War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

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A foreign-flagged ship arrived in Ukraine on Saturday for the first time since the war started in February, and will be loaded with grain, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said.

Also on Saturday, a second ship carrying Ukrainian grain exports was inspected off Istanbul and was cleared to proceed through the Bosporus to its final destination, the Turkish Defense Ministry tweeted on Saturday.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the resumption of exports was positive, adding that security risks remained. “The threat of Russian provocations and terrorist acts remains. Everyone should be aware of this,” he said in a late-night video address on Saturday.

The Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine informed that the second sea caravan carrying Ukrainian foodstuffs left the ports “Odesa” and “Chornomorsk” – three ships from Chornomorsk and another one from Odesa. Four bulkers – Mustafa Necati, Star Helena, Glory, and Riva Wind – carry almost 170,000 tonnes of agricultural products.

British services announce new stage of war in Ukraine

Russia’s war in Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, with most fighting shifting to a nearly 350 kilometer (217 mile) front stretching southwest from near Zaporizhzhia to Kherson, parallel to the Dnieper River, British military intelligence said on Saturday.

Russian forces are almost certainly amassing in the south of Ukraine, anticipating a counter-offensive or in preparation for a possible assault, the UK’s Ministry of Defense said on Twitter.

Return to internationally recognized territories would be a victory

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President’s Office of Ukraine, said that Russia plans to freeze the war for six months in order to pull more troops and weapons to the front. He said this in an interview with Tagesspiegel. “If the West gets tired of the war, then Russia will strike again with all its might,” he said.

According to Podolyak, Ukraine should launch a counteroffensive to free up more territories, especially in the south. “The more and faster we get heavy weapons, the sooner we can stop this war,” the adviser emphasized. He noted that the return of all internationally recognized territories would be a victory for Ukraine.

Not all neighbors would be invited to celebration of victory

Mykhailo Podolyak confirmed on Saturday that North Macedonia had transferred four Su-25 attack aircraft to Ukraine.

“A friend in need is a friend indeed. It doesn't matter how big your country is or how big your GDP, what matters is what kind of heart you have. Many nations are showing more courage today than half the G20. Like North Macedonia, which has offered Ukraine support in the form of tanks and aircraft. We will never forget this,” Podolyak tweeted.

Earlier, the media reported that North Macedonia is transferring four Su-25 attack aircraft to Ukraine. Now this information was confirmed by Mykhailo Podolyak.

Yurii Ihnat, spokesman of the Air Force Command, had previously said that they had no information about North Macedonia’s transfer of four SU-25 jets to Ukraine.

Situation worsens at Zaporozhe nuclear power plant

Ukraine’s nuclear agency says Russian rockets had damaged part of a giant Russian-controlled nuclear power plant, but there had been no radiation leak.

Enerhoatom said a nitrogen-oxygen unit and a high-voltage power line had been damaged at the Zaporizhzhia plant - Europe's largest - in southern Ukraine.

Local Russian-appointed officials blamed Ukraine for shelling earlier.

Ukraine also accuses Russian forces of firing rockets at civilian areas from the site, employing “terror tactics”.

The U.S. think tank Institute for the Study of War said that Russian forces likely use the power plant to “to play on Western fears of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine.” The Russian forces likely plan that the fear will lead to diminished military support from the West for the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Russian forces are also reportedly “forming a strike group to prevent Ukrainian counteroffensives in northern Kherson Oblast or counterattack against them.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in his overnight address on Saturday, again accused Russia of shelling the plant and using it to terrorize Europe. “Unfortunately, we have a significant deterioration in the situation around the Zaporozhye NPP,” Zelensky said. “Russian terrorists were the first in the world to use a nuclear power plant for terror. The largest in Europe!” He criticized Amnesty International for issuing no report or even a message over this.

Chernivtsi is only region that wasn’t affected

The only region in Ukraine where there have been no “arrivals” since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion is Chernivtsi, said First Deputy Interior Minister Yevgeny Yenin.

According to him, the Donetsk region suffered the most from Russian shells, which was shelled more than three thousand times, Luhansk – four thousand times, Nikolaev – 700 times.

“There is only one region left, which, thank God, has not yet been “flied”, this is the Chernivtsi region,” Enin said.

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