The "heaviest of battles" lies ahead in Kherson as Ukrainian troops advance on occupying Russian forces, according to a Ukrainian presidential advisor. While Russia's grip on the strategic territory is shakier than in previous months, it does not appear ready to abandon it. Rather, it appears to be digging in for prolonged fighting after ordering civilians to evacuate and inviting remaining men to local join militias. Russia has sent a letter to the United Nations pushing its unsubstantiated claim that Ukraine is preparing to use a nuclear-laced "dirty bomb" on its own territory. In a 310-page document, it outlined Ukraine's plan to use bioweapons, allegations vocally rejected and largely debunked by Ukrainian and Western officials and weapons experts.. Meanwhile, a member of Russia's security council has called for the "de-Satanization" of Ukraine, claiming the country is home to hundreds of satanic sects and radicalism. The claims were met with ridicule by Ukrainian public figures. The organization overseeing the export of grain from Ukraine said that no vessels were approved to leave the besieged country due to a "suspicious mine-like object."The Joint Coordination Center said that it halted departures from Ukraine until an inspection of the suspicious object was completed. The group said that eight vessels will leave Ukrainian ports Thursday.Since the inception of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, a deal announced in July among Ukraine, Russia, the United Nations and Turkey, more than 390 vessels have left Ukraine carrying a total of 8.8 million metric tons of grain and other crops. The U.S. is "not taking sanctions off the table" in response to Iranian arms transfers to Russia, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.Kirby declined to detail potential diplomatic or economic actions Washington would take. Moscow has carried out several devastating missile and drone strikes against what Ukraine said were civilian targets and critical infrastructure such as energy facilities. iran and Russia's representatives at the United Nations have sharply denied reports that Tehran supplied Moscow with a fleet of drones for use in Ukraine. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that it uses Iranian-made drones to target residential and other high civilian areas.
Comments are closed.