military situation

The fighting at the front continued on Sunday with undiminished severity. It is the 193rd day of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry on Saturday accused the Ukrainian army of wanting to recapture the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant despite the presence of international nuclear experts. 250 soldiers and “foreign mercenaries” were involved in the operation. The Russian army claims to have repelled the attack and destroyed several boats. The information could not be independently verified.

The Ukrainian military in turn accused Russia of carrying out attacks in the direction of Zaporizhia on Saturday night. Details were not given in the management report. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, a power line was damaged in the shelling. Therefore, the power supply to the area not occupied by Russia was interrupted.

After media reports of explosions in the city of Cherson occupied by the Russian military, the Ukrainian general staff announced that they had destroyed the base of a special unit of troops loyal to Moscow. In addition, Ukrainian media transported images that another bridge over the Dnipro near Nowa Kakhovka was said to have been disabled. The information cannot be verified independently. In the region in southern Ukraine, pro-government troops are attempting a counter-offensive to drive the Russians back behind the Dnipro River.

Meanwhile, the Russian army was trying to advance in Donbass, the general staff said. Attacks have come in several directions. However, they were all repelled. However, several impacts with civilian casualties were registered in the hinterland.

According to Ukrainian sources, a residential area in Kharkiv was shelled twice during the night. This is what the mayor of the city Ihor Terekhov writes on Telegram. The extent of the damage and the number of victims are still being clarified, according to Terekhov.

Two children died in rocket attacks on Saturday. “In Zelenodolsk, the Russians killed a nine-year-old boy,” said the military governor of the central Ukrainian region of Dnipropetrovsk, Valentyn Resnichenko, on his Telegram channel on Saturday. A total of about ten people were injured by the rocket attacks, most of them seriously. Here, too, an independent verification of the information was not possible.

There were also rocket attacks in the Mykolayiv region in southern Ukraine. There, an eight-year-old child is said to have been killed by the impacts, two other children and four adults were injured.

Voices and Political Developments

In the face of the recent interruption of gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Europe, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of an energy war and called for more unity in Europe. “Russia is trying to increase the energy pressure on Europe these days even more – the pumping of gas through the Nord Stream has stopped completely,” Zelenskyy said in his daily video message on Saturday evening. “Russia wants to destroy the normal life of every European – in all countries of our continent.”

Moscow is about weakening and intimidating the states in Europe, said Zelenskyj. In addition to tanks and missiles, Russia also uses energy as a weapon. This winter Russia is preparing the “decisive blow” in the energy sector. Only greater cohesion and coordinated countermeasures by the Europeans would help. In addition, the pressure on Russia must be increased in order to limit the country’s oil and gas revenues.

Earlier, Gazprom had not restarted gas supplies through the pipeline after three days of maintenance work on the last operating turbine of Nord Stream 1.

According to British intelligence services, Russian forces in Ukraine continue to suffer from morale and discipline problems. “In addition to combat fatigue and high casualties, problems with pay are probably still one of the main criticisms of Russian soldiers on the ground,” said a briefing by the Ministry of Defense in London on Sunday morning. In the Russian military, soldiers’ income consists of a modest base salary supplemented by a variety of bonuses and allowances. In Ukraine, too, there were “most likely” serious problems because significant combat bonuses were not paid.

This is likely due to an inefficient military bureaucracy, the unusual legal status of the “special military operation” and, at least in part, open corruption among commanders. “The Russian military has consistently failed to provide basic rights to troops stationed in Ukraine, including proper uniforms, weapons and food, and pay. This has almost certainly contributed to the continued low morale of most of the troops.”

The energy supply in the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia is also a source of concern: according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the power connection via the main lines has been cut. The system is only connected to the grid via a spare cable. The electricity connection to the power plant was torn down a week ago. At that time, the lines had been damaged by a previous shelling.

Development Minister Schulze promised Ukraine further financial aid. “The majority of our new aid, 200 million euros, is to flow into a Ukrainian government program to support internally displaced persons,” the SPD politician told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Sunday). “The money is intended to help the displaced people in Ukraine continue to provide themselves with the essentials.”

What will be important on Sunday

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Schmyhal will be received by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in the Chancellery on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin is flying to the Far East of the country. He wants to take part in an eco-forum on the Kamchatka peninsula. In the days that follow, he plans to inspect the Vostok-2022 military maneuvers in the region, among other things.