Ukrainian forces are facing Russian attacks in multiple locations, where heavy shelling and air strikes damaged infrastructure as Moscow stepped up its offensive, the Ukrainian military said on November 3.
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The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine was again disconnected from the power grid after shelling damaged the remaining high voltage lines, leaving it with just diesel generators, Ukraine’s nuclear firm Enerhoatom said.
Enerhoatom said it believes Russia will soon try to repair and connect Europe’s largest nuclear station toward the Russia-occupied Crimea and Donbas regions.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said in its November 3 briefing that heavy fighting was under way in the east, with Russian troops conducting offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Avdiyivka, and Novopavlivka areas of the Donetsk region.
Russia launched attacks on 12 settlements in Donetsk and the neighboring Luhansk region. Ukrainian forces repelled the attacks, the military said.
In Luhansk, the Ukrainian military accused Russian forces are using civilians as human shields. The claim could not be independently confirmed.
Russian strikes were also reported in the central area of Kryviy Rih and in the northeast in Sumy and Kharkiv.
“The enemy is trying to keep the temporarily captured territories, concentrating its efforts on restraining the actions of the defense forces in certain areas,” Ukraine’s military said.
Russia has targeted Ukrainian civilian and energy infrastructure in recent weeks, prompting power and water outages and causing casualties among civilians.
Russia keeps denying targeting civilians, though the conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions, and razed some Ukrainian cities to the ground.
In the south, Ukraine’s counteroffensive has left Russian forces fighting to hold their ground around the city of Kherson, on the right bank of the Dnieper River.
Moscow-installed authorities are urging residents to evacuate, the Ukrainian military said.
Residents of the town of Nova Zburiyvka had been given three days to leave and were told that evacuation would be obligatory from November 5, it said.
Russian authorities have repeatedly said Ukraine could be preparing to attack the massive Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper and flood the region. Kyiv denies that.
Russia and Ukraine will each hand over 107 captured fighters on November 3 in the latest prisoner exchange between the two sides, Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-installed administrator of Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk region, said in a post on his Telegram channel. He said 65 of those released by Ukraine will be separatist fighters from Donetsk and Luhansk.
Seven ships carrying agricultural products left Ukrainian Black Sea ports on November 3, a day after the resumption of a grain deal aimed at delivering Ukrainian food to foreign markets, the Infrastructure Ministry said.
The vessels were loaded with 290,000 tons of food products and were headed toward European and Asian countries, the ministry said in a statement without elaborating.
The British ambassador arrived at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow on November 3, Reuters reported, after she was summoned to discuss Moscow’s claims that Britain was involved in a Ukrainian drone strike on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Crimea.
WATCH: RFE/RL asked people in Moscow how they thought the war in Ukraine — which Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains is a “special military operation” — is going.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has said the attack was carried out under the guidance and leadership of British Navy specialists, an assertion Britain has dismissed as false.
Meanwhile, two U.S. officials told CBS News on November 2 that senior Russian military leaders discussed last month how and when they might use nuclear weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine.
President Vladimir Putin was not involved in the talks, they told CBS News.
The White House said it has grown “increasingly concerned” about the potential use of nuclear weapons in the past few months. But it stressed Washington saw no signs of Russia preparing for such use.
In September, Putin escalated his nuclear and anti-Western rhetoric, mentioning that Russia could use all means at its disposal to protect itself and the occupied Ukrainian territories.