Has the tide turned ?
The conflict continues with the long anticipated Ukraine counteroffensive* …
The Ukraine claims to be retaking territory from the Russians in the South and East….
Russian moves for referendums to support them in Ukraine conquered territory….
They have been paused….
The Ukraine power plant has been disconnected from the countries main grid,,,,
Ukraine Special Forces are becoming active behind Russian lines in occupied area’s….
Here’s what we know:
The Zaporizhzhia plant is now using one of its own reactors to power critical cooling systems. The Moscow-backed authorities in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson offered conflicting statements about whether a vote on joining Russia would be held as planned.
Ukraine’s besieged nuclear plant loses its connection to outside power, renewing fears.
Hints of Ukrainian progress, and Russian confusion, emerge from a southern counteroffensive.
Germany will keep two nuclear plants online and collaborate with France to confront an energy crunch.
Russia sentences a prominent journalist to 22 years in prison on treason charges.
Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s prominent independent newspaper, loses its license to operate.
Under Liz Truss, Britain is expected to double down on support for Ukraine.
The planned referendum is part of Russia’s efforts to deepen its hold on the Kherson region, which it has held since the early days of the war.Residents reported that proxy officials had started printing ballots, and the U.S. warned that “sham” voting would soon get underway.
The Ukrainian military’s intelligence unit said on Monday that special forces had targeted sites involved in the preparations for a vote.
“The place where ballots were stored for the pseudo-referendum was destroyed,” the Ukrainian military said in a statement, whose claims could not be independently verified. “The warehouse was blown up by an explosion from inside the premises. All available printed materials were destroyed.”
The Ukrainian offensive is focused on isolating and attacking Russian forces on the western side of the Dnipro River, which bisects the Kherson region. By pounding Russian ammunition depots and repeatedly attacking the four main river crossings, Ukraine is hoping to starve Russian forces of munitions and supplies and force them to either retreat or surrender.
Ukraine’s military has imposed sweeping restrictions on journalists and urged people not to publicize details of the operations. Moscow tried to cast the offensive as a failure even before it began. But in recent days, some Russian military bloggers have noted Ukrainian advances….
- Ukrainian officials suggest their long-promised counteroffensive in the south is making progress, with the regional governor of Luhansk nodding to early signs of “good news” in the process of “de-occupation of our region.” The Kremlin has sought to avoid blame for the shutdown of Nord Stream 1, which delivers natural gas to Germany, and claims that the functioning of the pipeline “rests on one unit, which needs serious maintenance.”
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- “The Ukrainian counteroffensive is making verifiable progress in the south and the east,”according to the Institute for the Study of War, a U.S.-based think tank. ISW analysts said “Ukrainian forces are advancing along several axes” to the west of the Kherson region and “have secured territory” in Donetsk, one of two eastern regions that make up the Donbas area. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday after a meeting of Ukraine’s defense, military and intelligence chiefs that “Ukrainian flags are returning to the places where they should be by right.”
- The Kremlin said “the collective West is to blame” for the shutdown of Nord Stream 1. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed Monday that sanctions against Russia are preventing necessary repairs to the pipeline’s machinery. European officials have accused Russia of using repairs as an excuse to halt natural gas deliveries in possible retaliation for Europe’s support of Ukraine.
- A referendum in occupied Kherson on becoming part of Russia has been “paused,” the Russian state news agency Tass quoted a Moscow-installed official as saying. Kirill Stremousov blamed the security situation but said alleged threats by Ukrainian authorities against anyone taking part in the vote would not prevent it going ahead. Russia has announced similar staged votes in other occupied areas.
- Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency left the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plantMonday, according to the Ukrainian state nuclear power agency, Energoatom. Two representatives of the U.N. nuclear safety agency stayed behind and are expected to remain on a permanent basis to monitor the plant, Energoatom said.
- Russia sentenced former investigative journalist Ivan Safronov to 22 years in prison for “treason.” The sentence, which concluded one of the nation’s most high-profile prosecutions of a journalist in years, marks the latest episode in Russia’s crackdown on media and free expression.
- Ukraine says it has retaken two villages in the south. Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said on social media that a widely shared image of a soldier hoisting the Ukrainian flag atop a building was taken Sunday in the village of Vysokopillya in the Kherson region. Zelensky said late Sunday that “two settlements in the south of our country were liberated.” The Washington Post could not independently verify the claims.
- Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said there were early signs of “good news” in the process of “de-occupation of our region.” On Telegram on Monday, Haidai wrote that over the course of several days, 100 pieces of equipment were destroyed and 400 Russian soldiers were killed in the occupied city of Kreminna. “The Russians already feel that they will soon run from our land,” he wrote.
- Ukrainian special forces attacked a Russian military base and a storage site for referendum ballots in Kamianets-Dniprovska, an occupied area of Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine’s military intelligence service said Monday. The “base of the unit of the Russian FSB, which guarded the warehouse of ballots, was destroyed,” the intelligence service said in a statement, adding that “all existing printed materials have been destroyed.” The exact number of people killed and wounded is still unknown, it said.
- The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant lost its last direct connection to Ukraine’s energy grid Monday as a result of fire caused by Russian shelling near the plant, Energoatom said. “As a result, power unit No. 6 was unloaded and disconnected from the network, which currently supplies the ZNPP’s own needs,” Energoatom said. Russia also accused Ukraine of shelling the areaaround the plant. The Washington Post could not confirm these reports.
- Russia’s main goal “almost certainly” remains to retake the eastern Donbas region, the British Defense Ministry said Monday in its daily assessment of wartime intelligence. Russia is probably focusing on securing Donetsk, “which would enable the Kremlin to announce the ‘liberation’ of the Donbas.” The ministry said Russian forces are making the most gains north of Donetsk city, around Avdiivka and Bakhmut. But progress has been incremental even there, the ministry added, with Russian forces “only … advancing around 1km per week towards Bakhmut.”
- More than 600,000 people are without electricity in Ukraine because of damage caused by the fighting, Ukraine’s Energy Ministry said. More than 80 percent of those who remain without power are in Donbas, with the remainder in Mykolaiv to the south and Kharkiv to the northeast. Some 235,000 people remain without natural gas supplies, according to the ministry….
* In the buildup to the current Ukrainian counteroffensive, the US urged Kyiv to keep the operation limited in both its objectives and its geography to avoid getting overextended and bogged down on multiple fronts, multiple US and western officials and Ukrainian sources tell CNN.
Those discussions involved engaging in “war-gaming” with Kyiv, the sources said – analytical exercises that were intended to help the Ukrainian forces understand what force levels they would need to muster to be successful in different scenarios.
The Ukrainians were initially considering a broader counteroffensive, but narrowed their mission to the south, in the Kherson region, in recent weeks, US and Ukrainian officials said….