EU members approved the eighth set of sanctions, which Russian President Putin called expected. The European Parliament requests additional support for Ukraine. In the Zaporizhia region, two people are reported dead after the attacks.
According to the Ukrainian side, several residential houses were damaged or destroyed during the overnight shelling of Zaporozhye, several residents were reportedly trapped under the rubble, and at least two deaths were reported. Several fires were also reported to have broken out.
“After the attack of the enemy, fires broke out in the city,” the governor of the Zaporozhye region wrote on Telegram Oleksandr Staruk. “There may be more deaths. Rescuers are already rescuing those trapped under the rubble.” He later announced that Russian troops had fired seven rockets at tall buildings in the city, and the number of casualties was not yet clear.
In the meantime, Ukrainian troops continue to make their way to the east and south, where they have achieved important military objectives in the last week, and have retaken control of dozens of cities in the region, which was otherwise declared annexed by Russia.
According to the Guardian, military experts note that Russia is at its weakest point, which can be attributed in part to the fact that it did not decide to mobilize earlier, and in part to the loss of troops and equipment.
New breakthroughs of the Ukrainian army
In the Kherson region, the Ukrainian army has increased its control zone by 9 to 18 kilometers, according to the southern command of the Ukrainian army. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed that the villages of Novovoskresenske, Novohrihorivka and Petropavlivka are again under Ukrainian control. As he said in an evening address on Wednesday, “the villages were freed from the fake referendum.”
Ukrainian authorities claim that their forces have retaken control of more than 400 square kilometers of territory in Kherson in less than a week.
He later addressed pro-Russian soldiers in Russian. “Ukrainians know why they are fighting. And more and more citizens of Russia are realizing that they have to die just because one man does not want to end the war,” he said about Putin’s role.
Governor of Kherson Kiril Stremusov, who was appointed to the position by Moscow, said the Russian withdrawal was tactical and that the Russian military was preparing for a “retaliatory strike”. Russian troops have been withdrawing from the southeast for several weeks, and from the beginning of the week also from the south.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov meanwhile announced that his soldiers are continuing the autumn offensive and are penetrating further. “While the “Russian Parliament” is infected with a futile attempt at annexation, our troops continue to advance,” he said in a post on Twitter on Thursday, where he posted a video of how the Ukrainian army is liberating the occupied territories day by day. “This is the best answer to all ‘referendums’, ‘decrees’, ‘treaties’ and pathetic speeches.”
The Russian armed forces, on the other hand, report that they have succeeded in halting Ukrainian offensives and pushing their troops back along the Russian front line. According to them, the Ukrainian forces on the southern front were deployed in four tactical battalions and tried several times unsuccessfully to break through their defenses near the towns of Dudčany, Suhanova, Sadok and Bruskinsky.
The EU officially approved the eighth package of sanctions
Today, the members of the European Union officially approved the agreement on the eighth package of sanctions against Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, which includes, among other things, the legal basis for the introduction of a price cap for Russian oil, as well as sanctions against individuals who participated in the organization of controversial referendums in the occupied Ukrainian regions.
“The agreed package of sanctions includes a series of tough measures that will increase EU pressure on the Russian government and economy, weaken Russian military capabilities and make the Kremlin pay for the recent escalation,” the EU Council wrote in a message today.
“This new set of sanctions against Russia is proof of our determination to stop Putin’s war machine and respond to his latest escalation of war with fake referendums and the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories,” said the EU’s top foreign policy representative Josep Borrell.
Putin: We expect the strengthening of sanctions
Russian President Vladimir Putin said today after a meeting with government officials that he expects further strengthening of sanctions against Russia. At the same time, he said that consumer demand is still weak.
At the same time, in Moscow, they remain “fully committed” to the principle of never having a nuclear war, the spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry said at a press briefing Maria Zakharova. At the same time, the Foreign Ministry said that the move of the European Union, that the goal of introducing a price cap on Russian oil is to increase the profits of Western companies. As Zakharova also said, Russia will divert its oil to other markets.
Grossi to Kyiv and Moscow
Meanwhile, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is on his way to Kyiv and then to Moscow Rafael Grossi. “On my way to Kyiv for important meetings. The need for a safe and secure zone around the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is now more urgent than ever.” As you know, he is the president of Russia Vladimir Putin, after signing a document on the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces to Russia, which represents about 18 percent of Ukraine’s territory, he also issued a decree ordering the government to take ownership of Zaporozhye, the largest Ukrainian and European nuclear power plant. The Russian agency Tass reports that Grassi will also visit Moscow, where he will discuss with his interlocutors the safety of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya.
The IAEA is said to have been informed that one of the reactors is to be restarted after all six reactors have been shut down for several weeks. Head of the Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom Petra Kotin announced that he would take over the management of the power plant, urging the workers not to sign any documents with the Russian occupiers.
Reuters reports that Russia is lobbying for next week’s vote on the annexation of the four regions to be held in secret rather than in public.