Zelensky urges residents to be strong as Ukraine races to restore power

Zelensky urges residents to be strong as Ukraine races to restore power

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On the battle front, Zelensky said Ukrainian forces were holding positions along the front line, including near Bakhmut, which was seen as Russia’s next target through Donetsk.

In its evening report, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that Russian forces pressed for better tactical positions to advance on the town of Bakhmut and Avdivka, inside Ukrainian controlled territory.

The Russian military conducted tank and artillery fire training on both cities and around eight other centres.

Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrey Ermak, said in a telegram that five volunteers from the former Soviet state of Georgia were among those killed near Bakhmut.

Russian forces also shelled 25 settlements along the front line to the south, including the cities of Kherson and Nikopol – on the Ukrainian-held side of the Kakhovka reservoir opposite the Russian-held Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

Nikopol mayor Yevgen Yevtushenko said one resident had died and urged residents to stay in underground shelters.

In a stark reminder of the human cost of the invasion, the Ukrainian parliament’s commissioner for human rights, Dmytro Lubinets, said that more than 2.8 million Ukrainians had been deported to Russian territory since the invasion in February.

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