European leaders have sought to soften the impact of high energy prices on the continent after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned of a harsh winter even as he reported progress in a counter-offensive against Russian troops.
In yesterday’s overnight remarks, President Zelensky thanked his forces for taking two settlements in the south and a third, as well as additional territory, in the east, citing ‘good reports’ from his military commanders and the head of intelligence.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, earlier posted an image of soldiers hoisting the Ukrainian flag over a village he said is in the southern zone which is the main target of the counteroffensive .
“Vysokopillya. Kherson region. Ukraine. Today,” Tymoshenko wrote on Facebook of a photo of three soldiers on rooftops, one of them securing a Ukrainian flag to a pole.
Ukraine launched the counter-offensive last week targeting the south, in particular the Kherson region, which Russia seized at the start of the conflict.
After heavy bombardment by Ukrainian forces of groups of Russian troops in the area, the Russians banned the movement of residents, prohibiting them from crossing the Dnipro River, the Ukrainian General Staff said today.
Russia has launched 25 missile strikes and more than 22 airstrikes on military and civilian targets in Ukraine over the past 24 hours, the statement added, keeping to its goal of establishing full control over the Donetsk region.
President Zelensky’s remarks come a day after he warned Europeans that Russia was planning “a decisive energy coup” in the cold months ahead.
Moscow cited Western sanctions and technical issues for energy disruptions. European countries, which have backed Kyiv with diplomatic and military support, have accused Russia of militarizing energy supplies.
Some analysts say shortages and the rising cost of living as winter approaches risk undermining Western support for Kyiv as governments try to appease disgruntled populations.
Last week, Moscow said it would keep the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, its main gas channel to Germany, closed, while G7 countries announced a planned price cap on Russian oil exports.
The Kremlin said it would stop selling oil to countries that adopted the cap.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said yesterday that his government was planning a complete shutdown of gas supplies in December, promising measures to lower prices and link social benefits to inflation.
“Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner,” Scholz told a news conference in Berlin.
In response, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused Germany of being an enemy of Russia.
“In other words, he declared hybrid war on Russia,” he said.
Yesterday Finland and Sweden announced plans to offer billions of dollars to power companies to avert the threat of insolvency amid the crisis.
Separately, the US Embassy in Moscow said John Sullivan, the ambassador appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2019, had left his post and was retiring. A State Department official said Mr. Sullivan had completed a typical tour duration.
Russian authorities said the situation was calm around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine after UN inspectors said on Saturday it had lost power again. external power supply.
Three loud explosions were heard in Energodar, the city under curfew where the plant is located, but there were no immediate details of the damage and casualties, the agency said today. Russian official press TASS.
Ukrainian troops twice tried to deploy assault teams around the city, he said, adding that they used drones, heavy artillery and rocket launchers.
The last main external power line was cut, although a reserve line maintained power to the grid, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.
Only one of its six reactors remained in service, he said.
Russian troops captured the plant shortly after President Vladimir Putin sent his army across the border on February 24. It has become a hotbed of conflict. Each side blamed the other for the bombings that raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
Vladimir Rogov, a pro-Russian official from the Zaporizhzhia region, told Komsomolskaya Pravda radio that there had been no bombings or incursions and that IAEA experts should work at the plant until at least today.
Last week, an IAEA mission visited the plant, which is still operated by Ukrainian personnel, and some experts stayed there pending the release of an IAEA report.
Russia has resisted international calls to demilitarize the region.
On other battle fronts, Ukrainian Telegram channels reported explosions at the Antonivsky Bridge near the city of Kherson, occupied by Russian forces.
Ukrainian missiles have severely damaged the bridge in recent weeks, but Russian troops were trying to repair it or set up a pontoon or barges to keep their units supplied on the right bank of the Dnieper.