4.15 p.m .: Since the Ukrainian counter-offensive launched in southern Ukraine at the beginning of the week, Russia has said that the troops of the neighboring country have suffered heavy losses. More than 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers have already been killed, the Defense Ministry said in Moscow on Wednesday. In addition, according to army spokesman Igor Konashenkov, Russian troops destroyed 63 tanks, 48 armored vehicles and 4 fighter planes. This information could not be independently verified.
Kyiv’s attempt to resume the offensive in southern Ukraine between Mykolayiv and Kryvyi Rih and in other directions failed, Konashenkov said. Since the beginning of the offensive, the Ukrainian leadership has not released any information about its course. Russian sources, on the other hand, wrote that the troops loyal to Moscow had come under severe pressure themselves in some sections.
1:47 p.m .: On the way to the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia, the team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in the city of the same name in southern Ukraine. A convoy of around 20 vehicles, including an ambulance, arrived in Zaporizhia on Wednesday, journalists from the AFP news agency reported. According to Ukrainian sources, after the IAEA team left Kyiv, the Russian army shelled the town of Enerhodar near the power plant.
11:39 a.m .: After a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left for the Ukrainian Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the Russian army fired on the nearby city of Enerhodar, according to Ukrainian sources. The city on the Dnipro is being attacked by the Russians with grenades, said the head of the military administration of the Nikopol district, Evhen Yevtushenko, on Wednesday. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi had previously announced in Kyiv that his team was now making its way from the Ukrainian capital to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
Wednesday, August 31, 9:57 a.m.: Shortly before the arrival of a group of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the southern Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia was fired on again, according to the Russian occupation administration. There have been more than 60 hits by drone attacks and artillery fire on the power plant site and in the surrounding area, said the representative of the Russian occupying forces, Vladimir Rogov, on Telegram on Wednesday. There were no victims.
According to him, the building of the city administration of the power plant city of Enerhodar was also damaged. A published video showed deglazed windows and damage to the facade. The information cannot be independently verified.
Shortly before, a 14-strong group of IAEA experts headed by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi had left Kyiv for Enerhodar. They want to get an idea of the situation in the power plant and talk to the remaining Ukrainian employees.
More frequent artillery shelling of buildings on the power plant site has recently led to power outages and increased international concern about a nuclear catastrophe. Kyiv accuses the Russian troops of shooting themselves. Russia, on the other hand, blamed Ukraine for the attacks.
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in the south-east of the country was occupied by Russian troops shortly after the start of the Russian invasion at the end of February. With its six blocks and a net output of 5700 megawatts, it is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Before the war it had more than 10,000 employees.
12.00 p.m .: According to Ukrainian information, several people were killed on Tuesday by Russian shelling of the city of Kharkiv. Russia has “fired on the inner-city districts of Kharkiv,” regional governor Oleg Synegubov wrote in the online service Telegram on Tuesday. According to him, four people were killed and four others injured. Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov wrote on Telegram that five people were dead and seven injured.
Kharkiv has been under regular fire since the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Regional governor Synegubow called on the city’s residents to remain in shelters for the time being.
The Ukrainian military has so far successfully prevented Russia from taking Kharkiv, which is around 50 kilometers from the Russian border. According to official Ukrainian figures, hundreds of people were killed in the shelling of the city, which had a population of around 1.4 million before the start of the war.
Tuesday, August 30, 10:24 a.m.: According to information from Kyiv, “heavy fighting” broke out in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian region of Kherson. There were “strong explosions all day and all night,” said the office of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday. “Almost the entire area” of the Cherson region is affected. The Ukrainian army launched a counteroffensive on Monday to recapture the region.
The Ukrainian armed forces had launched “offensives in different directions”, according to a statement from Kyiv. The British Ministry of Defense said in a security statement that the “scope of the Ukrainian advance” could not be confirmed. However, the Ukrainian army has “increased artillery fire on front sections throughout southern Ukraine” in order to interrupt Russian supply lines with “long-range precision strikes”.
The Cherson region with its capital of the same name on the banks of the Dnipro River borders on the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. As the first major city in Ukraine, Cherson was captured by the Russian army in early March, shortly after the start of the Russian invasion. The region is central to the country’s agriculture and also strategically important due to its proximity to Crimea.
In the Russian-occupied parts of Cherson and the neighboring Zaporizhia region, the Kremlin is pursuing a policy of Russification with a view to possible annexation. Moscow has introduced the ruble as its currency there and is encouraging residents to obtain Russian passports.
9:09 p.m .: The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed a Ukrainian offensive in the occupied areas of Kherson and Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. However, the attacks in three places were repelled, with the Ukrainian army suffering heavy casualties, a statement from Moscow said on Monday. The military information could not be independently verified.
Since June, the Ukrainian leadership has repeatedly announced a major counter-offensive in the south. On Monday, the southern group of the Ukrainian army announced that its own troops had broken through a Russian front line in the Cherson region. Accordingly, units of the Donetsk separatists and Russian marines were forced to retreat. More precise location information was not given.
The Ukrainian general staff made no mention of any offensive in the region in its report for Monday evening. However, Ukrainian authorities asked the population to leave the Russian-occupied areas if possible. Those who cannot do this should stock up on food and water and go to safe buildings.
Western military observers suspected a Ukrainian advance on Nowa Kakhovka. An important road to supply the Russian troops on the right bank runs across the Dnipro dam there. The Ukrainian army has been shelling the road from afar for the past few days.
In the center of the Ukrainian-controlled city of Mykolayiv, according to the authorities, two people died and 24 people were injured by Russian fire.
8:42 p.m.: According to Petro Andryushchenko, adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, Ukrainian soldiers blew up a Russian patrol on Monday. The Russians were responding to a fake call from partisans when they were blown up on their own mines. One Russian soldier was reportedly killed and another wounded in Mariupol.
18:27: A Ukrainian deputy who defected to Russia was murdered in occupied southern Ukraine. According to preliminary findings, the parliamentarian Oleksiy Kovalyov was shot dead in his house, the Russian criminal investigation authorities announced on Monday in the Telegram news channel. His girlfriend was also killed in the attack. According to Ukrainian sources, she died in hospital as a result of a knife wound. Several Ukrainian representatives had previously reported the attack and the death of the deputy.
Kovalev had already survived a bomb attack in June. The agricultural entrepreneur was elected to the Supreme Rada in 2019 via a direct mandate in the Cherson region for the presidential party Servants of the People. In April, after returning to his home region, he was expelled from the party and parliamentary group on suspicion of cooperation with Moscow. The public prosecutor’s office investigated high treason. In the occupation authority of the Cherson region, he served as deputy regional chief and minister of agriculture. In the past few weeks, several Ukrainians who volunteered for the occupation have already been attacked.
5:27 p.m .: According to the UN, at least 5,663 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since the Russian attack began, including 365 children. 8,055 other people were injured, the United Nations Human Rights Office in Geneva announced on Monday. Most were therefore victims of weapons with a broad impact such as grenades, rockets and airstrikes.
As the UN office emphasizes, a significantly higher number of dead and injured can be assumed. Information from contested areas arrived with a delay, and many reports still had to be checked. There are indications of numerous other victims, especially from places in the Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk regions.
5:05 p.m .: Officials deployed by Russia in Zaporizhia, Ukraine, said Monday that radiation levels at the city’s nuclear power plant were normal. As the news agency RIA Novosti announced, the situation is under control.
Earlier, the Russian-installed power plant management said a Ukrainian artillery attack had punched a hole in the roof of a building used to store reactor fuel. Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of being responsible for the shelling of the nuclear power plant site. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are currently on the road to check the safety of the Russian-held nuclear power plant on site. The visit was preceded by a great deal of diplomatic wrangling.
You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.