Day 177: UN Chief Repeats Call for Demilitarization of Nuclear Plant; Attacks Reported in Russia and Crimea
In a summit with the heads of Ukraine and Turkey on Thurs., the UN's António Guterres reiterated calls for a demilitarized zone at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, held by Russian forces since Mar. 4.
- In a summit with the heads of Ukraine and Turkey on Thurs., the UN's António Guterres reiterated calls for a demilitarized zone at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, held by Russian forces since Mar. 4. The secretary-general said: "Military equipment and personnel should be withdrawn from the plant. Further deployment of forces or equipment to the site must be avoided. The area needs to be demilitarised."
- Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan – who mediated the grain export deal which is also the subject of talks – said: "The focal point of the trilateral meeting was finding a way to end the war." The Pres. went on: "I have preserved my belief that the war will come to an end at the negotiating table."
- Ukraine's Zelenskyy said he was "very surprised" to hear that Russia is "ready for some kind of peace". He said: "People who kill, rape, on a daily basis cannot [want peace]. They are hitting our civilian cities, civilian infrastructures with cruise missiles – they cannot want peace. So first, it seems to me, they should liberate our territories."
- On the ground, Ukraine again appeared to strike Russian territory after a large blaze was reported at an ammunition depot near the village of Timonovo in the Russian-border region of Belgorod. There were no reports of casualties. Blasts were also reported in Kerch, eastern Crimea, where the Crimean Bridge connects the peninsula to Russia. A local official said air defence systems were activated and there was no damage to Crimea or the bridge.
- Meanwhile, renewed pre-dawn Russian strikes hit the city of Kharkiv on Fri., reportedly striking a university and killing at least one civilian and injuring another. It comes as Ukrainian officials said that at least 19 civilians have been confirmed killed and 42 injured in strikes on Thursday.
- Russian strikes were also reported in Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk, where one civilian was reported killed. Heavy fighting and artillery fire continued in the Donetsk region. Ukrainian officials said five civilians had been killed and 10 more injured in the last 24 hrs. Officials from the Donetsk People's Republic said seven civilians had been killed and 23 were injured in the same period.
Sources: Al Jazeera, Independent, I24, Ukrinform, and Pravda.
- Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Byline Times. With strikes increasingly hitting key bridges and ammunition depots in Russian-controlled territory, there's more and more reason to think Ukraine's counteroffensive – a vital step in bringing this war to a close - will be a success.
- Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by New Kontinent. Ukraine's southern offensive has been much talked about, but there's little to show for it in territorial gains other than the recapture of a small town. Not only has there been no Ukraine counteroffensive, it will never come.