French President Emmanuel Macron pledges continued deliveries of ammunition, weapons and armed vehicles in the coming weeks, saying France wants Ukraine’s counteroffensive “to be as successful as possible.” U.S. President Joe Biden to host NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House after talks delayed by a day for Biden dental procedure. Russia-installed official says the death toll in Russia-controlled areas following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine rose to 17.
Ukrainian officials said Tuesday a Russian missile attack on Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine killed at least 10 people and injured 25 others.
Serhiy Lysak, governor of Dnipropetrovsk region, said Russia destroyed a five-story residential building in the attack and that rescuers were searching through the rubble.
Kryvyi Rih is the birthplace of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who posted on Telegram, “Russian killers continue their war against residential buildings, ordinary cities and people.”
“Terrorists will never be forgiven, and they will be held accountable for every missile they launch,” Zelenskyy said.
The attack on Kryvyi Rih was part of a wider aerial assault by Russia that also targeted the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and the city of Kharkiv.
Ukraine’s military said it shot down 10 of 14 cruise missiles launched by Russia, as well as one of four Iranian-made drones used by Russian forces.
Russia’s defense ministry said Tuesday its forces captured several German-made Leopard tanks and U.S.-made Bradley Fighting Vehicles during fighting in southern Ukraine. Russia called the hardware “our trophies” and said they were captured in the Zaporizhzhia area after Ukrainian crews fled.
Ukraine said Monday it had recaptured seven villages since launching the counteroffensive last week with the aim of reclaiming areas occupied by Russian forces.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed confidence Monday that Ukraine will “continue to have success in what they’re trying to achieve, which is to take back the land that’s been seized from them by Russia.”
Blinken told reporters the United States will “continue to maximize our support to Ukraine now” and also provide enduring support to help Ukraine deter Russia from invading again in the future.
“It’s very important to note that, in terms of what President Putin was trying to achieve in Ukraine, it’s already been a strategic failure, because the objective that Putin had — that he stated himself — was to erase Ukraine from the map, to eliminate its independence, and to absorb Ukraine, in one fashion or another, into Russia. That has failed and it cannot succeed,” Blinken said.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power
The United Nations atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi is expected to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant this week to assess risks from the decrease of water levels at the Kakhovka reservoir.
Grossi tweeted Monday that he was on his way to Ukraine to meet with Zelenskyy and discuss assistance following what he called the “catastrophic” flooding that followed the destruction of the Kakhovka dam in southern Ukraine last week.
The Kakhovka reservoir has lost nearly three-quarters of its volume of water, but it has not impacted the plant’s cooling ponds, Ukrainian Environment Minister Ruslan Strilets said Monday.
Ukrainian nuclear authorities said the water at the plant’s cooling ponds remains stable and high enough because the ponds are separate from the reservoir and can be refilled by wells in the area. The water in the pond evaporates slowly, they said, because the reactors are not producing power.
In Kherson, the United Nations is coordinating relief efforts for the Kakhovka disaster by delivering water, food and hygiene items to almost 180,000 people. Since the day of the disaster, the U.N. has distributed more than 800,000 liters of bottled water and 70,000 monthly rations of ready-to-eat food, U.N. spokesperson Stephanie Dujarric told reporters Monday, adding that the U.N. has also provided information to 100,000 people in the area about risks regarding mine contamination.
Some information for this story came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.