Russian forces continue attempts to encircle Bakhmut city, says General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces
Over 130 Russian attacks were repelled in the past 24 hours by Ukrainian soldiers on the front line, the Ukrainian military said on Sunday.
“The enemy is concentrating its main efforts on conducting offensive operations in the Kupiansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions. Yesterday, our defenders repelled more than 130 enemy attacks in the indicated directions,” according to a briefing by General Staff of Ukrainian Armed Forces.
It said the Ukrainian air force conducted 18 airstrikes on clusters of Russian military personnel and equipment.
The military said Russian forces continue their attempts to encircle Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine, a large transport hub through which Ukrainian troops are supplied with weapons, military equipment, and ammunition.
Ukraine says diplomatic talks with Russia on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant at ‘dead end’
Ukraine has said that diplomatic talks between Kyiv and Moscow on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) have reached a “dead end,” as fighting around the plant under Russian control continues for more than 12 months.
"Currently, the situation has reached a dead end. Our position, which we voice on all international platforms, boils down to the fact that any negotiations regarding the (Zaporizhzhia) NPP should be based on: firstly, the plant's demilitarization, and secondly, the exit of Rosatom employees from the ZNPP,” Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said on Ukraine’s national telethon United News on Sunday.
Galushchenko said another aspect of Kyiv’s position regarding the plant is that Ukrainian personnel should be given the opportunity to operate the nuclear facility calmly and without pressure, but that they have received a decree from Russia claiming the plant is “federal property.”
Galushchenko further said that the Ukrainian Energy Ministry has received reports from personnel of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stationed at the plant which indicate that Russians behave “extremely unprofessionally at the station.”
"The IAEA mission confirms that the Russians are operating the plant in such a way that the condition of equipment and facilities at the (Zaporizhzhia) NPP is significantly deteriorating. There is a feeling that one of the goals of the invaders is to leave it to us in a non-working state after de-occupation," Galushchenko said.
He also noted that Ukraine will rely on the development of nuclear generation and renewable energy sources in the future, saying that nuclear energy will provide up to half of the country’s energy needs while renewables will be used to generate the rest.
“Ukraine has a huge potential for the development of small modular reactors. The future of Ukraine is a major energy hub for Europe. For this, we have the capabilities, capacities and highly qualified specialists," he added.
Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s largest and one of the world’s 10 biggest nuclear power plants, has been under Russian control since March 2022, soon after the start of the Ukraine war.
Fears of a nuclear catastrophe persist amid reports of shelling around the area.
2 Ukrainian pilots get training on fighter jets in US
Two Ukrainian pilots are training in the US on fighter jets including the F-16, Anadolu has learned.
"Two Ukrainian pilots are currently in Tucson for a familiarization event for US and Ukrainian pilots. It is a routine activity as part of our military-to-military dialogue with Ukraine,” according to a statement that a senior US military official sent to Anadolu.
The official said the event allows them to better help Ukrainian pilots become more effective pilots, and better advise Ukrainian pilots on how to develop their own capabilities.
The pilots will not be flying any platforms during this event, but will be using a simulator during portions of their visit, the official added.
Noting that this is the first time they conducted such an event with Ukrainian pilots, the official said: “It is similar to events we've held with other countries under a pre-approved EUCOM program with security cooperation funding under a COCOM authority (i.e., not USAI or PDA).”
There are no immediate plans to increase the number of pilots beyond the two currently in Tucson, but we're not closing the door on future opportunities, the official said.
The official added that there were no updates if the US will provide F-16's to Ukraine.
After securing battle tanks, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has asked the West for fighter jets to defend its skies against Russian attacks.