Russian shelling kills 7, including days-old baby in Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers ride an APC at a front line near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Aug. 13, 2023. [AP Photo]

Russian shelling killed at least seven people, including a 23-day-old baby girl, and injured at least 22 others in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region on Sunday.

“Her brother, who was only 12 years old, was taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, they could not save him. He died from severe wounds. The children's mother, her name was Olesia, she was only 39 years old, died. My condolences,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

Twenty-two other people were wounded by Russian missiles that have targeted the area since Russian troops withdrew from there a year ago.

Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Ihor Klymenko reported on Telegram that after the Russian shelling, fires broke out in homes, residential buildings and garages.

"Brave rescuers of the State Emergency Service extinguished all the fires, despite repeated shelling by the occupiers," the minister said.

Zelenskyy said from early Sunday through the evening there had been 17 reports of shelling in the Kherson region alone, and he vowed retaliation.

Ammunition depots

Ukraine's armed forces reported Sunday they destroyed two ammunition depots in Oleshky, an occupied town in Kherson Oblast.

Oleshky is located across the Dnipro River from the city of Kherson. Russian troops continue to occupy the eastern bank of the river in Kherson Oblast, regularly shelling Ukrainian cities and villages on the western bank.

The Russian defense ministry said Sunday that a Russian warship fired warning shots on a Palau-flagged cargo vessel headed to the Ukrainian port of Izmail.

The ministry said the shots were fired because the captain of the Sukru Okan had ignored demands from the warship to stop. After firing the shots, Russian military troops descended from a helicopter onto the cargo ship.

After Russian forces inspected the Sukru Okan, the vessel was allowed to proceed to Izmail, the defense ministry said. Izmail is the main export route for Ukrainian agricultural products.

Russia withdrew from a Black Sea grain agreement in July.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a post on its Telegram channel that it shot down a Ukrainian drone Sunday evening over Russia’s southwestern Belgorod region. This was the second drone attack Russia said it foiled Sunday. No fatalities or damages were reported.

Road traffic on the bridge linking Russia to the Crimean Peninsula has resumed after a brief interruption Sunday, an official Telegram channel said.

It did not say what caused the road closure.

On Saturday, Russia's foreign ministry said it thwarted Ukraine’s rocket strike on the Crimean bridge, calling it a “terrorist attack” and vowing retaliation.

Ukrainian forces targeted the Crimean bridge, and several other unspecified targets Saturday on the Crimean Peninsula with S-200 rockets and drones, but there were no casualties or damage, according to Russia's defense ministry.

The 19-kilometer-long (11.2-mile) bridge that connects Crimea, which Moscow forcibly annexed, to Russia has come under repeated attack from Ukrainian forces since Moscow launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

Ukraine counteroffensive

Ukrainian forces are trying to penetrate Russian troops entrenched in the western parts of the Donetsk region.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in parts of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia area, reported intense fighting south of Velyka Novosilka as Ukrainian troops try to pierce through Russian lines to push toward Mariupol and inch closer to the coast on the Sea of Azov.

"The enemy managed to enter and gain a foothold in the northern part of Urozhaine after two weeks of the heaviest and bloodiest battles for this settlement," Rogov said, referring to the same part of the front line.

Ukraine has succeeded in recapturing several villages in the south and around the destroyed city of Bakhmut in the east, but they have not made additional gains against well-dug-in Russian troops.