Ukraine’s counteroffensive makes gains in the east and reaches the gates of Luhansk | International

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The Ukrainian troops continue to advance towards the east of the country in full Russian withdrawal, after the counteroffensive of the local Army, which has recovered more than 8,000 square kilometers in the Kharkov region alone. The military managed to cross to the eastern bank of the Oskil River over the weekend at the height of the city of Kupiansk, which puts them at the gates of the Luhansk region, which is their next target.

“The occupiers are clearly in a panic,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised address Monday night, adding that he was now focused on “speed” in the liberated areas. “The speed at which our troops move. The speed in the restoration of normal life”, clarified the president.

The President of Ukraine, Valodímir Zelensky, last FridayPhoto: Europe Press | Video: Reuters

The authorities anticipate, however, that they will encounter strong Russian resistance in Lugansk and are already preparing for intense fighting, according to the governor of that region, Sergi Haidai. “There will be a fight for every inch. The enemy is preparing his defense. So we are not going to just march,” Haidai wrote on Telegram.

The Lugansk region and the Donetsk region represent what is known as Donbas, the essentially Russian-speaking area that the Kremlin most covets after having illegally occupied the Crimean peninsula in 2014. In Donbas, almost entirely in Russian hands, Moscow-backed pro-independence militias have been at war with kyiv’s troops for eight years. Russia has promoted and supported the two self-proclaimed independent republics on which the authority that holds power is based, which have just requested that the holding of a referendum on annexation to Russia be accelerated. The pro-Russian leaders of the province of Kherson, in southern Ukraine, have joined this claim.

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New fears of a radioactive leak

So far, Moscow’s response to the Russian rout that has turned the tables on the conflict and boosted kyiv’s optimism has been to attack steadily. And the targets have been areas where civilians live; essential infrastructure for the daily life of the population, such as power stations or dams, despite the fact that international regulations that regulate conflicts prohibit this type of attack. One of the last has been against another nuclear power plant, known as Sur, located in the Mikolaiv region.

A missile fell in the vicinity of the facilities from Sunday to Monday, although none of the essential components were damaged or there were no personal injuries, the country’s nuclear agency, Energoatom, reported on Monday through its network channel. Social Telegram. After a brief disconnection, the plant resumed its activity, added the same source.

Ukraine’s nuclear power plants have been, since the beginning of the Russian invasion, on February 24, a priority objective both strategically and to reduce the enemy. First it was Chernobyl, inactive but converted into a symbol since the 1986 accident, where the Russians took power in the early hours of that day and did not leave until a month later. Then, Zaporizhia, the largest power plant in Europe, where fighting is constant and where the danger of a nuclear tragedy has been looming daily for more than six months. Now South. There are two other plants located in the west of the country, Rivne and Khmeltniski.

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