Kyiv says Russia plans fresh offensive as Moscow shells multiple targets across Ukraine

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Ukraine said Moscow was putting together an attack force aimed at President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih, as Russia bombarded several parts of Ukraine, causing casualties and damage.

Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the eastern Donetsk region, said on Telegram that three civilians had been killed in Bakhmut, Maryinka, and Shevchenko and five wounded in the past 24 hours.

The governor of the Sumy region on the border with Russia, Dmytro Zhyvytsky, said three towns had been shelled by Russian forces on August 3, with a total of 55 missiles fired. There were no injuries, but homes and commercial premises were damaged.

Zhyvytsky said eight artillery shells hit residential parts of the Krasnopylska community.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said in its update on August 4 that Russia had begun creating a strike group in the Kryvyi Rih direction and that it could be preparing new offensive operations in southern Ukraine.

The steel-producing city of Kryvyi Rih, where Zelenskiy grew up, lies around 50 kilometers from the southern front line.

Mayor Yevhen Yevtushenko of Nikopol, to the west of Zaporizhzhya in central Ukraine, said on his Telegram channel that his city had been shelled overnight and that a woman was wounded.

The Russian military also shelled the Kryvorizky district of the Dnipropetrovsk region, the head of the regional military administration, Valentyn Reznichenko, reported, adding that the Russians used Hrad rockets.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in its daily intelligence bulletin that Ukraine continued to hit Russian military targets with missile and artillery strikes targeted at strongholds, personnel clusters, logistical support bases, and ammunition depots throughout the front line.

British intelligence said that Ukraine’s tactic is “highly likely” to damage the Russian military’s logistical resupply and put pressure on combat support elements.

The bulletin said that Russian forces have “almost certainly” installed radar reflectors in the water near the Antonivskiy Bridge across the Dnieper that was damaged by Ukrainian rockets fired from U.S.-supplied HIMARS rocket launchers. The reflectors are meant to hide the bridge from possible future strikes, British intelligence suggested.

“This highlights the threat Russia feels from the increased range and precision of Western-supplied systems,” the bulletin said.

Presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said the whole point of the Russian offensive in the east was to force Ukraine to divert troops from the area that is truly a danger — Zaporizhzhya.

Russia in March was accused of firing shells dangerously close to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, as its forces took it over in the first weeks of the invasion.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accused Moscow of using Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant as a “nuclear shield” in attacks on Ukrainian forces.

Russia denies it targets civilians, but many towns and cities have been destroyed and thousands killed since the start of the invasion in late February. Ukraine and its Western allies accuse Russian forces of war crimes.

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