Day 474: Ukrainian troops recapture villages in first gains of counteroffensive

Ukraine makes first gains of the counteroffensive. Russian forces mine the Crimean Titan plant in northern Crimea, a large ammonia leak is possible. IAEA head travels to Ukraine to assess the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Ukrainian troops recapture villages in first gains of counteroffensive

On June 12, Ukrainian troops conducted counteroffensive operations in at least three areas of the front line: on the flanks of Bakhmut, in western Zaporizhzhia region, and in western Donetsk region. 

Reports confirm Ukrainian gains south of Velyka Novosilka in western Donetsk region, close to the administrative border with Zaporizhzhia region. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have liberated at least several villages. 

On June 4, the 110th Separate Brigade of Zaporizhzhia’s Territorial Defense Forces recaptured Novodarivka, in Zaporizhzhia region, a village bordering Donetsk region. Official confirmation came on June 12.

Reports that Storozhove and Makarivka were freed came on June 12 and June 11 respectively. The 35th Separate Rear Admiral Mykhailo Ostrohradskyi Marine Brigade was part of the force fighting for Storozhove.

Ukraine’s 68th Separate Oleksa Dovbush Hunting Brigade drove out Russian forces from Blahodatne on June 11.

On June 10, the 7th Separate Battalion Arey of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army (of the 129th Separate Brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces) recaptured Neskuchne.

The Institute for the Study of War said Ukrainian troops made gains in western Zaporizhzhia region, during counterattacks southwest and southeast of Orikhiv. Multiple sources reported continued Ukrainian ground attacks on Bakhmut’s northern and southern flanks.

Russian forces mine Crimean Titan plant in northern Crimea, large ammonia leak possible, Ukraine’s intelligence says

Ukrainian defense intelligence said that Russian forces are plotting another “terror act” that would result in a man-made catastrophe, as they are mining the Crimean Titan plant in occupied Crimea. 

“The engineering units of Moscow’s occupying army have been mining the workshops of the enterprise, which currently continue to work, and have planted explosives in the factory and adjacent territory for the past few days. Any attack on the enterprise would mean an artificial man-made catastrophe, terrible in its consequences,” the Main Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Monday. 

“Around 200 tons of technological ammonia are used at the plant for refrigeration purposes. In the event of an explosion at the plant, an ammonia cloud, depending on the direction of the wind, will cover the surrounding areas in half an hour,” the statement reads.

The city of Armyansk, the Krasnoperekopskyi district in Crimea, and southern districts of Kherson region would be under threat, Ukraine’s intelligence added.

In Armyansk, Russian forces are preparing for the evacuation of both “representatives of the occupation administration and the local population”.

Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency also said that as a result of the collapse of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, and the subsequent lack of water in the North Crimean Canal, manufacturing processes at the Crimean Titan plant “have been disrupted to a critical level.”

There are reports circulating within the temporarily occupied territory of Armyansk about the potential shutdown of the Crimean Titan facility, the agency added.

IAEA head travels to Ukraine to assess situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi said Monday he was travelling to Ukraine amid concern for the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which drew water for cooling systems from the Kakhovka reservoir.

“On my way to Ukraine to meet President Zelenskyi and present a programme of assistance in the aftermath of the catastrophic Nova Kakhovka dam flooding,” Grossi twitted. 

He said he will “assess the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and conduct a rotation of ISAMZ [IAEA’s Support and Assistance Mission to Zaporizhzhia] with a strengthened team.”

Earlier this month, Grossi said there was no “short-term risk to nuclear safety and security” of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant following the collapse of the Kakhovka hydropower station and dam.

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