“Active fighting” raged early Friday in the Zaporizhia region of southern Ukraine, according to a Russian occupation official, with observers seeing the beginnings of an expected Kiev counter-offensive, which remains his silent side. “At present, active fighting has resumed in the region between Orekhovo (the Russian name of Orikhiv, editor’s note) and Tokmak”, at the level of the current front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces, said Vladimir Rogov on Telegram.
Information to remember:
- “Active fighting” raged in the Zaporizhia region.
- A possible kyiv counter-offensive, even if Ukraine remains silent on the issue.
- After the destruction of the Kakhovka dam on Tuesday, the water level begins to drop in some cities, such as Kherson.
- In Russia, an apartment building was hit by a drone, injuring two people.
- After concerns around the Zaporijia nuclear power plant, the IAEA confirms that the water from the dam continues to cool the reactor.
He did not give more details, but according to Alexander Sladkov, a correspondent for Russian public television, who runs a Telegram channel followed by more than a million people, Russian and Ukrainian “artillery” is at work , the Kiev troops being on the offensive according to him. “Long and hard fighting is underway”, he wrote in the early morning on Telegram, saying that “the front line is stable”. “The enemy is making incredible efforts, attacks. In vain. Ours are holding. The front line is preserved,” he assured, unverifiable claims from independent sources at this stage.
The day before, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said that his men had repelled a Ukrainian offensive in the Zaporizhia region overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, without giving the precise location of the attack. The leader of the Russian paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigojine, told him that he saw in the latest “offensive actions” confirmed by Kiev “the beginning of a counter-offensive” that the Ukrainian army has been announcing for months to reconquer the territories occupied by Moscow. .
Silence of Kyiv
In its daily bulletin published Friday morning, the Ukrainian army did not report on these fights, limiting itself to listing banalities. “The adversary remains on the defensive,” the Ukrainian command simply wrote in a statement about the front in the Zaporizhia region. The Ukrainian army, however, said it destroyed four X-101 / X-55 missiles and ten drones overnight out of more than 20 missiles fired by Russia which targeted “military installations and critical infrastructure”, according to it.
According to observers, the Ukrainian army could seek, in the region of Zaporizhya, to attempt a breakthrough towards Tokmak, 40 km south of Orikhiv, an important logistics node for the Russian forces and last important locality with the cities of Melitopol and Berdiansk, on the Black Sea. However, the Ukrainian general staff remains very silent on its real intentions, keeping its strategy vague, the better to surprise the Russian defenses which have been preparing for several months for a major assault by troops from Kiev, supported by modern Western equipment.
Slight decline in Kherson
In the neighboring region of Zaporijjia, that of Kherson, the consequences of the floods caused by the destruction of the Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper River on Tuesday were still widely visible on Friday morning. In the city of Kherson itself, however, the water level began to drop “for the first time”, according to Laura Moussiïane, an employee of the local meteorological agency. “If yesterday the water was 5 meters above normal, today it is at a lower level,” she told AFP.
“It’s a very good trend”, she rejoiced, four days with the spectacular destruction of the Kakhovka dam, an imposing infrastructure located 70 km upstream, pushing thousands of civilians to flee the flooded areas, the authorities also fearing devastating consequences on the fauna and flora. But the situation remains delicate in the localities around Kherson, such as Chornobaivka, where the rising waters began on Wednesday.
In Russia, a residential building hit by a drone in a southern city, two injured
Two people were injured on Friday when a drone crashed into a residential building in the southern Russian city of Voronezh not far from Ukraine, local authorities said. “A drone fell in Voronezh,” regional governor Alexander Gusev wrote on Telegram. “Two people were injured,” he said, stressing that “all necessary assistance has been provided to them.”
Russian media published photos and a video showing an apartment building with a gutted and blackened facade, with several windows broken. Russia has been the target for weeks of an increasing number of drone attacks and artillery bombardments that Moscow blames on Ukrainian forces.
Water from dam continues to cool Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, confirms IAEA
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine is continuing to pump water from the Kakhovka dam to cool the fuel and avoid an accident, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday. The destruction of the dam on the Dnieper River prompted the evacuation of thousands of civilians from flooded areas and raised concern for the Russian-occupied site of Zaporizhia, which is 150 kilometers upstream.
After examination, it turned out that the pumping operations should “be able to continue even if the level fell below the current threshold of 12.7 meters”, previously considered critical, explained the UN body in a press release, which now sets the limit at “11 meters or even lower”. “In these difficult circumstances, this gives us a little more time before possibly moving on to other sources of supply”, underlined the head of the IAEA Rafael Grossi, expected on the spot next week.
When the dam can no longer be used, the plant will be able to use “a large retention basin located nearby as well as smaller reserves and on-site wells that can provide cooling water for several months. “. “It is vital that this basin remains intact.” “Nothing should be done to undermine its integrity,” Rafael Grossi warned earlier this week during a meeting of the agency’s Board of Governors in Vienna.
The situation remains “very precarious and potentially dangerous”, he insisted on Thursday. It is necessary to constantly cool the fuel in the reactor cores as well as that placed in the storage pools to avoid a meltdown accident and radioactive releases into the environment. Staff have already introduced measures to restrict water consumption, using it only for “essential activities related to nuclear security”.
The IAEA, which has a team of experts on site, demanded access to the place where the water level in the tank is measured, “so that it can carry out independent verifications”.