Ukraine reports widespread shelling and air attacks by Russia on scores of towns and military bases, especially in the east where Moscow is trying to expand territory, as fighting rages on day 171.

Russian military continues to occupy Zaporizhzhia facility, Europe's largest nuclear power plant.
Russian military continues to occupy Zaporizhzhia facility, Europe's largest nuclear power plant. (AFP)

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Ukraine: Russians shooting at, or from nuclear plant being targeted

Ukraine is targeting Russian soldiers who shoot at an occupied nuclear plant in the south of the country or use it as a base to shoot from, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said.

Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over multiple recent incidents of shelling at the Zaporizhzhia facility, Europe's largest nuclear power plant. Russian troops captured the station early in the offensive.

"Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army," Zelenskyy said in an evening address.

Zelenskiy, who did not give any details, repeated accusations that Russia was using the plant as nuclear blackmail.

Civilians arrive in safer areas under Ukrainian army control

A large number of civilians who have been internally displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine are being evacuated from areas controlled by Russian forces and are travelling for days to reach safe facilities secured by the Ukrainian army.

An Anadolu Agency team has filmed dozens of civilian vehicles arriving at a reception centre near Zaporizhzhia in the country's southeastern region, which is partially controlled by Ukrainian forces.

Civilians were evacuated and provided safe corridors only after receiving special authorisation from Russian forces.

Ukraine warns of fresh 'provocations' near occupied nuclear plant

Ukraine's defence intelligence agency has warned of fresh Russian "provocations" at an occupied nuclear plant in southern Ukraine, while the exiled mayor of the town where the plant is located said it had come under fresh shelling.

Enerhodar mayor Dmytro Orlov, who evacuated to Kiev-controlled territory in April, wrote on Telegram that local residents had informed him of fresh Russian shelling in the direction of the town’s industrial zone and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on Saturday. It was not clear if any shells hit the grounds of the plant.

Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over multiple recent incidents of shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, while the G7 group of nations have called on Moscow to withdraw its forces from the power station.

Russia starts delivering extra gas to Hungary: Budapest

Hungary has said that Russia has started delivering additional gas to the EU member following a July visit to Moscow by its foreign minister.

Hungary's Foreign Ministry said trade negotiations with Moscow "led to an agreement", resulting in Russia's Gazprom starting to deliver "above the already contracted quantities" on Friday.

"It is the duty of the Hungarian government to ensure the country's safe supply of natural gas, and we are living up to it," ministry official Tamas Menczer said on his Facebook page.

Ukraine says 'fierce fighting' at village Russia said it controlled

Ukraine's military command has said that "fierce fighting" continued in Pisky, an eastern village which Russia had earlier in the day said it had full control over.

"The occupiers are trying to break through the defense of our troops in the directions of Oleksandropol, Krasnohorivka, Avdiivka, Maryinka and Pisky," Ukraine's general staff said in its nightly briefing note on Facebook.

"Fierce fighting continues," it added. 

Maltese-flagged ship with Ukrainian grain docks in Italy

A Maltese-flagged ship carrying 13,000 tons of corn arrived at a port in Italy, local media has reported.

The ship Rojen docked at the Port of Ravenna on the North Adriatic Sea late Friday after setting off from Ukraine’s Chornomorsk on August 5. The vessel is expected to continue offloading its cargo until August 16, according to Il Resto Del Carlino news website.

More ships carrying soybeans and crude sunflower oil from Ukraine are expected to arrive in Italy in the coming days. The ship was the first to arrive in Italy after the Ankara-brokered grain corridor agreement was signed between Türkiye, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations on July 22. 

Russia blocking access to medicines: Ukraine

Ukraine’s health minister has accused Russian authorities of committing a crime against humanity by blocking access to affordable medicines in areas their forces have occupied since attacking the country 5-1/2 months ago. 

Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko said Russian authorities repeatedly have blocked efforts to provide state-subsidised drugs to people in occupied cities, towns and villages. 

“Throughout the entire six months of war, Russia has not (allowed) proper humanitarian corridors so we could provide our own medicines to the patients that need them,” Liashko said, speaking at the Health Ministry in Kiev late Friday.

Two road bridges to Russian occupied territory out of use

The two primary road bridges giving access to the pocket of Russian-occupied territory on the west bank of the Dnipro in Kherson Oblast are now probably out of use for the purposes of substantial military resupply, British military intelligence has said.

Even if Russia manages to make significant repairs to the bridges, they will remain a key vulnerability, the UK's Ministry of Defence said. "Ground resupply for the several thousand Russian troops on the west bank is almost certainly reliant on just two pontoon ferry crossing points," the ministry said in an intelligence update.

With supply chain constrained, the size of any stockpiles Russia has managed to establish on the west bank is likely to be a key factor in the force’s endurance, according to the update. 

Russia claims full control of Pisky village in Ukraine's Donetsk region

Russian forces have taken full control of Pisky, a village on the outskirts in Ukraine's Donetsk region, Interfax cited the Russian defence ministry as saying.

Russian and pro-Russian forces had reported that they had taken full control of Pisky more than a week ago.

The ministry also said that Russian forces had destroyed a US-supplied HIMARS rocket system near Ukraine's Kramatorsk and a depot with ammunition for the system, Interfax reported.

Russia says ties could break over terror sponsor declaration by US

Russia has told the United States that bilateral diplomatic ties would be badly damaged and could even be broken off if Russia is declared a state sponsor of terrorism, Russian news agency Tass cited a top official as saying.

Alexander Darchiyev, head of the North American department at the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that if the US Senate succeeded in passing a law to single out Russia, this would mean Washington had crossed the point of no return, Tass said.

Zelenskyy: EU should ban rich Russians from entering

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has issued a fresh call for European Union states to ban visas for Russian nationals to keep the bloc from becoming a "supermarket" open to anyone with the means to enter.

Zelenskyy said his proposal did not apply to Russians who needed help for risking their freedom or their lives by resisting Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin's policies.

"There must be guarantees that Russian killers or accomplices of state terror not use Schengen visas," Zelenskyy said in an address, referring to visas granting the holder access to the border-free Schengen Area that spans several EU states.

For live updates from Friday (August 12), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies