Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 168 of the invasion

·5 min read
<span>Photograph: Reuters</span>
Photograph: Reuters
  • Without claiming explicit responsibility for an attack on a Russian airfield in Crimea on Tuesday, Ukraine’s general staff of the armed forces said on Wednesday that it had destroyed nine Russian planes within the last 24 hours. It did not specify the locations. The claim follows widely reported explosions at Russia’s Saki air base.

  • Crimea’s regional leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said some 250 residents were moved to temporary housing after dozens of apartment buildings were damaged, but Russian authorities have generally sought to downplay the explosions. Unverified social media footage purports to show damage to planes on the ground at the airport.

  • Crimea’s regional ministry of health has said that one person died and 13 people were injured as a result of explosions at the air base near Novofedorivka. The Russian military have said that “several aviation munitions detonated” in a storage area at the facility. Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014.

  • In his nightly address, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, did not discuss who was behind the attacks but vowed to “liberate” Crimea, saying: “This Russian war against Ukraine and against the entire free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea – with its liberation.” An adviser to the president, Mikhail Podolyak, said Ukraine was not taking responsibility for the explosions, suggesting partisans might have been involved.

  • Russian forces occupying the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are reorienting the plant’s electricity production to connect to Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014, according to Ukrainian operator Energoatom. “To do this, you must first damage the power lines of the plant connected to the Ukrainian energy system. From August 7 to 9, the Russians have already damaged three power lines. At the moment, the plant is operating with only one production line, which is an extremely dangerous way of working,” Energoatom president Petro Kotin told Ukrainian television. The plant, located not far from the Crimean peninsula, has six of Ukraine’s 15 reactors, and is capable of supplying power for four million homes.

  • The head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power firm warned of the “very high” risks from shelling at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the Russian-occupied south and said it was vital Kyiv regains control over the facility in time for winter. Energoatom’s chief, Petro Kotin, told Reuters in an interview that last week’s Russian shelling had damaged three lines that connect the Zaporizhzhia plant to the Ukrainian grid and that Russia wanted to connect the facility to its grid.

  • Russia’s daily military briefing for Wednesday has claimed to have shot down three Ukrainian planes overnight, and to have destroyed German-supplied anti-aircraft systems.

  • The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has said that in the last 24 hours two people have been killed and 25 civilians were injured in the territory it claims to control.

  • At least 13 people have been killed overnight by shelling in Marhanets in Dnipropetrovsk. Regional governor Valentyn Reznichenko said more than 20 buildings were damaged. Ukraine’s emergency service has distributed images which appear to show a school in Marhanets damaged by an attack.

Damage due to a Russian military strike in a location given as Marhanets in Dnipropetrovsk region.
Damage due to a Russian military strike in a location given as Marhanets in Dnipropetrovsk region. Photograph: State Emergency Service Of Ukraine/Reuters
  • Vitaliy Kim, governor of Mykolaiv, said that as a result of shelling at around 1.40am Wednesday morning, three people, including a 13 year-old girl, were injured in the city of Mykolaiv. He said residential buildings were damaged as a result of shelling.

  • The leaders of Estonia and Finland want fellow European countries to stop issuing tourist visas to Russian citizens, saying they should not be able to take holidays in Europe while the Russian government carries out a war in Ukraine. The Estonian prime minister, Kaja Kallas, wrote on Tuesday on Twitter that “visiting Europe is a privilege, not a human right” and that it was “time to end tourism from Russia now”, the Associated Press reported.

  • Denmark will send military instructors to Britain to train Ukrainian soldiers and also aims to train Ukrainian officers in Denmark, the Danish defence minister said in an interview with the Jyllands-Posten newspaper published Wednesday.

  • The US state department has approved $89m worth of assistance to help Ukraine equip and train 100 teams to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance for a year, Reuters reported.

  • US president Joe Biden on Tuesday signed documents endorsing Finland and Sweden’s accession to Nato, the most significant expansion of the military alliance since the 1990s as it responds to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reports.

  • The total number of grain-carrying ships to leave Ukrainian ports under a UN brokered deal to ease the global food crisis has now reached 12, with the two latest ships which left on Tuesday headed for Istanbul and Turkey.

  • Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad has been struggling with quotas imposed by the EU for sanctioned goods that it can import across Lithuania from mainland Russia or Belarus, the region’s governor admitted. Lithuania infuriated Moscow in June by banning the land transit of goods such as concrete and steel to Kaliningrad after EU sanctions on them came into force, Reuters reported.

  • Russia has launched an Iranian satellite from Kazakhstan amid concerns it could be used for battlefield surveillance in Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Iran has denied that the Khayyam satellite, which was delivered into orbit onboard a Soyuz rocket launched from Baikonur cosmodrome, would ever be under Russian control. But the Washington Post previously reported that Moscow told Tehran it “plans to use the satellite for several months, or longer, to enhance its surveillance of military targets” in Ukraine, according to two US officials.