In its latest operational update, published on Facebook, Ukraine’s military command said that "the enemy's aviation group" was conducting "systematic fighting to maintain land groups.”
It added that the effort focused on causing "damage to military sites in the Donetsk direction.”
Ukraine repels Russian attacks around Luhansk region
Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops have thwarted 10 attempts by Russian forces to storm cities and villages at the border between the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the Ukrainska Pravda website reported on Tuesday.
It added that the Russian army was "putting pressure around the Luhansk region in order to deprive the Armed Forces of Ukraine of the opportunity to strengthen other areas.”
The website cited Serhii Haidai, the head of the regional military administration, as saying that "the enemy is using all available weapons to force the armed forces of Ukraine to focus their main efforts here and prevent any manoeuvres.”
Haidai added: “Over the past day alone, our military stopped 10 enemy attempts to storm cities and villages on the border of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The occupier's aircraft tried to work near eight settlements."
According to Haidai, Russian forces “launched a missile strike, made two attempts at tank attacks, and hit settlements with mortars,” Ukrainska Pravda reported.
Risk of disaster at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: ISW
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has warned of “the very real risks of Russia’s militarisation of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant” in southeastern Ukraine, including the possibility of a Russian-caused nuclear disaster.
In its latest analysis of the war, published on Monday night, the US-based think tank said that the dangers “may include mining the plant" and "unsafe storage of military armaments near nuclear reactors and nuclear waste storage facilities.“
The US experts noted that the investigative-journalism group Bellingcat had “geolocated a drone video of the Zaporizhia NPP that was shared by Russian opposition outlet The Insider on August 5.”
The video shows Russian military vehicles moving in and around the plant, “including military trucks and armoured vehicles moving around and into the building containing the first of the plant’s six nuclear reactors,” the ISW said.
The think tank added that “Russian forces have also dug trenches in and around the plant and may have established firing positions.”
The ISW reported that “Russian officials claim that Ukraine has repeatedly attacked the plant, while Ukrainian officials claim that Russian forces are attacking Ukrainian positions from within the plant, preventing Ukrainian return fire and essentially using the plant as a nuclear shield.”
Russian troops have repeatedly shelled the nearby Ukraine-controlled town of Nikopol, likely from positions in or around the Zaporizhzhia complex, since last month, the US analysts said.
The ISW reiterated that Russian forces were "likely leveraging the threat of nuclear disaster to degrade Western will to provide military support to a Ukrainian counteroffensive.”
Russian ground attacks in Donetsk region
Elsewhere on the frontlines, Russian forces "conducted ground attacks northwest of Slovyansk and northeast and southeast of Bakhmut,” in the eastern Donetsk region, the US think tank reported.
It added that Russian troops “continued ground attacks northwest and southwest of Donetsk City.”
Meanwhile, “Russian officials postponed reopening the Antonivskyi Bridge” into the southern Kherson City “after a Ukrainian strike damaged the bridge and nearby construction equipment," the US experts said.
They also reported that Russian forces were "deploying less-professional occupation forces and increasing pressure on Ukrainian populations in occupied areas.”
Tuesday is day 167 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, facebook.com/Generalstaff.ua, pravda.com.ua, understandingwar.org