According to an update from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a Russian missile has hit a school in Donetsk in the past few hours, killing two people and injuring six.
“The school is completely destroyed,” said the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The attack comes at a time when questions have been raised as to whether Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s staged uprising in Russia last weekend will have an impact on fighting in Ukraine, where Wagner mercenaries have been battling Ukrainian forces for months.
So far, it’s not clear whether the failed mutiny will affect the fighting on the ground, which is continuing in Ukraine by both Ukrainian and Russian forces, according to an assessment by the White House National Security Council, told reporters on Friday. The Ukrainian government’s counteroffensive against Russian forces in Ukraine is continuing in earnest, National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said in a phone call.
“The Ukrainians are working on their offensive operations,” Kirby said. “The Russians still have…tens of thousands of troops, mostly in defensive formations from the Donbass down…to Kherson.”
“It’s just too early to say what the potential strategic implications of last weekend’s events will be in terms of…what’s going on in Ukraine,” Kirby added.
But given that “the fighting is still going on… it’s difficult to look at the incident and conclude that the fighting has changed significantly or been altered in any way,” Kirby said.
According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Russian Armed Forces are currently concentrating their operations on Lyman, Bakhmut and Marin. “Heavy fighting” continued in each region, the update said.
But Ukrainian forces continue to target Russian troops. According to an update from the commander of the operational and strategic group of troops Tavria, Brigadier General Oleksandr Tarnavskyi, Russia has lost almost two companies in the direction of Tavria in the last few hours.
“Enemy losses in dead and wounded amounted to almost two companies,” Tarnavskyi said, adding that Ukrainian troops destroyed four Russian ammunition depots. “The defense forces towards Taurian are making progress and advancing.”
According to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Ukrainian forces have also attacked a Russian military headquarters and an enemy fuel depot near Berdyansk in the past few hours.
But the Russians may have another trick up their sleeves. According to a new assessment by Ukraine’s intelligence service, the Russians have “gradually abandoned” the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which they had occupied since the early days of the invasion last year. Some have been warned to leave by July 5, according to an update from the Main Directorate for Intelligence of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry.
Kiev is increasingly concerned that Russia could prepare an attack or incident on the nuclear power plant to “release hazardous substances into the air,” Ukrainian President Zelenskyy warned in a statement on Saturday.
“We have long said there is a serious threat. “Because Russia is technically ready to provoke a local explosion in the power plant,” said Zelenskyy on Saturday. “We communicate that very clearly. We are discussing all of this with our partners so that everyone understands why Russia is doing this and is putting political pressure on the Russian Federation not to even think about it.”
According to the Associated Press, Ukraine has been conducting nuclear disaster response exercises in recent days.
The White House said earlier this week it was “monitoring it very closely.” The United States is monitoring radioactivity near the power plant, and as of this Monday the White House saw no immediate threats, Kirby said. “We have … the ability to monitor radioactivity near the power plant and we just haven’t seen any signs that this threat is imminent, but we’re monitoring it very, very closely.”