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Ukrainian authorities reported that Russian missile strikes and shelling had killed at the least 16 civilians in cities all through the nation after the Kremlin’s army leaders stated they’d ordered troops to “additional intensify” their actions in all areas.

Stay Briefing: Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine

RFE/RL’s Stay Briefing provides you the entire newest developments on Russia’s ongoing invasion, how Kyiv is combating again, Western army assist, worldwide response, and the plight of civilians and refugees. For all of RFE/RL’s protection of the conflict, click on right here.

Residents of Kyiv sought cowl on July 16 as air-raid sirens blared throughout the Ukrainian capital, whereas Ukraine’s most senior atomic official accused Russian troops occupying Europe’s largest nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhya of utilizing it to shell close by areas and retailer superior weapons.

The studies couldn’t be independently confirmed, however they arrive amid a flurry of lethal Russian strikes on civilian websites, together with an assault within the historic metropolis of Vinnytsya on July 15 that killed 24 individuals.

Russia claimed the strike focused officers’ housing, however Ukrainian and U.S. officers rejected that assertion and stated the assaults hit civilian websites. A minimum of 39 individuals remained lacking following the strike.

After failing to take Kyiv within the early days of the conflict, Russia has turned its most important deal with taking the entire Donbas area — consisting of the japanese provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk.

However recent assaults have been reported as effectively within the north and south of Ukraine. The northeast metropolis of Kharkiv, the nation’s second-largest, has been blasted by heavy bombardments in latest days. Ukrainian officers stated the Kremlin’s subsequent transfer might be a full-scale assault on the town of 1.45 million individuals.

Serhiy Bolvinov, deputy head of the Kharkiv regional police, stated Russian rockets blasted a two-story condominium block and different buildings.

“4 Russian rockets, presumably fired from round [the Russian city of] Belgorod at night time, at about 3:30 a.m., hit a residential constructing, a college, and administrative buildings,” Bolvinov wrote on Fb.

“The our bodies of three individuals had been discovered below the rubble. Three extra had been injured. The victims are civilians,” Bolvinov added.

On July 16, the Russian Protection Ministry stated Protection Minister Sergei Shoigu gave “directions to additional intensify the actions of items in all operational areas, so as to exclude the potential for the Kyiv regime launching large rocket and artillery strikes on civilian infrastructure and residents of settlements in Donbas and different areas.”

Within the Donetsk area, website of the heaviest combating, seven civilians had been killed and 14 wounded over the previous 24 hours in assaults on cities, its governor stated on July 16.

Nonetheless, Serhiy Hayday, governor of the neighboring Luhansk area, stated Ukrainian troops had repelled a Russian in a single day assault on a strategic japanese freeway. He stated Russian forces had been trying to seize the principle street hyperlink between the cities of Lysychansk and Bakhmut “for greater than two months.”

“They nonetheless can not management a number of kilometers of this street,” Hayday wrote on Telegram.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy stated in his nightly video handle late on July 16 that air-raid warnings had been being sounded throughout the nation, together with in Dnipro and Kremenchuk, two cities south of Kyiv alongside the Dnieper River.

He stated the Russians “are realizing that we’re steadily changing into stronger” and had been utilizing assaults on cities to “stress” and “intimidate” Ukrainians.

The Ukrainian Military’s Normal Workers stated early on July 16 that their forces had efficiently repelled assault operations by Russian troops close to the Spirne-Ivano-Daryivka areas of Donetsk.

Elsewhere, Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom President Petro Kotin stated in a televised interview that the scenario at Zaporizhzhya is “extraordinarily tense” and stress on the Russians to free the world’s nuclear plant “inadequate.”

Round 500 Russian troopers are stated to be controlling entry to Zaporizhzhya, which lies on the Dnieper River in southeastern Ukraine and has been in Russian arms for the reason that early weeks of the invasion.

“The occupiers convey their equipment there, together with missile programs, from which they already shell the opposite aspect of the Dnieper River and the territory of Nikopol,” Kotin stated.

He additionally criticized the Worldwide Atomic Power Company’s dealing with of the scenario round Zaporizhzhya, which earlier than the conflict provided round one-fifth of Ukraine’s domestically generated vitality.

“[The IAEA] is enjoying some political video games, balancing between Russia and Ukraine,” Kotin stated.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, Reuters, AFP, and AP

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