The governor of the Dnipro region, Valentyn Reznichenko, denounced on Saturday “a deluge of fire” on the territory of Nikopol, with the firing of Grad missiles on residential areas. “Rescuers found two people dead under the ruins,” he said.
EU ministers will have to consider, among other things, a European Commission proposal to ban gold purchases from Russia to bring EU sanctions in line with those of its G7 partners.
Another proposal aims to put new Russian personalities on the EU blacklist.
“Moscow must continue to pay a high price for its aggression,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after transmitting the new measures to the Twenty-Seven.
According to a senior European official, during an initial discussion in Brussels on these new sanctions, no decision is expected.
The largest buyer of Russian gold is the United Kingdom with 290 tons in 2020 for an amount of 16.9 billion dollars, according to indications from Russian customs.
– Moscow the “arsonist”, accuses Canada –
The cost of the war is also felt for the rest of the world, argued the Western countries at the G20 in Bali, which however ended on Saturday without a joint press release, for lack of consensus on this point.
Russia’s participation was “absurd” and “akin to inviting an arsonist to a firefighters’ meeting,” said Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.
The accusations are of the same order in Ukraine, where the national operator of nuclear energy has accused the Russian army of having installed missile launchers on the very site of the nuclear power plant in Zaporijjia (south), in an area which has been under its control since March.
“The situation is extremely tense and the tension is increasing day by day. The occupiers are bringing there (…) including missile systems with which they have already struck on the other side” of the Dnieper River “and on the territory of Nikopol”, 80 kilometers southwest of Zaporizhia, said Petro Kotin, president of Energoatom, on Telegram.
According to him, about 500 Russian soldiers are on the site of this Ukrainian power station, the largest in Europe.
– “We are alive” –
On Friday evening, the Ukrainian Air Force said Russian Kh-101 missiles were fired around 10:00 p.m. from the Caspian Sea at Dnipro, four of which were destroyed.
The southern region command center said on Saturday that the situation was “tense but under control”.
“The enemy continues to carry out offensives (…) but, for lack of success on the ground, it intensifies missile and air strikes,” he said on Facebook.
Further north, near Kharkiv, the country’s second city, the city of Chuguiv was hit Friday evening by Russian missiles which killed three people, announced Oleg Sinegoubov, the governor of the region.
In the east, Friday evening, Kramatorsk, the main city of the Donbass basin still under Ukrainian control, in the Donetsk region, had also suffered several bombardments.
– Moscow says it is making progress in the Donbass –
Ukraine and its Western allies also remain reeling from the cruise missile strikes that devastated the center of Vinnytsia on Thursday, hundreds of kilometers west of the front.
The toll of this attack was raised on Saturday to 24 dead. “Unfortunately, a woman died in hospital today, she was 85% burned,” announced the governor of the Vinnytsia region, Serguiï Borzov, adding that 68 people continued to receive treatment, including four children.
Faced with international condemnations, the Russian Ministry of Defense claimed to have targeted Vinnytsia for a meeting of the “command of the Ukrainian air forces with representatives of foreign arms suppliers”.
A senior US defense official, however, said on condition of anonymity that he had “no indication of the presence of a military target nearby”.
Russia has never recognized any blunders or crimes by its armed forces in Ukraine and systematically ensures that it only hits military targets.
In Donbass, separatist forces and the Russian military said they were continuing to advance and were in the process of taking full control of the town of Siversk, which came under attack after taking Lysychansk further east earlier this month.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday that the Minister, Sergei Shoigu, had visited the soldiers involved in the offensive in Ukraine, without specifying the date of this visit, the second after a first in June, or whether it had taken place in Ukraine or Russia.
He “gave the necessary instructions to further increase” military pressure, the ministry added.