Lviv (Ukraine), September 22 (EFE).- Russian attacks on infrastructure and residential areas in eastern and southern Ukraine continue almost daily amid Ukrainian army advances in occupied areas .

Continued missile launches show Ukrainian cities remain a Russian military target amid reports such as partial Russian mobilization or the release of more than 200 Ukrainian POWs.

For example, a series of attacks on a TV tower and other infrastructure in Zaporizhia early Thursday left at least one dead and five injured, while in Nikopol, some 100 kilometers to the south, Russian rockets killed another civilian and damaged several houses. .

Later, an airborne alarm sounded throughout Ukraine, indicating that a Russian missile had been launched and could reach any part of the country.

The situation is different from city to city. In Lviv, when an alarm goes off, shops are quickly closed but the risk is generally not perceived as very high.

SITUATION IN KHARKOV

In Kharkiv, however, the situation is different. “At most, you have a minute to hide when the alarm sounds and sometimes it goes off after the impact,” a neighbor, Mykola, told Efe over the phone.

Russia continues to attack the city even after the Ukrainian counter-offensive has put it beyond the range of some of its shells.

“The border is about 40 kilometers away and there is nothing we can do about it,” he said, referring to Russia launching missiles from its territory.

More recently, Russia targeted a key power plant, plunging parts of the city into darkness for a day.

Several residential buildings have also been attacked in recent weeks with six injured and 10 people rescued from under the rubble on Wednesday.

BACK TO CITIES

Still, more and more people are coming back, says Mykola. “We used to speed up to 120 km/h in our car to stay outside as little as possible because of the threat of Russian attacks. Now the city is full of cars again.

Viktoriia is one of those who came back. “The sound of a shell breaking concrete is something I won’t be able to forget,” he says. In April, she was forced to flee after a Russian bomb killed a 2-year-old girl and her grandmother near their home.

A member of the emergency services assesses the damage caused by Russian bombing to a residential area in Kyiv.  EFE/EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO
A member of the emergency services assesses the damage caused by Russian shelling. EFE/EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

She says the intensity of the Russian attacks has diminished, but the situation in the city is difficult with many people out of work and prices rising. However, he emphasizes that the war has brought people closer together and emphasizes the importance of unity and mutual support.

Viktoriia sees only the end of this war despite news of the mobilization in Russia: “The victory of the (Ukrainian) people who fought against various invaders, mainly Russians, throughout their history”, she said .

PRISONER EXCHANGE

“Mobilization in Russia does us nothing,” agrees Volodymyr, a soldier from the Ukrainian army’s 24th brigade, on short leave in Lviv to attend the funeral of his friend who also fought against the Russians.

“It just means we’ll have to kill even more of them and it also means their losses are critical,” he said.

News of the release of 215 Ukrainian soldiers early Thursday was widely reported in the country.

Five commanders of military units who resisted the siege of the “Azovstal” factory in Mariupol for almost three months were exchanged for 55 Russian prisoners of war.

They must stay in Turkey “in comfortable conditions until the end of the war”, according to President Volodymyr Zelensky, who thanked Turkish President Tayiip Ergodan for his “leading role” in organizing the liberation.

Another 200 Ukrainian soldiers and 10 foreign nationals, including 108 soldiers from the “Azov” regiment, were exchanged for Viktor Medvechuk, a pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarch and politician who was arrested in April after an unsuccessful attempt to leave the country and was under surveillance. Stop.

The prisoner exchange is the largest since the start of the Russian invasion nearly seven months ago and only the second after some 50 Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in the Russian-controlled prison camp in ‘Olenivka on July 29.

Rostyslav Avertchuk

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