Volodymyr Zelenskiy warns of attainable ‘vicious’ Russian assault forward of Ukraine independence day | Ukraine

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President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned Ukrainians to be vigilant in the approaching week as they put together to have a good time their Independence Day, as contemporary blasts hit Crimea and a missile wounded 12 civilians close to a nuclear energy plant.

In his nightly video handle, Zelenskiy on Saturday mentioned Ukrainians should not enable Moscow to “unfold despondency and worry” amongst them as they mark the thirty first anniversary of independence from Soviet rule.

“We should all remember that this week Russia might strive to do one thing notably ugly, one thing notably vicious,” Zelenskiy mentioned forward of the anniversary on 24 August, which additionally marks six months since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started.

Stress can be working excessive in Ukraine’s second largest metropolis, Kharkiv, the place the curfew will probably be prolonged for your complete day on Wednesday, regional governor Oleh Synehub mentioned on Saturday. The north-eastern metropolis is repeatedly hit by Russian shelling and usually has a curfew from 10pm to 6am however additional precautions had been required on independence day.

Additionally on Saturday, a Russian missile hit a residential space of a southern Ukrainian city not removed from a nuclear energy station, wounding 12 civilians, Russian and Ukrainian officers mentioned.

That strike on the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear station and contemporary shelling close to the Zaporizhzhia station, Europe’s largest such facility, prompted new fears of a nuclear accident in the course of the battle, Ukrainian officers mentioned.

Zelenskiy in his handle additionally referred obliquely to a sequence of explosions in current days in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory seized and annexed by Russia throughout a 2014 incursion.

Ukraine has not claimed duty for the assaults, however analysts have mentioned not less than some have been made attainable by new tools utilized by Ukrainian forces.

“You’ll be able to actually really feel Crimea within the air this yr, that the occupation there is simply short-term and that Ukraine is coming again,” Zelenskiy mentioned.

In the most recent assault in Crimea, the Russian-appointed governor – who is just not recognised by Ukraine or western governments – mentioned a drone had struck a constructing close to the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet on Saturday morning.

Video shared on Twitter appeared to indicate Russian air defences making an attempt to destroy the UAV and darkish plumes of smoke rising from town.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, Sevastopol’s governor, wrote on Telegram {that a} drone had hit the roof of the headquarters on Saturday and mentioned there have been no casualties, stories the Russian information company Tass.

“I’m on the [Black Sea] fleet’s headquarters now. A drone hit the roof right here 25 minutes in the past. Sadly, it was not downed … There aren’t any casualties,” he wrote.

Afterward Saturday, Crimea’s governor, Sergei Aksyonov, contradicted the sooner assertion by saying on Telegram that native air defences shot down the drone above the Black Sea fleet headquarters in Sevastopol.

“Air protection methods efficiently hit all targets over the territory over Crimea on Saturday morning. There aren’t any casualties or materials harm,” his boss, Sergei Aksyonov, mentioned on Telegram.

Authorities in Sevastopol reported on Saturday night time that town’s air-defence methods had been referred to as into motion once more within the night.

Ukrainian media reported explosions in close by cities – together with the resorts of Yevpatoriya, Olenivka and Zaozyornoye.

After the strike close to the South Ukraine energy station, Vitaliy Kim, governor of Mykolaiv area, mentioned on Telegram that 4 youngsters had been among the many wounded.

Personal properties and a five-storey residence block had been broken in Voznesensk, 30 km from the plant, Ukraine’s second largest.

The overall prosecutor’s workplace in Mykolaiv area, updating an earlier toll, mentioned 12 civilians had been wounded.

State-run Energoatom, which manages all 4 Ukrainian nuclear power turbines, described the assault on Voznesensk as “one other act of Russian nuclear terrorism”.

“It’s attainable that this missile was aimed particularly on the Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Energy Plant, which the Russian army tried to grab again initially of March,” Energoatom mentioned in a press release.

Russia didn’t instantly reply to the accusation. Reuters was unable to confirm the scenario in Voznesensk. There have been no stories of any harm to the South Ukraine plant.

In the meantime, the Albanian defence ministry mentioned on Saturday that three individuals with Russian and Ukrainian passports have been arrested after attempting to interrupt right into a army base and arms manufacturing unit in central Albania.

The ministry mentioned on Saturday in a press release that two of its troopers had been injured whereas attempting to cease them.

“Three residents with Russian and Ukrainian passports have tried to enter the manufacturing unit,” the ministry mentioned in a press release despatched to media.

Albanian prime minister Edi Rama mentioned the three people are “suspected of espionage”.


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