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Russian forces begin assault on 2 Eastern Ukraine cities, as rocket attacks continue

Russian forces begin assault on 2 Eastern Ukraine cities, as rocket attacks continue

Russian forces began an assault Saturday on two key cities in the eastern Donetsk region and kept up rocket and shelling attacks on other Ukrainian cities, including one close to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s military and local officials said.

Both cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka had been considered key targets of Russia’s ongoing offensive across Ukraine’s east, with analysts saying Moscow needs to take Bakhmut if it is to advance on the regional hubs of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

“In the Donetsk direction, the enemy is conducting an offensive operation, concentrating its main efforts on the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions. It uses ground attack and army aviation,” the Ukrainian General Staff said on Facebook.

The last Russian strike on Sloviansk was July 30, but Ukrainian forces are fortifying their positions around the city in anticipation of new fighting.

The last Russian strike on Sloviansk, Ukraine, was July 30, but Ukrainian forces are fortifying their positions around the city in anticipation of new fighting. Col. Yurii Bereza, head of Ukraine’s volunteer national guard regiment, told The Associated Press that he expects things ‘won’t be calm for long.’ He said an assault will occur eventually. (David Goldman/The Associated Press)

“I think it won’t be calm for long. Eventually, there will be an assault,” Col. Yurii Bereza, head of the volunteer national guard regiment, told The Associated Press.

Russian shelling killed five civilians and injured 14 others in the Donetsk region in the last day, Donetsk Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote Saturday on Telegram, saying two died in Poprosny, and one each in Avdiivka, Soledar and Pervomaiskiy.

Civilians hurt in Nikopol

The governor of the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region said three civilians were injured after Russian rockets fell on a residential neighbourhood in Nikopol, a city across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station.

The nuclear plant has been under Russian control since Moscow’s troops seized it early in the war.

“After midnight, the Russian army struck the Nikopol area with Grad rockets, and the Kryvyi Rih area from barrel artillery,” Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram.

Russian forces begin assault on 2 Eastern Ukraine cities as
Piles of grain are seen sitting inside a damaged storage facility on Friday in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region. The facility was damaged by a recent Russian missile strike. (Dmytro Smolienko/Reuters)

Another Russian missile attack overnight damaged unspecified infrastructure in the regional capital of…

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