KIYV | Russian shelling killed at least 14 civilians overnight Tuesday-Wednesday in central-eastern Ukraine, local authorities say, not far from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant that Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other of having bombarded.
And in the east of the country, six people were killed on Wednesday by Russian strikes on the town of Bakhmout, located near the front, according to the local governor.< /p>
During the night, a night attack in the Dnipropetrovsk region, neighboring that of the power plant, left 13 dead and 11 injured, including five in serious condition, in this relatively safe area where civilians from Donbass are evacuated, further to east, in the heart of the Russian offensive with south-eastern Ukraine.
“We had a horrible night (…) It is very hard to get the body from under the rubble”, testified on Telegram the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentin Reznitchenkoa. “I beg of you, go to safe places during the air raids (…) Don't let the Russians kill you,” he urged.
This Russian attack, carried out with Grad multiple rocket launchers, targeted the town of Marganets, located opposite the nuclear power plant, on the other bank of the Dnieper River, and the village of Vychtchetarassivka, according to the governor.
“Eighty rockets were deliberately and insidiously fired at residential neighborhoods as people slept in their homes,” he said.
“Region in danger”< /strong>
Elsewhere, in the neighboring region of Zaporizhia, partly controlled by Russian forces, Oleksandr Staroukh, the Ukrainian governor, reported a Russian strike that killed a 52-year-old resident. “Four missiles were fired” at the village of Kouchougoum on Wednesday morning, he wrote on Telegram.
“Four private houses were completely destroyed. Several dozen houses no longer have roofs or windows. The supply of gas and electricity has been interrupted,” he added.
On Wednesday, the group of the most industrialized countries of the G7 reacted to the situation near the Zaporizhia power plant, the largest in Europe, accusing Moscow of “endangering” the surrounding region.
“We demand that Russia immediately return full control of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant to its rightful sovereign owner, Ukraine,” the G7 wrote in a statement. “It is Russia’s continued control of the plant that puts the region at risk.”
The Ukrainian plant, occupied by the Russians, is a subject of mutual accusations between Moscow and Kyiv, which each claim that the opposing camp bombed the nuclear installations last week, without any independent source being able to confirm it.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky raised the specter of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986.
On Tuesday evening, the Ukrainian operator Energoatom said that Russian forces were preparing to connect the plant to Crimea, a peninsula in southern Ukraine annexed by Moscow in 2014, and deliberately damaging it by carrying out this reorientation of electrical production.
The bombardments also continued on Wednesday in the Donbass, in the Donetsk region, where the town of Soledar was pounded relentlessly. Russian forces are currently trying to drive the Ukrainian army out of it in order to advance towards the nearby, larger town of Bakhmout.
At midday, it was hit by Russian strikes that left six dead and three injured, according to regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko. “The Russians shelled the city with multiple rocket launchers, hitting a residential area. According to initial information, 12 apartment buildings have been damaged and four are on fire,” he wrote on Telegram.
According to the British Ministry of Defence, “over the past 30 days, the Russian assault on the city of Bakhmout was its best axis of advance in the Donbass, but during this period it managed to advance only 10 km”.
“In other areas of Donbass where Russia was trying to break through, its forces did not gain more than 3 km over this 30-day period, most certainly significantly less than expected,” the same source said.
In Soledar, a mining town of about 10,000 inhabitants before the war, only a handful of them ventured into the streets full of craters, lined with closed or destroyed shops and buildings with shattered windows. noted an AFP journalist.
Artillery fire and airstrikes raised black and white smoke over the city.
“Most people have left. It's frightening. There are a lot of shots, we don't know from which camp,” testified a 62-year-old woman, Svitlana Klymenko. “I just want to leave, to age normally, to die normally, not to be killed by a missile.”
< img class="aligncenter" src="/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/d0be95f6b0d52958e194045ef628d5b5.jpg" alt="Ukraine: deadly Russian shelling around Zaporizhia power plant" />
Cereal delivery canceled
Meanwhile, the sale to Lebanon of the first shipment of cereals exported by Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24 has been canceled due to a delay in delivery, the Ukrainian Embassy told Beirut.
The freighter Razoni, which left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on August 1 with 26,000 tonnes of corn on board, should have docked in Tripoli, Lebanon on Sunday.
Russia and Ukraine signed two separate agreements on July 22, validated by Turkey and the United Nations, to allow exports of Ukrainian cereals blocked by the war and those – despite Western sanctions – of agricultural products Russians.
Under this agreement, “12 ships have already left Ukrainian ports with agricultural products destined for seven countries, and two other ships have docked for loading”, the last in Chornomorsk where he must ship 30,000 tons of corn, said Wednesday Oleksiy Vostrikov, the head of the Port Authority of Ukraine, on Facebook.
“The next step is the transshipment of three million tonnes – or more – of grain at the rate of a hundred ships per month,” he said. specified.