The Spring Offensive by the Ukraine against Russia HAS begun….
It kicks off slow……
Ukraime troops make progress retaking parts of Bakhmut from Russian troops….
There are report’s of Russian troops giving up territory rather than fighting….
Dam flooding damage upon the Ukraine….
Reports are that Russian will NOT help Ukrainians in flooded areas….
Ukraine drone strikes are reported in Russian border territory….
Russian drone’s were fired at Odessa in the Ukraine….
The Canadian PM visits Kyi anannouces aid for the Ukraine Flood recover effort.
The United States and Russia have indicated for days that Ukraine has started a major push to take back territory, but Kyiv has been mostly tight-lipped about its plans, aiming to keep Moscow guessing.
Here’s what we’re covering:
Ukrainian forces go on the attack near Bakhmut, the military says.
With water scarce, engineers shut down the last reactor still producing power at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
Trudeau visits Kyiv and promises more military aid.
Southern Ukraine, reeling from floods, faces twin crises of war and humanitarian catastrophe.
The dam’s destruction leaves extensive swaths of Ukrainian farmland hurting for water.
Ukrainian drones strike cities across the Russian border, governors say…..
Ukraine made marginal gains on the front lines, advancing nearly a mile near Bakhmut and forcing several dozen Russian troops in the eastern village of Arapivka to flee their positions, according to Ukrainian officials. Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged the counteroffensive for the first time Friday, and he said his forces had prevented Ukraine from achieving its goals “in all combat sectors,” according to the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry also said it had repelled enemy attacks across the front, without addressing the Ukrainian reports of gains.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Zelensky said Ukraine’s top generals were in a positive mood as the counteroffensive began, Interfax reported, in the president’s first public confirmation that the effort had begun. Zelensky, speaking at a news conference in Kyiv after meeting with Trudeau, said he would not detail what stage the counteroffensive is in. The Washington Post reported this week that the Ukrainian counteroffensive had begun.
- Ukraine’s military reported “heavy battles” in Luhansk and Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. In the past day, Russian and Ukrainian forces engaged in 34 “combat clashes” in those areas, the armed forces said in an updateSaturday. Ukrainian forces advanced near Bakhmut by about three-quarters of a mile, or 1.2 kilometers, Col. Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for Ukraine’s military in the east, told Ukrainian media. He said that gain had occurred as part of a “defensive operation that has been going on for many months.”
- There were also marginal gains about three miles south of Velyka Novosilka, a town in southeastern Ukraine, the Washington think tank Institute for the Study of War reported, citing geolocated footage. “Significant” Ukrainian operations have taken place in the last 48 hours in the eastern and southern parts of the country, the British Ministry of Defense said in an update on Saturday. They “likely made good progress and penetrated the first line of Russian defense” in some areas, but were “slower” in others, it said, adding that there were “increased reports of Russian casualties as they withdraw through their own minefields.”
- Putin said he had “absolute certainty” that Ukraine’s counteroffensive had begun, and that the Ukrainian army had started using its “strategic reserves.” Putin told reporters on Friday that Ukrainian troops still had “offensive potential,” even as he argued that “all counteroffensive attempts made so far have failed.” The Institute for the Study of War described this as a change from previous Russian attempts to downplay Ukrainian counteroffensives, and it suggested the Kremlin could have changed its approach after Ukrainian offensives in 2022 were successful.
- Meanwhile, there is nervousness among some Russian elites over Ukraine’s Western weapons, insiders told The Post, driving fears that Moscow’s control of the Ukrainian land bridge to Crimea could be severed. One Russian billionaire also told The Post that, the longer the war goes on, the more the conflict “is turning into a personal matter for Russians,” which could make the withdrawal of Russian forces more difficult.
- In Kyiv, Trudeau announced $375 million (500 million Canadian) in “new funding for military assistance,” along with $7.5 million (10 million Canadian) in new funding to help with the humanitarian response to the collapse of the Kakhovka dam. Trudeau, on his second visit to Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began, also pledged Canada’s help with a multinational effort to train Ukrainian fighter pilots and said the country would continue its military training program for Ukraine until 2026, the prime minister’s office said in a statement. Canada has contributed about $6 billion to Ukraine to support the war effort and displaced civilians.
- Through sanctions, the Canadian government has also ordered the seizure of a Russian-registered cargo aircraft that has been grounded in Toronto, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement; if it is forfeited to the government, Canada will give it to Ukraine. The cargo aircraft, an Antonov 124, is believed to be owned by a subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Airlines LLC and Volga-Dnepr Group, the Canadia government stated. Both entities were sanctioned by Canada over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- A rocket-and-drone attack killed three people and injured 36 in the southern Ukrainian port city of Odessa, Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern command, told national news. Debris from an Iranian-supplied Shahid drone crashed into a residential building, causing a fire in which three people were killed and 26 injured. In the Odessa region, an additional 10 people were injured from blast waves, Humeniuk said.
- Just 15 percent of Kyiv’s bomb shelters are in suitable condition, Ukraine’s strategic industry minister, Oleksandr Kamyshin, said on Telegram. He said his team had finished an audit of the city’s shelters, a little more than a week after families rushing to take cover during a Russian attack found a shelter locked and prompted calls for inspections. Kamyshin, who said his team had visited more than 100 shelters, did not say how the government would respond to the findings.
- Rescue efforts continued in the Kherson region, which was hit by flooding after the collapse of the Russian-controlled Kakhovka dam. Nearly 40 villages and towns in Ukrainian-controlled parts of Kherson have been “severely affected” by flooding, and 700,000 people lack safe drinking water, according to the United Nations. Water continues to flow out of the reservoir, spreading to a larger area, a spokesperson for UkrHydroEnergo, Ukraine’s state hydroelectric company, told The Post on Saturday. Footage shared by Ukraine’s border guard service Saturday showed large pieces of debris that border guards said were dislodged in the flooding and had washed up in Odessa. “The sea turns into a garbage dump and a cemetery for animals,” they wrote, accusing Russia of “ecocide.”
- The United Kingdom pledged an additional $20 million (16 million pounds) in aid for people affected by the flooding, according to a news release from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Most of that money will go to the Red Cross, the news release said, and will be added to the $277 million already allocated to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
- Ukrainian security services said they had evidence that Russia had sabotaged the Kakhovka dam. On Friday, they released a recording of a phone conversation that purported to show a Russian soldier saying a Russian sabotage group was behind the destruction of the dam. The Post could not independently verify the authenticity of the recording. Russia has claimed without evidence that Ukraine attacked the dam, while a senior Western intelligence official told The Postseveral factors suggested Russian culpability.
- The United Nations outlined a three-step plan for aiding people affected by the flooding. The first phase includes continuing to rescue people from flood zones and deliver medical supplies and food aid, U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said in a news release Friday. “I understand the President’s frustration,” Griffiths said in response to criticism from Zelensky, who said humanitarian organizations were slow to respond. U.N. agencies are “trying to get the response moving as quickly as possible,” Griffiths said, adding that he also sought permission from Russian authorities on Friday to cross the front line and provide aid.
- Residents of the flooded areas in southern Ukraine under Russian occupation are being allowed to evacuate only if they have Russian passports, Ukraine’s military said Saturday, without providing any evidence. Both sides have accused each other of shelling people fleeing the floods — regional governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on Saturday morning that Russian forces had shelled the Korabel district of Kherson city, wounding two volunteers helping to evacuate residents. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that there were “fatalities” due to Ukrainian shelling, without giving a number. Zelensky said Saturday afternoon that “over 3,000 people have already been evacuated in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. But again, it is only a free territory under our control.”….