Ukraine Latest: Kyiv Launches Offensive Along Southern Front


Ukraine started an offensive in the south in a push to retake Kherson and reported heavy fighting in the region around the river port, which was one of the first cities to fall to Russian forces at the start of the war.

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(Bloomberg) — Ukraine started an offensive in the south in a push to retake Kherson and reported heavy fighting in the region around the river port, which was one of the first cities to fall to Russian forces at the start of the war. 

Artillery hit Russian positions around the Kherson region, according to the Ukrainian military’s southern command, which earlier said the promised counteroffensive began Monday along several points on the front. Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed the attacks in a statement, and said the push “failed miserably.” 

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The US Department of Defense said there was an increase in fighting around Kherson, without labeling it a counteroffensive. A US National Security Council spokesman called for a  “controlled shutdown” of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is near the clashes and has been subject to shelling.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

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On the Ground

Heavy fighting is taking place across large parts of the Kherson region, and Ukraine has destroyed most major bridges across the Dnipro in the area, the presidential office in Kyiv said in a military update. Ukrainian artillery hit 13 control centers of Russian forces around Kherson, the country’s southern command said on Facebook. Russia struck the city of Zaporizhzhia overnight, Interfax-Ukraine reported, citing local authorities. To the east, Russian forces shelled the Donetsk, Sumy and Kharkiv regions, according to the Ukrainian military.

(All times CET)

EU’s Borrell Seeks Green Light for Training Mission (8:30 a.m.)

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said he hopes defense ministers will give a political green light for a training mission for Ukraine.

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“Ukraine needs our support and we will continue providing this support both with military capacities, and also the minsters will discuss about the idea of putting in place a high-level training mission for the Ukrainian army,” Borrell told reporters ahead of a ministerial meeting in Prague on Tuesday. Ukraine’s Defense Minster Oleksii Reznikov will take part via video link.

The EU could offer Ukraine’s armed forces sniper, de-mining or officer training as part of the mission, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg.

IAEA Team Have “Set Off” for Zaporizhzhia Plant (8:10 a.m.)

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi and a team of inspectors “set off” for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, to ensure the facility’s safety, the agency said in a tweet. 

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned over the weekend that the situation at the plant remains dangerous, even after two power units were reconnected to the grid following a power failure.

US Seeks ‘Controlled Shutdown’ of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant (9:49 p.m.)

The US believes that shutting down Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is the “safest and least risky option,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters, amid renewed reports of shelling around the facility.

The plant’s reactors were taken offline briefly last week after fires broke out around the plant, which is now under Russian control. Both sides accuse the other of launching dangerous attacks nearby.

The nuclear plant is a major source of Ukraine’s energy although Russia may be trying to shift its output to its own grid.

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Why Ukraine’s Big Nuclear Plant Raises Worries Again: QuickTake

France, Germany Want to Beat Russian Doctrine With TikTok, Visas (9:16 p.m.)

Germany and France want the European Union to drive a wedge between President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people with a campaign to counter propaganda within Russia and a visa policy that signals Europe is still open to ordinary citizens. 

In an unofficial paper titled “Defending the international order in an age of systemic rivalry: EU-Russia relations,” France and Germany say the EU needs to continue exploring “creative ways” to allow for the dissemination of independent information to and within Russia, according to a copy of the document seen by Bloomberg. 

The countries also call for open channels of communication with the Russian government, even as they urge broadening sanctions against Russian officials and continued financial and military support for Ukraine. 

Read the full story here.

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