October 1, 2022
  • October 1, 2022
  • Home
  • Power transmission
  • Russian-Ukrainian War: Putin Orders More Troops, Nuclear Power Plant Loses Power, Train Attacks Rise to 25

Russian-Ukrainian War: Putin Orders More Troops, Nuclear Power Plant Loses Power, Train Attacks Rise to 25

By on August 25, 2022 0

15 people were killed and 50 others injured after Russian forces shelled a train station near the Ukrainian city of Dnipro. Video / NBC

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a major boost to his country’s military forces in an apparent effort to replenish troops who have suffered heavy losses in six months of bloody warfare and prepare for a long, hard fight in Ukraine.

The decision to increase the number of troops from 137,000, or 13%, to 1.15 million by the end of the year came against the backdrop of frightening developments on the ground in Ukraine:

• Fueling fears of a nuclear disaster, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, amid fighting in southern Ukraine, was cut off from the power grid after fires damaged the last working transmission line, causing a power outage across the region, according to Ukrainian authorities. The plant was then reconnected to the grid, said a local official based in Russia.

• The death toll from a Russian rocket attack on a railway station and its surroundings on Ukraine’s Independence Day has risen to 25, Ukrainian authorities have said. Russia said it targeted a military train and claimed to have killed more than 200 Ukrainian reservists in the attack.

Putin’s executive order did not specify whether the expansion would be accomplished by expanding the project, recruiting more volunteers, or both. But some Russian military analysts have predicted a greater reliance on volunteers due to Kremlin concerns about a possible domestic backlash from an expanded project.

Russian army soldiers parade in Volgograd, Russia, in support of troops involved in the military operation in Ukraine.  Photo / Alexandr Kulikov, AP, File
Russian army soldiers parade in Volgograd, Russia, in support of troops involved in the military operation in Ukraine. Photo / Alexandr Kulikov, AP, File

This decision will bring the entire Russian armed forces to 2.04 million, including the 1.15 million soldiers.

Western estimates of the Russian death toll in the war in Ukraine range from over 15,000 to over 20,000 – more than the Soviet Union lost in its 10-year war in Afghanistan. The Pentagon said last week that as many as 80,000 Russian troops had been killed or wounded, eroding Moscow’s ability to carry out major offensives.

The Kremlin has declared that only voluntary soldiers under contract participate in the war in Ukraine. But more willing soldiers can be difficult to find, and military analysts have said planned troop levels may still be insufficient to sustain operations.

Retired Russian Colonel Viktor Murakhovsky said in comments carried by Moscow-based online media outlet RBC that the Kremlin would likely try to continue to rely on volunteers, and he predicted that would account for most of the increase .

A drone carries a national flag in front of the Fatherland of Ukraine monument in Kyiv, Ukraine.  Photo / Evgeny Maloletka, AP
A drone carries a national flag in front of the Fatherland of Ukraine monument in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo / Evgeny Maloletka, AP

Another Russian military expert, Alexei Leonkov, noted that training on complex modern weapons normally takes three years. And conscripts serve only one year.

“A draft won’t help that, so there won’t be an increase in the number of recruits,” Leonkov was quoted as saying by state news agency RIA Novosti.

Fears of a Chernobyl-like disaster have grown in Ukraine due to fighting around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia plant. Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of bombing the site.

The line damaged in Thursday’s incident was apparently carrying outgoing electricity, not affecting a separate line used to supply vital cooling systems to the plant’s reactors.

A man walks on a pedestrian crossing near the Dnipro river and the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant on the other side in Nikopol, Ukraine.  Photo / Evgeniy Maloletka, AP, File
A man walks on a pedestrian crossing near the Dnipro river and the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant on the other side in Nikopol, Ukraine. Photo / Evgeniy Maloletka, AP, File

Russian Zaporizhzhia regional governor Yevgeny Balitsky claimed on the Telegram messaging app that Ukrainian forces attacked, sparking the fire which damaged transmission lines. Ukraine’s nuclear energy agency, Energoatom, blamed “the actions of the invaders”.

Although the incident apparently did not affect the reactors’ cooling systems – the loss of which could lead to a meltdown – it has fueled fears of a catastrophe.

Elsewhere on the battlefront, the deadly strike at the railway station in Chaplyne, a town of around 3,500 people in the central Dnipropetrovsk region, came as Ukraine braced for attacks related to National Day and the Six months of the war, both of which have fallen. Wednesday.

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, did not say whether the 25 people killed were all civilians. If they were, it would amount to one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in weeks. Thirty-one people were reportedly injured.

Witnesses said some of the victims, including at least one child, were burned to death in passing train carriages or automobiles.

“It all crumbled to dust,” said 65-year-old Chaplyne resident Olena Budnyk. “There was a dust storm. We couldn’t see anything. We didn’t know where to run.”

A railway worker stands next to the heavily damaged train after a Russian attack on a station on Ukraine's Independence Day.  Photo / Leo Correa, AP
A railway worker stands next to the heavily damaged train after a Russian attack on a station on Ukraine’s Independence Day. Photo / Leo Correa, AP

The dead included an 11-year-old boy found under the rubble of a house and a 6-year-old killed in a car fire near the train station, authorities said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said its forces used an Iskander missile to hit a military train carrying Ukrainian troops and equipment to the front line in eastern Ukraine. The ministry claimed that more than 200 reservists “were destroyed as they made their way to the combat zone”.

The attack served as a painful reminder of Russia’s continued ability to inflict large-scale suffering. National Day on Wednesday celebrated Ukraine’s 1991 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.

Tetyana Kvitnytska, deputy head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional health department, said those injured in the train station attack suffered head injuries, broken limbs, burns and shrapnel wounds. shell.

Local resident Kateryna Ulanina, 49, inside her partially destroyed home after a Russian attack in the village of Chaplyne.  Photo / Inna Varenytsia, AP
Local resident Kateryna Ulanina, 49, inside her partially destroyed home after a Russian attack in the village of Chaplyne. Photo / Inna Varenytsia, AP

Following attacks in which civilians have been killed, the Russian government has repeatedly asserted that its forces only target legitimate military targets. Hours before the bloodshed at the train station, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu insisted the army was doing its best to spare civilians, even at the cost of slowing down its offensive in Ukraine.

In April, a Russian missile attack on a train station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk killed more than 50 people as crowds of mostly women and children sought to flee the fighting. The attack was denounced as a war crime.

In Moscow on Thursday, Dmitry Medvedev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, said Western hopes of a Ukrainian victory were dashed and stressed that the Kremlin would insist on what it calls “the special military operation”, leaving only two possible outcomes.

“One is to achieve all the goals of the special military operation and recognition by Kyiv of this result,” Medvedev said on his messaging app channel. “The second is a military coup in Ukraine followed by recognition of the results of the special operation.”