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Explosions in besieged Cherson

Several explosions erupted overnight in the besieged city of Cherson in southern Ukraine. Three people were killed in new bombing raids in Kharkiv. In the Luhansk region, Russian troops apparently managed to capture several villages.

Russian troops have continued their attacks in southern and eastern Ukraine, apparently gaining ground in the Donbass region. The attackers made small advances in the Rubishne direction thanks to almost constant shelling, said Ukrainian governor of the Luhansk region Serhiy Haidai.

Ukrainian troops fought back and only retreated when there was nothing left to defend because everything had been bombed. Western government officials, citing intelligence information, said Russian troops were making slow progress and had captured some villages and small towns south of Izyum and around Rubishne.

Cherson: Explosions near TV tower

From Kherson, Ukrainian media reported several explosions. Accordingly, the detonations would have occurred not far from the television center. Then a fire broke out. Russian state-run news agency Ria Novosti reported that rockets had been fired at the Russian-held southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, coming from the direction where Ukrainian soldiers were located to the north-west.

The Ukrainian online newspaper “Ukrainska Pravda” reported that the rocket attacks disrupted the operation of Russian television stations. According to Ria Nowosti, the broadcast of the program later resumed. According to this, Russian broadcasters have been reporting from Cherson since last week. The Russian troops want to increase their control over the region. The information cannot be independently verified.

Violent breakup of demonstrations

Residents continue to protest the siege in the streets. According to Ukrainian information, soldiers in Cherson violently broke up a demonstration. As the Ukrainian armed forces announced yesterday, the “occupiers used tear gas grenades against Ukrainian demonstrators”. Several of the protesters were “injured and arrested”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the protests. “I’m grateful to everyone who didn’t give up, who protested, who ignored the occupiers and who showed the few people who became collaborators that there was no future for them,” Zelenskyy said in his regular video message.

Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol

According to Ukrainian sources, at least three people were killed and six injured, including a 14-year-old child, in new bombing raids in the Kharkiv region. The local administration blamed Russia for the civilian casualties.

A Russian spy drone was shot down by anti-aircraft forces near Odessa, the Ukrainian army reported. According to Ukraine’s presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich, “the efforts of the Russian invaders are concentrated on Slaviansk, Kramatorsk and Mariupol”.

In the encircled port of Mariupol, “the enemy is bombing massively,” the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said. The commander of the 36th Ukrainian naval brigade in Mariupol, Sergey Volyna, again telegraphed for help, noting that he had 600 wounded soldiers and hundreds of civilians with him in the besieged Azovsteel industrial complex.

Kyiv is closely monitoring the situation in Transnistria

After reports of explosions in Transnistria, the Ukrainian government is closely monitoring the situation in the pro-Russian separatist region in Moldova. “We have always viewed Transnistria as a bridgehead from which certain risks can emanate for us,” said presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak in Kyiv last night, according to the Unian agency. The Ukrainian leadership is aware of the dangers emanating from Transnistria, which is why in the Ukrainian regions of Odessa and Vinnytsia “everything is well thought out from the point of view of defense”.

Podoljak estimated the number of soldiers commanded by Russia in Transnistria at 1,500 to 2,000. “Of them, 500 to 600 are Russians and the rest are locals.” The presidential adviser described the recent explosions as an attempt at provocation.

Zelenskyy accuses Russia of “blackmail”.

In his video message, Zelenskyi also sharply criticized the Russian freeze on gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. “This week the Russian leadership started a new series of energy blackmail against the Europeans,” Zelenskyy said in a video message last night.

The delivery stop is “another argument that nobody in Europe can hope for normal economic cooperation with Russia”. “Russia considers not only gas, but also any other trade as a weapon.” For this, Moscow is just waiting for a favorable moment. “Either to politically blackmail the Europeans. Or to strengthen the Russian war machine, which sees a united Europe as the goal,” said Zelenskyj. The sooner Europe realizes that it cannot be dependent on Russia for trade, the sooner the stability of the European markets will be guaranteed.

Russia criticizes US for passing on helicopters

Russia has protested the US transfer of Russian-made helicopters to Ukraine. The 2011 contract stipulates that the helicopters are intended for Afghanistan and may only be passed on to other countries with Russian consent, the Russian authority responsible for military-technical cooperation, FSWTS, told the Interfax agency. A delivery to the Ukraine is illegal and a gross breach of contract.

Before the start of the Russian war of aggression at the end of February, the USA had already given Ukraine five of the Mi-17 helicopters originally intended for Afghanistan. In mid-April, Washington finally announced that it would send eleven more helicopters to Kyiv. The USA had initially purchased the Russian-built machines for the Afghan armed forces, but the Taliban took over power and did not hand them over.

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