Zelensky vows no complacency as Ukraine says troops cross major river in northeast

  • Ukraine says its forces have advanced to the east bank of Uskel
  • Biden says: They are defeating Russia
  • Ukraine says Russia bombed Pvdnoukrainsk nuclear plant

Kyiv (Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed there will be no complacency. ukraine battle To regain its territory as Kyiv said its forces crossed a major river, paving the way for an attack on Russian occupying forces in the eastern Donbass region.

Reflecting the dramatic change in momentum since Ukrainian forces defeated Russian forces earlier this month in the northeast, US President Joe Biden has made his strongest prediction yet that Ukraine will win. war.

“They are beating Russia,” Biden said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

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Biden said victory will only come when Russian forces are completely expelled from Ukrainian territory, and the United States will support Ukraine “as long as it takes.”

“It turns out that Russia is not as competent and capable as many people think they would be.”

The crossing of the Oskil River is another important milestone in Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region. The river flows south into the Siversky Donets, which flows through the Donbas River, the main hub of the Russian conquest.

Beyond that lies Luhansk Province, the base of Russia’s separatist proxies since 2014 and entirely in Russian hands since July after some of the bloodiest battles of the war.

Ukraine’s armed forces wrote on Telegram late on Sunday that Ukrainian forces “have moved across the Oskil River. Since yesterday, Ukraine is in control of the eastern bank.”

Serhiy Gaidai, the governor of Ukraine’s Luhansk, wrote on Telegram: “The Luhansk region is right next door. The occupation is not far away.”

Gaidai said Ukrainian forces had regained full control of the town of Kremina and the village of Belhorivka. The two settlements lie on roads at the northern entrance to Lyschansk, whose fall after weeks of fierce fighting in July brought Luhansk entirely under Russian control.

Bilohorivka, the closest of the two to Lysychansk, is located 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the outskirts of the city.

Ukrainian forces overran the Kharkiv region this month after storming the front line, sending thousands of Russian troops fleeing and leaving behind their tanks and ammunition. In recent days, the pace of the Ukrainian advance has slowed again, but Zelensky said that this was only because the forces were consolidating and preparing for further attacks.

“It may seem to some of you that after a string of victories we now have a lull of some sort,” he said in his usual evening address on Sunday. “But there will be no calm. There are preparations for the next series … Ukraine should be free. All that.”

Warning about the nuclear plant

Ukraine accused Russian forces on Monday of bombing near the Pevdnoukrainsk nuclear power plant in the southern Mykolaiv region.

Ukrainian atomic energy company Energoatum said in a statement that an explosion occurred 300 meters from the reactors and damaged the power station buildings shortly after midnight. It added that the reactors were not damaged, and none of the workers was injured, and published pictures showing a huge crater that it said was caused by the explosion.

Russia It puts the whole world at risk. “We must stop it before it’s too late,” Zelensky said in a social media post.

The strikes will add to global concern about the possibility of an atomic catastrophe, which has already been heightened by fighting around another Ukrainian nuclear power plant in the south, Zaporizhzhia, which was captured by Russian forces in March. Moscow has ignored international calls for withdrawal and disarmament.

Since driving its forces out of Kharkiv, Russia has repeatedly fired on power plants, water infrastructure and other civilian targets in what Ukraine says is revenge for defeats on the ground. Moscow denies deliberately targeting civilians.

fake targets

Rapid Russian losses over the past few weeks have unsettled a PR campaign in the Kremlin that never deviated from the line that a “special military operation” would be “planned”.

Russia has officially announced that it will move some troops from the Kharkiv region to regroup elsewhere. But the losses were publicly acknowledged on state television by commentators calling for an escalation.

Alla Pugacheva, 73, the most famous Russian pop singer since the Soviet era, has become the largest mainstream cultural figure to oppose the war, with an Instagram post condemning “the death of our men for imaginary goals that turn our country into a pariah and worsen the lives of our citizens.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin met the leaders of China and India at a summit last week and acknowledged their “concerns” about the conflict, in a rare reference to the rift with Asian powers he has turned to amid a complete break with the West.

He downplayed the Ukrainian advance: “The Kyiv authorities announced that they launched and are carrying out an active counterattack operation,” he said with a broad smile at the Friday summit. “Okay, let’s see how it develops, how it ends up.”

On Monday, the Kremlin denied holding Russia responsible for the atrocities that Ukraine says it revealed in the territories it retaken from Russian forces.

“It is a lie and of course we will defend the truth in this story,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, referring the allegations to incidents earlier in the war where Russia claimed without evidence that Ukrainians had committed atrocities.

Ukraine has sent forensic experts to a huge burial site in the forest near the city of Izyum, where it said 17 soldiers were found in a mass grave, some of whom showed evidence of torture under Russian occupation.

In London, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal and First Lady Olena Zelenska attended the funeral of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. Russia was banned from the concert.

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Reporting by Reuters offices. Written by David Bronstrom, Stephen Coates, and Peter Graf; Editing by Shree Navaratnam, Lincoln Fest and Mark Heinrich

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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