New Russian air strikes target the Black Sea regions of Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine (AP) – Russia targeted Ukraine’s southern Black Sea regions of Odessa and Mykolaiv with airstrikes on Tuesday, hitting private buildings and port infrastructure with missiles fired from long-range bomber aircraft, the Ukrainian military said.

In the Odessa region, buildings in coastal villages were bombed The Southern Ukrainian Operational Command said on Facebook, caught fire. A Ukrainian Air Force spokesman said that Russian Tu-22M3 long-range bombers and Su-30 and Su-35 fighter jets launched the strikes from the Black Sea. In the Mykolaiv region, port infrastructure has been targeted despite agreements aimed at allowing the resumption of grain shipments from Ukraine’s ports on the Black Sea.

Hours after the strikes, an official installed by Moscow in southern Ukraine said that the Odessa and Mykolaiv regions would soon be “liberated” by Russian forces, just like the occupied Kherson region to the east.

“The Kherson region and the city of Kherson have been liberated forever,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted the Russia-appointed district official, Kirill Strimosov, as saying.

On the diplomatic front, the top Russian diplomat reiterated his insistence that Moscow is ready to hold talks with Ukraine on ending the war, though he claimed again that Kyiv’s western allies were opposed to the deal.

“We have never refused talks, because everyone knows that any hostilities end at the negotiating table,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. He said Tuesday during a trip to Uganda.

He said the negotiations did not go further Since the meeting between the two sides in Istanbul end of March.

While Ukrainian officials spoke of a possible counterattack in the south, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday there was no indication of a Ukrainian warship and a stockpile of anti-ship missiles in the port of Odessa, as Moscow claimed when it bombed the site over the weekend. .

The British ministry said Russia considers Ukraine’s use of anti-ship missiles a “main threat” limiting its fleet in the Black Sea.

“This has significantly undermined the overall invasion plan, as Russia cannot realistically attempt an amphibious assault to seize Odessa,” the ministry said. “Russia will continue to prioritize efforts to weaken and destroy Ukraine’s anti-ship capability.”

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“Russian targeting operations are likely to be routinely undermined by outdated intelligence, poor planning, and a top-down operational approach,” she added.

In other military developments, Russian shelling in the past 24 hours has killed at least three civilians and wounded eight others in Ukraine, the Ukrainian President’s office said on Tuesday.

In the eastern Donetsk region, where fighting has been concentrated in recent months, bombing has continued along the entire front line, with Russian forces targeting some of the region’s largest cities, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Toritsk, the presidential office said.

Donetsk Region Governor Pavlo Kirilenko accused Russian forces of using cluster munitions and reiterated his call for civilians to evacuate..

“Not a single safe place remains. Everything is being bombed,” Kirilenko said in televised remarks. “But there are still evacuation routes for the civilian population.”

The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based think tank, reported that Moscow was using mercenaries from the shadowy Wagner Group to seize the Voldar power plant on the northern outskirts of the Novoluhansky village of Bakhmut district.

But Russian forces have made “limited gains” there, according to Ukraine’s General Staff.

The main Russian regional focus at the moment is the capture of Bakhmut, which the Russian army needs to launch its eastern offensive on the Ukrainian strongholds of Donetsk and the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

“Russian forces have made marginal gains south of Bakhmut, but it is unlikely that they will be able to effectively take advantage of this advance to take full control of Bakhmut itself,” the Institute for the Study of War said.

Russian forces continued to bombard civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, and the surrounding area in the country’s northeast.

Kharkiv Governor Ole Sinihopov said strikes on the city resumed around dawn on Tuesday and damaged a car dealership.

“The Russians are deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure targets – hospitals, schools, cinemas,” Sinihopov told Ukrainian television. “Everything is being shot at, even in humanitarian aid queues, so we urge people to avoid mass gatherings.”

The Moldovan Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that a Moldovan citizen was killed and another wounded in what it claimed was a Ukrainian attack on Russia’s border with Ukraine. The unconfirmed report said the attack took place at a border checkpoint in Russia’s Bryansk region.

Responding to Lavrov’s comment on Monday that Moscow’s overall goal in Ukraine is to liberate its people from its “unacceptable regime”, German Foreign Minister Annalena Barbock said that Moscow wants to “complete subjugation of Ukraine and its people”.

“We must be prepared for this war – which Russia is waging with absolute brutality, and managing it in a way that no one else will – to go on for months,” Barbock said during a visit to Prague.

In other developments Tuesday:

European Union governments It agreed to ration natural gas this winter to protect against Russian supply disruptions. European Union energy ministers approved a bill aimed at slashing gas demand by 15% from August through March. The legislation entails voluntary national steps to reduce gas consumption and, if it results in insufficient savings, leads to mandatory action. Russian energy company Gazprom said it will reduce gas flows through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to 20% of its capacity from Wednesday.

The head of the Russian space agency said that the country will withdraw from the International Space Station After 2024 and focus on building its orbital position. Yuri Borisov, who was appointed earlier this month to lead the state-controlled space company Roscosmos, said Russia would fulfill its obligations on the space station before it left the project. The move is part of a broader disengagement trend stemming from escalating tensions between Russia and the West over the Kremlin’s military action in Ukraine.

Britain imposed sanctions on two Russian government officials overseeing justice and two senior regional officials in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine. Several Syrian military figures also face sanctions for recruiting Syrians to fight alongside Russia in Ukraine.

– German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said that her country has delivered to Ukraine multiple launch missile systems by Mars II, along with three other howitzers. And the German news agency (DPA) reported that Germany also delivered five of the 30 Gibbard self-propelled anti-aircraft armored vehicles.

The Russian military announced plans to conduct large-scale exercises in eastern Russia, noting that it continues to train troops on a regular basis despite operating in Ukraine. The Russian Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the Vostok 2022 (East 2022) exercise is scheduled to take place from August 30 to September 30. 5. It added that airborne forces, long-range bombers and military cargo aircraft will participate.

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