Russia maintains eastern Ukrainian attacks, new raids from Belarus

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Aug. 4 (UPI) — Russia maintained its attacks in eastern Ukraine and the southern city of Mykolaiv on Thursday while launching new raids from Belarus in the north.

Russian forces hit more than 25 settlements in Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea, where grain shipments much of the world is counting on have been stalled.

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Ukraine also saw new attacks from the north in Belarus, where President Alexander Lukashenko remains one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies.

The Ukrainian General Staff said Thursday its forces were mainly able to fend off the new attacks in the east.

“The enemy used barrel and rocket artillery in the areas of Yakovlivka, Travneve, Kodema, Pokrovske, Rozdolivka, Kurdiumivka, Zaitseve, Bakhmut and Soledar settlements,” the general staff said, according to CNN. “There were airstrikes near Yakovlivka, Soledar and Kodema.”

Sumy region Gov. Dmytro Zhyvytskyk said Russia hit three towns with 55 missiles late Wednesday, hitting residential and commercial areas. Nikopol Mayor Yevhen Yevtushenko said his central Ukraine city was attacked overnight as well.

The British Defense Ministry said that in counterattacks, Ukrainian missiles and artillery units continue to target Russian military strongholds, personnel clusters, logistical support bases and ammunition depots.

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“This will highly likely impact Russian military logistical resupply and put pressure on Russian military combat support elements,” the ministry said on Twitter.

Since the successful Ukrainian attacks, British officials said Russia has “almost certainly” placed pyramid radar reflectors in the water near the recently damaged Antonivskiy Bridge and the nearby rail bridge over the Dnipro River in Kherson.

“The radar reflectors are likely being used to hide the bridge from synthetic aperture radar imagery and possible missile targeting equipment,” the ministry said. “This highlights the threat Russia feels from the increased range and precision of Western-supplied systems.”