Speed Reads

fortunes of war

Zelensky warns Russians against firing from nuclear plant as Ukraine strikes bridge near Kherson

Russian troops firing at or from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine will become a "special target" for Ukraine forces, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday.

"Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army," he warned in his nightly address.

Russia captured the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe's largest, early in the war and has blamed Ukrainian forces for shelling the plant. 

Further south and west, a Ukrainian strike damaged the last usable bridge spanning the Dnipro River near Kherson, a local Ukrainian official said Saturday. Serhiy Khlan, a deputy to the Kherson Regional Council, wrote on Facebook that without the bridges, Russian forces occupying Kherson "no longer have any capability to fully turn over their equipment." The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War assessed that the loss of those bridges would likely leave the Russians unable "to defend themselves against even limited Ukrainian counterattacks."

The strikes on the bridges were conducted as part of a Ukrainian counteroffensive aimed at retaking Kherson. Vitaliy Kim — the regional governor of neighboring, Ukrainian-controlled Mykolayiv Oblast — claimed that Russian forces had begun retreating to the eastern bank of the Dnipro, but this report has not been confirmed.