Zelenskyj calls for resistance and explosions in Melitopol

Dhe President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the residents of the Russian-occupied territories to resist. They should transmit information about the enemy or about collaborators to the Ukrainian armed forces through secure channels, Zelenskyy said in his evening video address on Wednesday.

At the same time, the President renewed the request for foreign arms aid for his country. The more decisive it is, the sooner the war will end, he said with a view to a conference in Copenhagen starting Thursday. There, the defense ministers from a dozen countries, including Germany, discuss military and financial support for the country attacked by Russia.

The United Nations Security Council in New York will deal with the tense situation in the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia, which is occupied by Russian troops. For Ukraine it is the 169th day since the beginning of the Russian invasion.




Kiev Reflections: How Long Will the War Last?

Zelenskyy and the head of his presidential office, Andriy Yermak, addressed the question of how long the war would last with different emphases. The fighting urgently needs to be ended before the heating season, said Yermak. Otherwise there is a risk that Russia will destroy the heat and energy infrastructure. “This is one of the reasons why we want to take maximum measures to end the active part of the war by the end of autumn.”

Zelenskyy said the duration of the war depended on Russian losses. “The higher the casualties of the occupiers, the faster we can liberate our country,” he said. This in turn depends on military aid to Ukraine. The more decisive it is, the sooner Ukraine and Europe can live in peace again.

Explosions in Russian-occupied city of Melitopol

In his message to residents of the occupied territories, Zelenskyy recalled Tuesday’s explosions at a Russian military base on the Crimean peninsula. Nine Russian warplanes were destroyed there, he said. According to experts, the first western satellite images of the Saki base show that Russia has lost many of the jets stationed there. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense suspected a higher number than nine aircraft on Thursday morning.

According to unofficial information, partisans loyal to Kyiv played a role in the still puzzling incident. There are also reports from other occupied areas of attacks on Russian facilities and on Ukrainians who are cooperating with the occupation. According to Ukrainian reports, two explosions occurred in the occupied city of Melitopol in the south on Wednesday evening. The access roads to the local police headquarters were blocked. Russian sources interpreted the loud explosions as anti-aircraft fire. There were no independent reports on this.

Zelenskyj expressed the expectation that the Russian occupiers would soon flee. “You already feel that the time has come to flee from Kherson and in general from the south of our country. There will come a time when they will flee the Kharkiv region, Donbass and Crimea.”

Battles and night bombardments

In the Donbass in eastern Ukraine, Russian troops continued their advances accompanied by massive artillery fire. Seven civilians were killed in the city of Bakhmut on Wednesday, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office. Zelenskyi announced retaliation for Russian airstrikes in the Dnipropetrovsk region in which 13 civilians were killed on Wednesday night. In Donetsk, Russian-controlled separatists complained that several civilians had been killed by Ukrainian shelling. Toxic ammonia was released when a brewery was hit.

More ships bring Ukrainian grain to the market

Following the grain deal between Moscow and Kyiv, the United Nations expect exports from Ukraine across the Black Sea to increase. A number of ships are currently awaiting permission to head for Ukrainian ports, UN export coordinator Frederick Kenney said in New York. “We are expecting a major upward trend in applications for transit.” On Wednesday there was a new high with five ships being inspected under the contract.

In July, Ukraine and Russia signed agreements with Turkey and the UN to export agricultural products and fertilizers from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports. A dozen ships have since left the ports of Chornomorsk, Odessa and Pivdenny with over 370,000 tons of cargo. After its attack on Ukraine at the end of February, Russia blocked the Ukrainian ports.

That will be important on Thursday

Since the beginning of the day on Thursday, the EU countries are no longer allowed to import coal from Russia. The coal embargo was decided in April to further weaken the Russian economy against the background of the war in Ukraine. At the time, the countries agreed on a transitional period of 120 days so that the industry could adapt. This now came to an end.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, is to brief the Security Council in New York on the situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. A press conference by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in Berlin should also be about Ukraine and Germany’s role in the war that has been going on for almost six months.

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