Ukraine says fighting ‘at stalemate’ ahead of UN chief’s visit


  • UN chief to meet Zelenskiy in Lviv on Thursday
  • Seven dead in Kharkiv attack in Russia – emergency service
  • Ukrainian forces thwart Russian attack in Kherson

KYIV, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces said on Thursday they repelled a Russian attack in the southern Kherson region, while shelling by Kremlin forces in Kharkiv, northern Ukraine, killed seven people as the nearly six-month war continues with unabated fighting.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan later Thursday in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

They will discuss the search for a political solution to the conflict with Russia and address the threat to global food supplies and the risk of disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which has been taken over by Russian forces. Read more

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The war has driven millions, killed thousands and driven a geopolitical wedge between the West and Russia, which says the aim of its operation is to demilitarize its neighbor and protect Russian-speaking communities.

“Russian forces have made only minimal advances, and in some cases we have advanced since last month,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video. “What we see is a ‘strategic stalemate’.”

Russian shelling in a residential area of ​​Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, killed seven people and injured 16 on Wednesday night, the Ukrainian emergency service said.

“This is a sneaky and cynical strike against civilians without justification,” Zelenskiy said on the Telegram messaging app.

In the south, Ukrainian forces routed an attempted advance by Russian forces near the town of Bilohirka, northeast of Kherson, Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said.

The Southern District of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Operational Command said Ukrainian forces killed 29 “occupiers” and destroyed artillery, armored vehicles and a military supply depot.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm reports from the battlefield.

BLACK SEA FLEET CHIEF REPLACED

The United States, Albania, France, Ireland, Norway and Britain have asked the UN Security Council to meet on August 24 to discuss the impact of the war in Ukraine. , diplomats said, marking the sixth anniversary of the Russian invasion.

A series of explosions at military bases and ammunition depots last week in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014, suggested a shift in the conflict, with Ukraine apparently able to strike more deep in Russian-occupied territory.

Moscow blamed the saboteurs for the attacks, while Ukraine did not officially take responsibility but implied it.

Ukraine’s military intelligence said in a statement that after the recent explosions in Crimea, Russian forces urgently moved some of their planes and helicopters deeper into the peninsula and to airfields inside Russia. . Reuters could not independently verify the information.

On Wednesday, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted sources as saying its Black Sea Fleet commander, Igor Osipov, had been replaced by a new leader, Viktor Sokolov. Read more

If upheld, the move would mark one of the largest dismissals of a military official to date in a war in which Russia has suffered heavy losses in men and equipment.

The Black Sea Fleet, which has a revered history in Russia, has suffered several humiliations since President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “special military operation” – on February 24.

In April, Ukraine hit the Russian flagship, the Moskva, a huge cruiser, with Neptune missiles. It became the largest warship sunk in combat for 40 years.

MORE GRAIN VESSELS LEAVE

Crimea is the main supply route for Russian forces in southern Ukraine, where Kyiv is planning a counter-offensive in the coming weeks.

The Black Sea Fleet has also blockaded Ukrainian ports since the start of the war, trapping vital grain exports, which are only now starting to move, and sending global food prices skyrocketing. Read more

Three more vessels carrying exports left Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Wednesday, a watchdog group said, bringing to 24 the number of vessels due to leave Ukraine under a grain export deal brokered by the UN.

The government of Kyiv has said it hopes to increase the monthly volume of maritime exports to 3 million tonnes in the near future in order to clear a backlog of 18 million tonnes of grain remaining from last year’s harvest and to start to sell new crops.

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Reports from Reuters offices; Written by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Michael Perry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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