NU.nl regularly gives you an overview of the situation in Ukraine. This time: a bloody battle takes place along the Dnipro River. In addition, Ukraine is already setting its sights on a Russian winter offensive.
Ukraine reported early this week that the first troops had crossed the Dnipro into Russian-occupied territory. A report followed on Friday that more and more troops were crossing the river and fighting the Russians on the southern bank
According to Ukraine, pieces of land are being reconquered all the time. Ukraine is also said to have set up ‘bridgeheads’ in various places. This means that the area on the other side of the river is so firmly controlled that the supply of additional troops is possible.
Russia is trying to push the Ukrainians back. On Saturday, the Russian army said it had killed at least 75 Ukrainian soldiers in heavy bombardments. Four vehicles were also destroyed. The claims have not been independently verified.
If Ukraine actually manages to push through from the riverbanks, it would be the first major success of the Ukrainian counteroffensive in months. The offensive got underway in June and was intended, among other things, to achieve a breakthrough of the front line in the south.
Ukraine looks ahead to winter
Ukraine cannot focus solely on the battle in the south. We must also gradually look towards the winter, when another offensive from the Russians is expected.
The country’s largest private energy company says it is ready for the upcoming winter. Director Maxim Timchenko does hope that the West will quickly supply more anti-aircraft systems. Last winter, energy companies were repeatedly targeted by Russian bombings, leaving Ukrainian residents out in the cold.
“We don’t have enough to defend ourselves yet,” Timchenko said. “I know that the president (Volodymyr Zelensky, ed.) is doing everything he can to improve the situation.”
Timchenko’s energy company is responsible for heating more than seven million Ukrainian families. Currently the company can only operate at half capacity due to repeated bombings. The rest of the company has been damaged or destroyed.
Underground schools against wave of bombings
Ukrainians in Kharkiv, more easterly, are also preparing for winter and a long war afterwards. Underground schools are being built so that children can still attend classes during Russian attack waves.
About 2.5 million people live in the border region. The area is often under fire because it is so close to Russia. At least three regions within Kharkiv have been bombed in the past 24 hours.
Work is underway on two large underground schools, which can accommodate a total of a thousand children. “These can absorb bombardments,” says architect Anton Korotoyskykh. “Everything will be there for children to learn,” quotes Reuters it.
In Kharkiv, 817 educational sites have been damaged or destroyed by bombings, Korotoyskykh claims. That is why new underground schools will be built next year.
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Ships continue to leave Ukrainian ports
Finally, Ukraine provided an update on the situation in the Black Sea. 151 ships are said to have now used the humanitarian corridor that has been set up there. Ships can sail safely via that route, despite the fact that a war is raging directly around them.
The ships carried about 4.4 million tons of cargo. The largest part of this, about 3.2 million tons, was grain, wrote Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Yuiy Vaskov. Ukraine is one of the world’s leading grain producers.
Initially, ships could continue to use Ukrainian ports through a grain deal with Russia. That deal ended in July. A humanitarian corridor was then set up to replace the grain deal. That route runs through Romania and Bulgaria.