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Fighting in Ukraine changes as Russian troops advance south


The war in Ukraine entered a new, deadlier phase on Saturday as Russian troops advanced in the south of the country and shelling was reported at an energy complex in the region, raising fears of a nuclear disaster.

A British intelligence report warned that Russian troops were advancing in southern Ukraine and predicted that fighting would now shift from the Donbass region in the east of the country to Kherson and the Crimean peninsula in the south .

“Russia’s war with Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, with the heaviest fighting moving to a frontline of about 350 km stretching southwest from near Zaporizhzhya in Kherson, parallel to the Dnieper River,” the UK Ministry of Defense said.

“Russian forces are almost certainly massing in the south in anticipation of Ukraine’s counter-offensive or in preparation for a possible assault,” the intelligence report added.

On Friday, explosions were reported at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear complex, which Russian forces took control of in March. The plant, the largest in Europe, is located on the banks of the Dniepro River in southern Ukraine.

Russian troops advanced into southern Ukraine and shelling was reported at an energy complex in the area.
AFP via Getty Images
Fighting in Ukraine changes as Russian troops advance south
British authorities predicted that the fighting would move towards Kherson and the Crimean peninsula to the south.
DOCUMENT OF THE RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blamed Russia for the attack, calling it a “brazen crime” and an “act of terror”.

“Today the occupiers have created another extremely risky situation for everyone in Europe,” Zelensky said on his late night show Friday.

Russia denied launching the attack and blamed Ukrainian forces.

Fighting in Ukraine changes as Russian troops advance south
Stroke victim Oleksandr Sugachov, 55, is helped onto a train for Dnipro and Lviv during an evacuation effort from war-affected areas in eastern Ukraine .
Reuters

A Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson said one unit at the plant had its production capacity reduced and another unit was cut off, according to CNN.

Separately, during a closed-door meeting in the Russian resort town of Sochi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday offered to hold a summit between Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Zelensky.

New York Post

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