Saturday 10 June 2023 - 21:14

Ukraine Counter-offensive Actions Have Begun: Pres. Zelensky

Story Code : 1063177
Ukraine Counter-offensive Actions Have Begun: Pres. Zelensky
Volodymyr Zelensky added that he would not talk in detail about which stage or state the counter-offensive was in.

The comments come after an escalation of fighting in the south and east of Ukraine and speculation about progress of the widely anticipated push.

Assessing the reality on the front lines is difficult, with the two warring sides presenting contrasting narratives.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a video interview published Friday that Ukrainian forces had certainly begun their offensive, but that attempted advances had failed with heavy casualties.

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Zelensky held talks in Kiev to discuss a variety of issues. 

Trudeau announced 500 million Canadian dollars (£297m) in new military aid for Ukraine during the unannounced visit.

A joint statement issued after the talks said Canada supports Ukraine becoming a NATO member "as soon as conditions allow for it", adding that the issue would be discussed at the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July.

Drone debris hits Odesa homes

The news conference followed an overnight Russian strike in which three people died and dozens were injured in the southern city of Odesa.

Falling debris from a shot-down Russian drone started a fire in a residential block in the Black Sea-port city, Ukrainian officials said.

A separate overnight Russian attack targeted an airfield in the central region of Poltava.

Emergency services said 27 people, including three children, were wounded, and that the fire had been quickly put out. Twelve people were rescued from the building, they said.

The Ukrainian President earlier said he had received assurances from some European partners of supplying Kiev with F-16 figter jets. 

Zelensky described the offer as serious and powerful. He added Ukraine's allies knew how many aircraft the country needed. 

The Ukrainian President has long appealed for the F-16 jets, arguing they would paly a vital role in defeating Russia. 

Russia had earlier issued fresh warning to the West against supplying Kiev with warplanes, saying such a move would escalate the conflict further. 

Moscow blames American military strategists and planners for such a decision. 

Over the past weeks, Ukrainian forces have targeted homes and industrial facilities inside Russia with artillery and drones, leaving multiple casualties. 

Over 5,800 people evacuated after Kakhovka dam collapse

More than 5,800 people, including 243 children, have been evacuated from the flooded areas of the Kherson region after the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam collapsed.

In total, 22,273 houses in 17 settlements were affected in the Kherson region and the rise in water level can last up to 10 days, acting governor of the region Vladimir Saldo said in a Telegram post.

As water is draining from the Kakhovka reservoir, there is a threat to the supply of drinking water to 4,000 local residents, he added.

The Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant was destroyed on Tuesday, causing a decrease in the dam water level and massive flooding in nearby areas.