Russian missiles rained down on Ukrainian cities and Donetsk witnessed heavy fighting as Vladimir Putin’s forces continued their offensive, a week after retreating from the strategic port city of Kherson.
Since Russia pulled out its troops from Kherson, a city it occupied since the early days of the invasion, Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has come under persistent attack by Russian missiles and drones from the capital Kyiv in the north to Dnipro in central Ukraine and Odesa in the south, Reuters reported.
In Kherson, Ukrainian officials have unearthed a torture chamber and recovered bodies with signs of torture, AP reported. Overall, a humanitarian crisis is also looming large as around 10 million people are without power and others are facing constant power cuts ahead of a long and cold winter in the war-torn country.
Here are the top developments in the Russia-Ukraine war.
- The Donetsk region is currently experiencing the heaviest fighting in Russia’s nine-month-long war on Ukraine. Russian forces were reinforced by troops pulled from Kherson city in the south which Ukraine recaptured last week, Reuters reported.
- In Kherson, Ukrainian forces have found mass burial sites and signs of torture after Russian forces left last week. On Thursday, a video was released by Ukrainian human rights organisation that showed a torture chamber. Besides, 63 bodies with signs of torture were also recovered. Electric shocks were reportedly used to secure confessions.
- Dmytro Lubinets, a human rights official, shared a video of one underground room and claimed it was used for detentions, interrogations and torture. Lubinets said in the video, “You can see that people who were detained here were simply not allowed to go to the toilet.” However, Russia has always denied targeting civilians in occupied regions.
- Russian strikes also hit the central city of Dnipro and southern Odesa region for the first time in weeks and hit critical infrastructure in the northeastern Kharkiv region near Izium.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a video address said that 10 million people were without power on Thursday, mainly in the Kyiv, Odesa, Sumy and Vinnytsia regions.
- The United Nation nuclear watchdog has repeatedly warned that the repeated strikes on electricity grid were endangering Ukraine’s nuclear power plants. The reactors need power for cooling and other essential safety functions, and their emergency generators can only provide back-up electricity for a limited period of time.
- The UN is also attempting to verify allegations of nearly 90 cases of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions in Kherson, and is trying to understand if the scale of abuse is larger than already documented, AP reported.
- Throughout the war, liberated Ukrainian villages have revealed thousands of human rights abuses perpetrated by Russian soldiers. Bodies were strewn across the streets in Bucha and Irpin, suburbs of the capital, Kyiv, after Russia withdrew in April.