Russian Missile Strike Hits Central Ukraine Region

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A Russian missile struck a private business in the central Ukraine region of Vinnytsia overnight, wounding three people, Ukranian authorities said Friday.

In a post on Telegram, Governor Serhiy Borzov said, “Unfortunately, there are victims – three civilians, they are being provided with all necessary assistance.” He added that property and cars had been damaged.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian drone hit a town early Friday in western Russia that is home to one of the country’s largest nuclear power plants.

Russian officials say there are no reports of damage to the plant itself, located in Kurchatov, but at least one building was damaged.

The Kursk nuclear plant has the same graphite-moderated reactors as the Chernobyl nuclear plant, the site of the world’s largest nuclear accident in 1986 that spread nuclear radiation across Europe.

The British Defense Ministry said Friday in its daily intelligence update on Ukraine that Russia is now using “a range of passive defenses” to ensure the survival of crossings across the Kerch Strait, including the Crimean Bridge.

The ministry said the defenses include smoke generators and underwater barriers constructed of submerged ships and containment booms, to protect against attacks by drone boats.

“The bridge’s importance for both logistics and symbolism of Russian occupation mandates these extensive protection measures,” the report said.

The U.N. Secretary-General said Thursday that he has reached out to Russia with “concrete proposals” to renew the collapsed grain deal Moscow pulled out of in July and then followed with a series of attacks on Ukraine’s ports and grain infrastructure.

“The proposal is relating to the need to reestablish the Black Sea initiative,” Antonio Guterres told reporters at the United Nations during a brief news conference. “At the same time, we have some concrete solutions for the concerns allowing for more effective access of Russian food and fertilizer to global markets at adequate prices.”

He did not go into detail on the proposal, only saying it addresses some of Moscow’s concerns. But he cautioned that any revival of the initiative must be stable.

“We cannot have a Black Sea initiative that moves from crisis to crisis, from suspension to suspension,” Guterres said. “We need to have something that works, and that works to the benefit of everybody.”

The U.N. chief said he does not see the possibility for peace in Ukraine anytime soon, making a resumption of initiatives like the grain deal even more urgent.

“I think we are not yet there,” Guterres said of ending the war. “That is why it is so important to take measures to reduce the dramatically negative impacts of this war in relation to the world.”

Meanwhile, Turkey, which played a key role in the negotiations and implementation of the grain deal, dispatched its foreign minister to Moscow Thursday to discuss reviving it.

For nearly a year, the initiative helped facilitate the export of nearly 33 million tons of grain and other foodstuffs from Ukraine via the Black Sea, helping to bring down global food prices, which spiked after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia was also receiving help in facilitating its own grain and fertilizer exports.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan expressed support for the U.N. proposals during a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, according to Turkish media reports.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also is reportedly planning to meet soon with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the grain deal, among other issues.

Fresh drone, missile attacks

Russian officials said Thursday the country’s air defenses shot down a Ukrainian drone flying toward Moscow.

The Russian defense ministry said the drone was destroyed over the Voskresensky district.

Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow’s mayor, said on Telegram there were no reports of casualties or damage.

On Wednesday, Ukraine launched a wave of drone attacks aimed at six Russian regions, including hitting an airport near Russia’s border with Estonia and Latvia. That drone ignited a huge blaze and damaged four Il-76 military transport planes, which can carry heavy machinery and troops, the Russian news agency Tass reported, quoting emergency officials.

Meanwhile, Moscow’s forces hit Kyiv with drones and missiles that Ukrainian officials described as a “massive, combined attack”. Two people were killed by falling debris.

Source : VOA News