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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised his country there would be no respite in the counter-offensive that recaptured towns and villages from Russian troops, as shelling continued across much of the country on Sunday. ‘Ukraine.
Zelenskyy ran through a list of towns that Ukraine has taken over in its meteoric push through the northeast.
“Perhaps it seems to some of you now that after a series of victories, we have some lull,” he said in his nightly video address. “But it’s not a lull. It’s the preparation for the next series… Because Ukraine has to be free, all that.”
Ukraine’s military command said its forces secured the eastern bank of the Oskil River on Saturday. The river, which flows south from Russia into Ukraine, had been a natural break in the newly emerging front lines since the start of the Kyiv counteroffensive.
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As Russian shells hit towns and villages this weekend, Britain’s Ministry of Defense has warned that Moscow is likely to increase attacks on civilian targets as it suffers battlefield defeats.
“Over the past seven days, Russia has increased its targeting of civilian infrastructure even where it likely sees no immediate military effect,” the ministry said in an online press briefing. “As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely expanded the locations it is prepared to strike in an effort to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government.”
A Russian fire on Saturday killed four doctors trying to evacuate a psychiatric hospital in the Kharkiv region, Governor Oleh Syniehubov said. Two patients were injured in the Strelecha attack, he said.
Nighttime shelling also hit a hospital in Mykolaiv, a major Black Sea port, regional governor Vitaliy Kim said. And five people have died in the past day in Russian attacks in the Donetsk region, one of two Ukrainian regions that Russia recognizes as sovereign states, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.
Separatist forces that control much of Donetsk said the Ukrainian shelling of a POW settlement in Olenivka killed one prisoner and injured four. More than 50 prisoners of war were reportedly killed in an attack on Olenivka prison in July; The Russian and Ukrainian authorities accuse each other.
A Washington-based think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, said Russian forces in Donetsk continue to carry out “senseless operations” on villages instead of reinforcing the front line.
A senior Vatican envoy and his entourage came under fire while distributing humanitarian supplies in Ukraine, the Vatican press service said on Sunday. He did not report any injuries.
The incident happened near the town of Zaporizhzhia on Saturday and forced Vatican chaplain Cardinal Konrad Krajewski and others to take cover.
“For the first time in my life, I didn’t know where to run. Because it’s not enough to run, you have to know where to go,” said the Polish-born cardinal, whose office makes charitable donations to the Pope. Last name.
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Three people were injured in the nighttime shelling of Nikopol, across the river from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said. The six-unit Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was captured by Russian forces in March, but is operated by Ukrainian engineers. Its last reactor was shut down a week ago after repeated power outages as bombings endangered crucial safety systems.
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Meanwhile, prosecutors in Kharkiv accuse Russia of torturing civilians in a recently liberated village. In an online statement, they said they found a basement where Russian forces allegedly tortured prisoners in Kozacha Lopan, near the border with Russia.
In the footage they posted, they showed a Russian TA-57 military phone with extra wires and alligator clips attached. Ukrainian officials have accused Russian forces of using Soviet-era radiotelephones as a power source to shock prisoners during interrogations. It was not immediately possible to verify the Ukrainians’ claims.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.