In a recent Telegram message, Ukrainian President Viktor Zelensky accused Russia of targeting Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and committing terrorist acts. He further claimed that the Russian forces are attacking brotherhood and friendship and that their actions should be condemned. The statement comes after a day of remarkable Ukrainian gains. If these gains are confirmed, the country would have tripled its territory in 48 hours.
Kharkiv blackouts caused by targeted Russian attacks
Ukraine has suffered multiple blackouts this week as Russian troops strike critical infrastructure in the city of Kharkiv. The region is notorious for its extremely cold temperatures and a lack of power can cause major problems for local residents. A spokesman for the Kharkiv region’s governor said the blackouts are the result of targeted Russian attacks.
The Ukrainian government has accused Russian forces of attacking civilian infrastructure in retaliation for the ongoing Ukrainian fighting, including the city of Kharkiv’s thermal power station and water treatment facility. But Moscow denies deliberately targeting civilians.
Lysychansk target of new offensive
As the Russian forces advance eastward in Ukraine, they are aiming to take the last major city in the eastern Luhansk region, Lysychansk. The Russians already have captured the neighboring city of Sievierodonetsk. They have now turned their attention to Lysychansk, which is a strategic twin city to the city of Kharkiv. While this attack is a separate operation from the one in Donbas, it could prove crucial to the future of the entire region.
In the past few days, the Ukrainian military has liberated 2,000 square kilometers of Russian-occupied territory. Ukrainian forces have been pressing eastward and southward in the same area. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has hailed this move as a significant breakthrough. In addition, the Ukrainian military has announced the raising of the Ukrainian flag in Balaklia, and the entry of troops into Kupyansk. These actions are aimed at bringing down the Russian-controlled area.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant reconnected to Ukraine’s electricity grid
In the recent past, Ukraine has been unable to re-connect its nuclear power plant with the country’s electricity grid because of the escalating conflict in the region. The plant is located in an area occupied by Russia, and recent shelling has damaged the power lines connecting it to the grid. The situation has prompted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to send a team to the site to assess the situation.
The Biden administration has been urging the Ukrainian government to shut the plant, which provides a fifth of the nation’s power. It has also raised concerns about Russian involvement in the situation. However, Ukraine is now making significant gains on the battlefield, reclaiming territory in the northeast. The rapid advance by Ukrainian troops has caught Russian forces by surprise.
Tokarivka retaken by Ukrainian forces
Ukraine’s foreign minister condemned Russian strikes in Kharkiv for “targeting civilian infrastructure,” while the regional administration in Kharkiv asked residents to remain calm. The Russian government denied that it was deliberately targeting civilians. But it is possible that the strikes did affect power and water supplies.
Ukraine’s military chief, Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyy, said on Saturday that Ukraine had captured some 1,160 square miles in the last three weeks, and that it was only 30 miles away from the Russian border. In his speech, Zaluzhnyy mocked the Russian army.