Ukrainian official says fighting is at a 'deadlock' before UN visit

Ukrainian official says fighting is at a 'deadlock' before UN visit
Residential area in Kharkiv hit by blast. Credit: Twitter account of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba

Ukrainian troops said on Thursday that they had pushed back a Russian assault in the southern region Kherson. However, Russian blasts in northern Kharkiv have killed 7 people, with 16 wounded late Wednesday night.

President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said a residential building was completely destroyed in the bombing of Kharkiv's Saltivka residential neighbourhood, as the almost six-months war drags on.

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In response to the civilian attacks in Kharkiv, Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy said "this is a devious and cynical strike on civilians with no justification," on Telegram, while Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for more military aid and further sanctions against Russia on Twitter.

Ukrainian forces have killed 29 "occupiers" near the town of Bilohirka, northwest of Kherson, including demolishing artillery, armoured vehicles and military supplies, according to Reuters.

"Russian forces have achieved only minimal advances, and in some cases, we have advanced since last month," Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video. "What we are seeing is a strategic deadlock."

Negotiations

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday in the city of Lviv in the west of Ukraine.

They will talk about political solutions to the war as well as how to address the global food supply crisis. Moreover, they will talk about the risk of nuclear disaster at Zaporizhzhya, Europe's largest nuclear power plant, which has been taken over by Russian forces. Ukraine has accused Russia of using the site as a nuclear shield.

Guterres has said he wants the Zaporizhzhya zone demilitarized due to heightened fears of a nuclear catastrophe. Ukraine's foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said that a delegation from the International Atomic Agency was ready to visit the plant after speaking with the general director of the agency.

"I emphasised the mission's urgency to address nuclear security threats caused by Russia's hostilities," he said on Twitter.

Russia's defence ministry has accused Ukraine of gearing up for a "provocation" at the plant on Friday when Guterres will visit Ukraine, reported Russian state-owned news agency RIA.


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