Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced a new offensive. According to their own statements, the Ukrainian army has already established a bridgehead at one point in the east of the country in order to be able to advance further. In view of the current military situation, but also because of the large number of war crimes that they accuse the Russian military of, Zelenskyj's advisers believe that negotiations are pointless.
In Moscow, meanwhile, one of the country's best-known pop singers criticized the Russian war of aggression surprisingly harshly. Pop diva Alla Pugacheva, who recently returned to Russia from Israel, has asked the Justice Department to label her a "foreign agent" because she is pro-peace. Today is the 208th day of the war in Ukraine.
London: Russian Air Force under increasing pressure
According to British estimates, the Russian Air Force is coming under increasing pressure in the war against Ukraine. In the past ten days, Russia has apparently lost four fighter jets and thus a total of 55 machines since the attack began in late February. This was announced by the Ministry of Defense in London on Monday, citing intelligence findings.
The spike in casualties may be partly due to the Russian Air Force taking greater risks to provide close-range support to ground forces under pressure from Ukrainian advances, it said. Added to this is the poor situational awareness of Russian pilots. Some planes got into denser air defense zones because of the fast-moving front over Ukrainian-controlled territory.
Zelenskyi: Russian missile hit near nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine
According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, a Russian missile landed near the nuclear power plant (NPP) in southern Ukraine. On Monday he accused Russia of endangering the entire world. "We have to stop it before it's too late," he wrote on social media.
The southern Ukraine nuclear power plant is located almost three hundred kilometers south of the capital, Kyiv. There are three reactors in operation with a net output of 2850 megawatts.
The state-owned Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator Enerhoatom also reported a rocket attack on the industrial site at the nuclear power plant. Three high-voltage lines and a system at the nearby hydroelectric power station were damaged.
Selenskyj speaks of an imminent new offensive
Zelenskyy announced new attacks on the territory occupied by Russian troops in Ukraine. "Perhaps it seems to some of you that after a series of victories there has been silence, but it is not silence," Zelenskyy said in his daily video address. Rather, it is the preparation for the next offensive, the aim of which is the recapture of Mariupol, Melitopol and Cherson.
According to Zelenskyy, Ukraine will not only focus on the areas it controlled before the Russian attack in February. The 44-year-old announced that the territories of the Moscow-backed separatists in the east of the country and cities in Crimea, which had been annexed by Russia since 2014, would also be recaptured. "Because all of Ukraine must be free."
Kyiv rejects negotiations as pointless
Kyiv has ruled out negotiations and a meeting between Russian Presidents Vladimir Putin and Zelenskyy at this point in time. "In short, the negotiation process itself and a face-to-face meeting between the presidents doesn't make sense right now," external adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Mykhailo Podoliak, told Ukrainian media.
Podoljak gave three reasons why talks are pointless at this stage. First, Russia will try to record and legitimize land gains. Second, maintaining the status quo is only serving Russia as a breathing space so that it can then continue the attacks on the new line. And third, Russia must be held accountable for crimes committed on Ukrainian territory. Negotiations are therefore only possible once the Russian troops have withdrawn from Ukrainian territory. Then the level of reparation payments and the handing over of war criminals could be negotiated, Podoljak said. Russia and Ukraine had negotiated a peace settlement shortly after the Russian invasion, but had not come to a final agreement.
Beachhead for a possible continuation of the offensive
Kyiv draws its self-confidence from its own recent offensive in the north of the country. Most of the Kharkiv region was liberated. The Russian troops set up the new front on the east bank of the Oskil River, but this line also seems to be shaky. According to their own statements, the Ukrainian military was able to cross troop units on the river and thus form a bridgehead to the east.
"The Ukrainian Armed Forces have overcome the Oskil River. As of yesterday, Ukraine also controls the left bank," the press service of the Ukrainian Armed Forces announced via video on its Telegram channel. Earlier there were reports that Kyiv had secured control of the eastern part of the city of Kupyansk. The information cannot be verified independently.
In their counter-offensive at the beginning of September, the Ukrainian forces in the Kharkov region advanced as far as the Oskil. Behind, the retreating Russian troops established a new front line and repelled several attempts by Ukrainians to cross the river. Establishing a beachhead on the east side of the Oskil would be a strategically important achievement for Ukrainian troops. This would allow them to continue their attack towards the Luhansk region. The military did not provide any information about the exact location of the river crossing.
Criticism of the war in Moscow
Popular Russian pop singer Pugacheva has criticized Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. Since the Justice Department has blacklisted her husband Maxim Galkin as a "foreign agent," the 73-year-old wrote on her Instagram account that she should also be counted among the foreign agents. Pugacheva has shaped rock and pop music in Russia since the 1970s. After the start of the war against Ukraine, the couple left for Israel.
In contrast to Galkin, who criticized the Russian leadership, Pugacheva has so far held back with political statements. All the greater is the echo that could now follow their harsh criticism of the war. The political scientist Abbas Galliamov, once President Putin's speechwriter, spoke of a "strong slap in the face" for the Kremlin.
That's going to be important today
In the eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv, investigators want to gather more evidence of Russian war crimes. In Isjum, where 440 graves were recently found, the exhumation of the corpses is to continue. According to Ukrainian sources, some of the victims showed signs of torture.
As of today, Russian citizens with a Schengen visa will no longer be able to cross the border to Poland and the Baltic States. The four states have decided to refuse entry to Russians despite valid visas for tourist stays, business trips, sporting and cultural events. The measure is intended to increase the pressure on Moscow, but is not without controversy even within the EU.