Ukraine Hits Military Depot in Russian-Controlled City
ODESSA, Ukraine—Ukrainian forces struck an ammunition depot deep inside Russian-occupied territory in the south of the country, as Russia shelled Ukrainian cities in the east in its push to capture the entirety of the Donbas area, Ukrainian officials said.
The long-range strikes presage the next phase of the war, with Ukraine aiming to liberate its southern regions from Russian control and Moscow looking to seize more of Ukraine’s east.
Ukraine claimed a success in its efforts in the south late Monday, saying that eight foreign ships were able to access ports after Ukrainian forces ousted Russia’s military from the strategic Snake Island in the Black Sea. Ukraine, a major wheat exporter, has struggled to export its grains since Russia seized its main ports, causing food shortages across the world.
The depot strike happened in Nova Kakhovka, a city on the southern bank of the Dnipro River that Russia seized in the early days of the war, Ukraine’s military said. Ukraine has used long-range rocket launchers donated by the U.S. to target dozens of Russian ammunition depots and command-posts in recent weeks. Kyiv didn’t identify the weapon used in the attack late Monday. Russian officials said Ukraine forces had used U.S.-made multiple-launch rocket systems known as Himars.
A video shared on social media by Ukrainian officials showed a huge explosion. Ukraine’s armed forces said the strike destroyed ammunition, artillery and armored vehicles. Russia-appointed officials said civilian infrastructure, including a market, residential housing and a fertilizer-storage site, were hit, killing seven people and injuring 80.
In the south, Ukrainian special forces and partisans have carried out assaults on infrastructure and collaborators behind Russian lines. On Monday,
head of the administration in Russian-occupied
was killed in an explosion, Ukrainian and Russian officials said. The incident was the latest in a string of similar killings in the Russian-occupied territories.
Ukrainian forces hit targets in the Russian-controlled city of Energodar with drones, according to Ukrainian and Russian officials. Ukrainian officials said the unmanned aerial vehicles struck a military compound; local pro-Russian officials said the target was a residential building.
Both sides have taken heavy losses as the conflict has become a war of attrition, defined by relentless volleys of heavy artillery and missiles. As the West ferries long-range weaponry into Ukraine, Russia’s military has stepped up missile strikes on positions far from the front lines.
Though strikes have continued across the country, the bulk of Moscow’s firepower has been trained on the Donetsk region in the days since it claimed control over all of the Luhansk region. Russia and separatist forces that Moscow controls already hold part of Donetsk. Capturing the rest of the region would give Moscow full control of the Donbas area, which the Kremlin made its priority after pulling its forces out of central Ukraine in late March.
In the northeastern Kharkiv region, the districts of Kharkiv, Bohodukhiv and Izyum came under heavy shelling early Tuesday, according to the governor,
Ukrainian forces said they successfully prevented Russian forces from advancing on the towns of Dementiivka and Izyum, Mr. Synyehubov said.
Military officials from Russia, Ukraine and Turkey along with a United Nations delegation are set to hold talks in Istanbul on Wednesday toward a plan to export Ukrainian grain to the international market, Turkey’s defense minister said.
Turkey and the U.N. have been working to broker an arrangement to export more than 20 million metric tons of grain that has been trapped in Ukraine. At stake in the talks is how to export the grain through the Black Sea, where both Russian and Ukrainian forces have laid sea mines.
The Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that negotiations with Russia and Ukraine had “developed in a positive way.”
European Union finance ministers on Tuesday agreed to provide a loan to Ukraine of 1 billion euros, equivalent to $1 billion, the first tranche of a €9 billion loan that the bloc’s leaders signed off on last month.
The funds are being made available for Ukraine to meet urgent bills for basic services in coming months, and are intended to match U.S. short-term funding for the country. The EU will also cover interest payments on the first tranche of the loan, which Ukraine will have years to pay back. It comes on top of a €1.2 billion loan for Ukraine that the EU provided after the war started.
—Laurence Norman in Brussels and Jared Malsin in Istanbul contributed to this article.
Write to Vivian Salama at [email protected] and Bojan Pancevski at [email protected]
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