World Russia pounds Kharkiv ahead of talks involving Volodymyr Zelensky,...

Russia pounds Kharkiv ahead of talks involving Volodymyr Zelensky, Recep Erdogan, Antonio Guterres

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Ukrainian women embrace near debris from a structure that was damaged in a Russian rocket attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on Thursday. Photo by Vasiliy Zhlobsky/EPA-EFE

Aug. 18 (BP) — Russia renewed military attacks in Kharkiv in northern Ukraine on Thursday ahead of talks between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Russian forces have been fighting in Ukrainian-controlled Kharkiv, which is the country’s second-largest city, since the start of the war in February. Moscow, however, has seen only limited success there.

In the new round of shelling in the city Thursday, Ukrainian officials said that at least one person was killed and more than a dozen were injured.

The new attacks in Kharkiv follow an assault by Russian forces on Wednesday that killed at least seven, Ukrainian officials reported.

The attacks have prompted Zelensky to say that Ukraine’s forces “will take revenge” for the shelling and loss of life, according to The Guardian.

Zelensky will host Guterres and Erdogan in Kyiv to address more Ukrainian grain exports — which finally resumed this month — as well as the fighting near the vulnerable Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine and finding a diplomatic solution to end the bloodshed, which is nearing the start of its seventh month.

Fighting near the Zaporizhzhia plant, which Russia captured at the start of its invasion, has been the subject of international concern. Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for putting the plant at risk.

Elsewhere, Ukraine’s operational command said Thursday that it killed 29 Russian “occupiers” during counterattacks in southern Ukraine. It also destroyed artillery, armored vehicles and a military supply depot, command officials said.

Ukrainian commanders said troops turned back Russian forces along the eastern Donetsk front, leaving much of the fighting there at a stalemate.

“[Russia] led an offensive in the Mykolaivka-Vyimka direction, was unsuccessful, withdrew,” Ukraine’s General Staff said of the Russian advance, according to CNN.

Russia is also continuing intense shelling in the eastern town of Bakhmut, but Ukraine officials say it has not captured any new territory.

Moscow, meanwhile, continued to hold a defensive position around Russian-controlled Kherson to keep territorial gains and repel an anticipated Ukrainian offensive.

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