest in Europe, occupied since the beginning of March by the Russians and at the center of all tensions.

The Ukrainian counterattack is primarily aimed at retaking Kherson, a pre-war city of 280,000 that fell to the Russians at the start of the war, local officials said.

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“The Ukrainian armed forces have launched their offensive in several areas in the south. We urge residents of Kherson to follow security guidelines: stay close to shelters and away from Russian positions. »

— Yaroslav Yanuchevych, Head of Regional Administration

Today there were powerful artillery attacks on enemy positions […] throughout the territory of the occupied Kherson region. This is the announcement of what we have been waiting for since spring: it is the beginning of the end of the occupation of the Kherson region, located at the gates of Crimea annexed by Moscow in March 2014, for his part announced on Ukrainian television Serguiï Khlan, a local deputy.

He assured that the Ukrainian soldiers had the advantage on the southern front after repeated strikes in recent weeks on bridges and a dam on the Dnieper, the great river that crosses this part of Ukraine, intended to disrupt the logistics of Russian troops.

The Ukrainian military group Kakhovka meanwhile said it observed the retreat of a unit of pro-Russian separatist fighters from its positions in the region.

Russia for its part claimed to have repelled Ukrainian offensive attempts in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, also in southern Ukraine.

During the day […], Ukrainian troops attempted an offensive in three directions, in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions, the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that it failed miserably. failed and the Ukrainians suffered heavy casualties.

Spokeswoman for the Ukrainian army's Southern Command, Natalia Goumenyuk, had previously said that kyiv forces were attacking in many directions on this front in order to drive the Russians back to the left bank of the Dnieper.

All of this information was unverifiable from independent sources.

The Russian bombardments have also not ceased on the front line which extends from north to south.

Oleksandr Shulga looks at his destroyed house after a missile strike in Mykolaiv on August 29, 2022.

The local authorities mentioned in particular strikes in the regions of Kharkiv (north-east), Dnipro (center), where they killed one person, and Mykolaiv, where they left 2 dead and 24 wounded.

It was shaking and everyone ran out, Olga, a 40-year-old resident of Mykolaiv, told AFP after a missile and rocket fell in his neighborhood.

It happened in a second and, in a second, it was dark in the house, testified one of his neighbors, Oleksandre Tchoula, 66, whose wife had just been killed.

In the Kherson region, a former Ukrainian deputy who joined the Russian occupation forces, Alexei Kovalev, was shot dead in his home, according to Russian investigators.

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This is not a war of the regime of [Vladimir] Putin, it is a war of Russia against Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeated on Monday on the sidelines of the strategic forum in Bled in Slovenia.

The United States Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, has for his part indicated that he will once again welcome, on September 8 in Germany, his counterparts from the countries allies to organize Western support for Ukrainian military capabilities.

On the same day, the IAEA announced that it was sending a mission, led by its director general Rafael Grossi, to the central Zaporizhia, in southern Ukraine.

Expected Monday in kyiv by the Ukrainian authorities, she is due to visit these facilities later this week.

Mr. Grossi had been asking for several months to be able to go there, warning of the real risk of nuclear disaster after a series of bombings for which the two belligerents held each other responsible.

In a statement on Monday, the G7 countries, deeply concerned about the risks of a nuclear accident in Zaporizhia, called for full freedom of movement to be granted to international experts.

Russia must ensure safe and unhindered access to the IAEA team, a US official soon after claimed, for whom the safest option would be a controlled shutdown of the reactors .

In particular accused by Kiev of having positioned artillery pieces on the site of the power plant to shell the positions of its army, Russia on the same day deemed this inspection necessary, through the voice of the spokesperson for the Kremlin Dmitry Peskov.

Ukrainian operator Energoatom nevertheless claimed that Russian soldiers put pressure on the personnel of the plant to prevent them from revealing evidence of the crimes of the occupier.

Ukrainian sovereignty over this plant must not be disputed, underlined French President Emmanuel Macron.

The town hall of Zaporizhia said since August 23 has been distributing iodine tablets to the population within a radius of 50 km around the plant, to be taken in the event of a radiation alert.< /p>

On Monday, the inhabitants of the city were preparing for the worst.

You know, we experienced the Tche accident rnobyl, the threat was already very great, but we survived, thank God. Today, the threat is total, 100%, commented Kateryna, a retiree.

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