11 Russian troops slain at shooting range as fighting rages

11 Russian troops slain at shooting range as fighting rages

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine — At least 11 Russian soldiers were killed Saturday in a shooting incident that underlined the challenges posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hasty mobilization, just as Ukrainian troops pressed an offensive to reclaim the areas in the country’s south that were illegally annexed by Moscow.

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that two men opened fire on volunteer soldiers during a practice session in western Russia. They killed 11 and injured 15 before being shot to death. It was a terrorist attack, according to the ministry.

Russia has lost ground in the nearly seven weeks since Ukraine‘s armed forces opened their southern counteroffensive. The Kremlin launched the largest coordinated air- and missile attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure since Russia’s invasion on February. 24.

A missile strike on Saturday severely damaged a key energy facility located in Ukraine’s capital, according to the grid operator. After mounting setbacks, Russia’s military tried to cut off power and water in remote areas of Ukraine while also fighting off counterattacks from the Ukrainians in occupied territories.

In Zaporizhzhia, Gov. Oleksandr Starukh stated that the Russian military used suicide drones from Iran as well as long-range S -300 rockets in its strikes. Experts believe that the Russian military’s use the surface-to air missiles may be due to a lack of precision weapons capable of hitting ground targets.

Dmytro POcishchuk, a Zaporizhzhia regional capital hospital medic who treated dozens of victims of Russian attacks in recent weeks, said that people sought safety outside or in his basement when the familiar blasts began at 5: 15. Saturday.

” If Ukraine ceases, these bombings will continue. Pocishchuk stated several hours later that we cannot give up on the Russian Federation. He placed a small Ukrainian flag on his car’s windshield.

Kyiv governor. Oleksiy Kuleba stated that the missile that struck a power plant Saturday morning did not kill or injure anyone. Ukrainian officials did not identify the site because of security concerns. This was one of many infrastructure targets that the Russian military attempted to destroy following an Oct. 8 truck bomb blast that destroyed the bridge linking Russia and the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Ukrainian electricity transmission firm Ukrenergo stated that repair crews were working to restore electricity service but warned residents about possible outages. Kyrylo Tymoshenko was the deputy head for the Ukrainian president’s office. She urged residents in the capital and three nearby regions to conserve energy.

“Putin may believe that by increasing the misery among the Ukrainian people, President Volodymyr (Zelenskyy) may be more inclined towards negotiating a settlement that allows Russia some stolen territory in Crimea or the east,” said Ian Williams, a fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “A quick glance at history shows that strategic bombing civilians is ineffective to achieve a political goal. “

Several people were killed in this week’s broad-ranging retaliatory strikes, which included self-destructing bomber drones from Iran. The strikes targeted residential buildings and infrastructure, including power stations in Kyiv and Lviv in western Ukraine. These were among the cities that have seen comparatively few strikes in recent weeks.

Putin stated Friday that Moscow doesn’t see the need for more massive strikes, but that his military would continue selective strikes. He stated that seven of the 29 targets that Russia’s military had planned to hit in this week’s attack were not damaged and would be eliminated gradually.

The Institute for the Study of War in Washington interpreted Putin’s comments as a counter to criticisms from pro-war Russian bloggers. They “largely praised the resumption of attacks against Ukrainian cities, but warned that an ineffective campaign would be ineffective.” Ukrainian forces launched a counteroffensive in the south Kherson region, which was one of the first areas in Ukraine to fall to Russia following the invasion. It was also illegally claimed by Putin as Russian territory last month.

Kyiv’s Army reported that they had retaken 75 villages, towns, and other areas in the region over the last month. However, the army said that momentum had slowed down and the fighting settled into the same grueling back-and forth as Russia’s long-running offensive to seize the eastern Donbass region of Ukraine.

On Saturday Ukrainian troops tried to advance south along Dnieper River banks towards Kherson, the regional capital. However, they failed to gain any ground according to Kirill Sremousov (a deputy head the Moscow-installed administration in the occupied region).

” The defense lines worked and the situation remained under full control of Russian army,” he wrote via his messaging app channel.

The Kremlin-backed local leaders requested that civilians leave the area Thursday to ensure their safety as well as give Russian troops greater maneuverability. Stremousov reminded them that they could evacuate to Crimea or cities in southwestern Russia. Moscow offers free accommodation to those who agree to leave.

Maj. General Igor Konashenkov of the Russian Defense Ministry spoke out saying that five crossings on Inhulets River were destroyed by the military, which was another route Ukraine’s fighters could use to reach the Kherson region.

Konashenkov claimed Russian troops also blocked Ukrainian attempts to make inroads in breaching Russian defenses near Lyman, a city in the annexed Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine that the Ukrainians retook two weeks ago in a significant defeat for the Kremlin.

During the fighting, two men from a former Soviet nation fired upon volunteer soldiers at a firing range in Belgorod, which borders Ukraine, and were hit by the return fire.

The shooting took place amid a Putin-ordered mobilization to strengthen Russian forces in Ukraine. This was a rushed and poorly executed move that triggered protests, and caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee Russia. According to activists and media reports, some of the mobilized reserve soldiers were sent to the frontlines without proper training or equipment.

Putin said on Friday that more than 220,000 reservists already had been called up as part of an effort to recruit 300,000.

To both the east and north of Kherson, Russian bombardment killed two civilians in Dnipropetrovsk, Gov. Valentyn Resnichenko said. He stated that the shelling of Nikopol, located across the Dnieper, from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant caused damage to a dozen residential buildings, several shops, and a transport facility.

The eight-month war has seen constant tensions near Europe’s largest nuclear plant. The power station lost its last outside electricity source twice in the week. This raised fears that the reactors might overheat and result in a catastrophic radiation leakage.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi reported that such fears were somewhat eased late Friday, because Ukrainian engineers had managed after several weeks to restore backup power lines that can serve as a “buffer” in case of further war-related outages.

“Despite working in extremely difficult conditions, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant’s operating staff is doing all they can to improve its fragile offsite power situation.” Grossi stated. “Restoring the backup power connection is a positive step in this regard, even though the overall nuclear safety and security situation remains precarious.”

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