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    Russia bombs Kharkiv hours before UN Secretary-General’s meeting with Zelensky

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    At least five people died; President of Ukraine, Turkey and Antonio Guterres discussed impact of war and possible solutions to conflict

    Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP

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    Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, meet in Lviv

    Russia bombed this Thursday, 18, the region of Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraineand killed at least five people, just hours before the meeting between Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, Volodymyr Zelensky, President of Ukraine, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, meet in Lviv, in the west of the country, to talk about the impact of the war and possible solutions, almost six months after the start of the Russian invasion, and to discuss the recent agreement for the export of Ukrainian cereals, “the need for a political solution to the conflict” and the security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, said UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric. “We will work together to get the results that Ukraine needs,” Zelensky said in its daily communiqué. Another missile bombardment hit the city of Krasnograd, 80 kilometers south of Kharkiv, causing two deaths. By Wednesday, it had already been hit by bombings that killed seven people, according to local authorities.

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    Located just 40 kilometers from the Russian border, Kharkiv has been a frequent target of Russian army attacks since the beginning of the war on 24 February, but it has not been occupied by invading troops. Hundreds of civilians have died in the region since the invasion began, according to local authorities. The meeting between Guterres, Zelensky and Erdogan takes place amid tensions at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, which is in critical condition and could cause a world catastrophe and has been occupied since March by the Russian army and is the target of bombing, the which provokes an exchange of accusations between Moscow and Kiev about the authorship of the attacks. One bombing hit a radioactive storage building and another caused a reactor to automatically shut down. “No one could have predicted that Russian troops would fire on nuclear reactors with tanks. It was unprecedented,” Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said during a visit to Zaporizhzhia, a city located 50 kilometers from the plant. “We must prepare for all possible scenarios,” he warned, before accusing the Russia of being a “terrorist state (…) As long as Russia controls the Zaporizhizha nuclear plant there will be great risks”.

    *With information from AFP

    Source: Jovempan

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