According to Kyiv, a Russian missile has landed near a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of endangering the whole world in this context on Monday.
Meanwhile, 13 people were killed by artillery fire in the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk in the east of the country. According to local media, two grenades hit a bus stop and a shop. Local authorities blame Ukrainian troops for the shelling. Kyiv regularly denies such allegations. The information could not be independently confirmed.
The industrial city of Donetsk has been under the control of Moscow-backed separatists since 2014 - Russia began its war of aggression against Ukraine at the end of February. According to experts, Moscow is now increasingly relying on improvised units with "only little effective fighting power".
Zelenskyj: Stop Russia before it's too late
According to the state operator Enerhoatom, the impact near the nuclear power plant damaged three high-voltage lines and a system at the nearby hydroelectric power plant. In the nuclear power plant building itself, more than 100 windows were destroyed by the blast. The group published photos of a crater four meters in diameter and two meters deep. In view of the impact, Zelenskyj appealed to the world: Russia must be stopped "as long as it is not too late."
The southern Ukraine nuclear power plant is located almost 300 kilometers south of the capital Kyiv. There are three reactors in operation with a net output of 2850 megawatts. The shelling of the facilities of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant had already triggered international fears of a nuclear catastrophe for several weeks.
In view of the fighting there, Poland's Ministry of the Interior has distributed iodine tablets to the professional fire brigade nationwide. The ministry announced on Monday in Warsaw that a sufficient quantity of potassium iodide tablets would be available for every Polish citizen. "This is a standard procedure required by law to be used in the event of a potential radiation emergency." However, there is no current exposure to nuclear radiation. The authority also warned citizens against taking iodine tablets prophylactically.
Russians apparently pushed back further near Kharkiv
In the eastern Ukrainian regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk, the Ukrainian troops have apparently continued to push back the Russian enemy. On Monday, Kiev media reported the recapture of the town of Yarova on the left bank of the Seversky Donets. Official confirmations from the Ukrainian or Russian side were initially not available. Videos of successful advances by Ukrainian troops on the left bank of the Oskil in the Kharkiv region near Kupyansk and Borova have already been circulating.
In addition, Ukrainian units apparently also succeeded in crossing the Siwerskyi Donetsk near Bilohorivka and launching an attack on Kreminna. The head of the Donetsk separatists, Dennis Puschilin, said on Russian television that the attack on the small town, which had been under Russian control since April, had at least been averted.
Bilohorivka, which according to the military governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hayday, is again controlled by Ukrainian troops, and Kreminna are already in the Luhansk region. At the beginning of the summer, the Russian leadership announced that the region had been completely conquered. An urgent application by the local "Citizens' Chamber" to hold a referendum on accession to Russia as soon as possible is evidence of the unrest that is beginning to take place in the separatist area.
Kremlin calls allegations of war crimes a lie
Soon "referendums" in occupied territories?
In the face of the advance of Ukrainian troops, a campaign for rapid accession to Russia begins in the Moscow-backed separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. In the so-called People's Republic of Luhansk, a body called the Citizens' Chamber appealed to the local leadership on Monday to hold a referendum on the connection soon.
A little later, in the People's Republic of Donetsk, the Citizens' Chamber followed with the same request, as reported by the Russian news agency Tass. The people in the Cherson region are also demanding a referendum, said the head of administration Kirill Stremoussov, appointed by Russia.
Preparations for such referendums have been underway for some time both in the separatist republics and in the areas newly conquered by Russia. In Cherson, they were initially postponed to November 4 because of the Ukrainian advances.
London: Russian Air Force in Ukraine under increasing pressure
According to British estimates, the Russian Air Force is also coming under increasing pressure. In the past ten days, Russia has apparently lost four fighter jets and thus a total of 55 machines since the attack began at the end of February, the Ministry of Defense in London said, citing intelligence findings.
The increase 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. Added to this is the poor situational awareness of Russian pilots.
Luhansk: Two OSCE staff members sentenced to long prison terms
In the Russian-controlled eastern Ukrainian separatist stronghold of Luhansk, a court has sentenced two local employees of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to 13 years in prison each. The verdicts were made for alleged espionage for Ukraine and the United States, the Russian state news agency Tass reported on Monday. From August 2021 to April 2022, one of the OSCE men collected "evidence of the movement of military technology and weapons and also the relocation of units". In Vienna, OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid called for the "immediate and unconditional release" of the two convicts and another OSCE colleague.
Since 2014, the OSCE has been responsible, among other things, for monitoring an agreed withdrawal of arms along the front line between Russian-backed separatists and the Ukrainian army. The observer mission ceased its activity with the Russian invasion.
Thousands of Jewish pilgrims expected in Uman, Ukraine, despite war
Despite the Russian war of aggression, thousands of strictly religious Jews want to visit the Ukrainian pilgrimage site of Uman for the Jewish New Year. A travel warning for the region continues to apply, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday. According to Israeli media reports, there are already 2,000 Israelis in Uman. Up to 10,000 Israeli pilgrims are expected to visit the site this week, it said. The New Year celebration of Rosh Hashanah begins on Sunday evening.