Ukraine hints it was behind mysterious strikes in occupied Crimea

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Ukraine has hinted it was behind a series of mysterious and devastating strikes in occupied Crimea that destroyed a key railway junction used for supplying Russian troops and a military airbase. Several explosions on Tuesday appeared to have destroyed a Russian ammunition depot and an electricity substation about 125 miles (200km) from the frontline with Ukrainian forces. Russia blamed saboteurs for orchestrating the series of explosions.

There could be more attacks in the “next two or three months” similar to the strikes in Crimea, a key adviser to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in an exclusive interview with the Guardian. Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine is engaged in a counteroffensive aimed at creating “chaos within Russian forces” by striking at the invaders’ supply lines deep into occupied territories.

The top official in Russian-annexed Crimea said on Wednesday that the FSB security service had broken up what he described as a six-person terrorist cell of a banned Islamist group, a day after explosions rocked one of Russia’s military bases there.

In Other Developments:


* Two civilians were killed and seven wounded in shelling by Russian forces in the last 24 hours, Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, said on Telegram.

* Ukrainian technicians at the Russian-held nuclear power plant hit by shelling work under the barrels of Russian guns and face huge pressure, but they are staying on to make sure there is no Chornobyl-style disaster, one of them said.

* Reuters could not confirm battlefield reports independently.


* Wary of frustration among some countries that the war is consuming too much global attention nearly six months in, Western diplomats face difficulty in trying to sustain international resolve to isolate Russia diplomatically.

* U.N. Secretary-General Guterres will meet Ukrainian President Zelenskiy in Lviv in western Ukraine to discuss the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, along with finding a political solution to the conflict, a spokesman said.

* North Korea and the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk region of Ukraine will develop “equally beneficial bilateral cooperation”, Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin said in a letter to Kim Jong Un, North Korean state media reported on Wednesday.


* Russia’s economy will contract less than expected and inflation will not be as high as projected three months ago, economy ministry forecasts seen by Reuters showed, suggesting it is dealing with sanctions better than initially feared.

* Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom said Russian-based hackers carried out a three-hour attack on its website but had not caused significant problems.

* The U.N.’s Guterres plans to meet Turkish President Erdogan, a spokesman said, and on Friday will visit Odesa on the Black Sea, where grain exports have resumed.

Ukrainian rescuers inspect a shelling hole on the roof of a residential building after a shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine, amid Russia’s military invasion. Five people were injured in a result of the shelling, the Ukrainian Rescue Service has reported. Kharkiv and surrounding areas have been the target of heavy shelling since February 2022, when Russian troops entered Ukraine starting a conflict that has provoked destruction and a humanitarian crisis. EPA-EFE/VASILIY ZHLOBSKY

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