Ukraine began erecting fortifications in the northeastern Kharkiv province in anticipation of a Russian counterattack after President Vladimir Putin announced partial military mobilization, at a time when Ukrainian forces began an offensive in the Donbass region (east) to regain a strategic city.
Days after its recovery after a sudden attack, the Ukrainian authorities in Kharkiv Province began building shelters in residential neighborhoods in anticipation of any attack by Russian forces, noting that the Al-Jazeera correspondent reported that the battles are still continuing on the fronts in the south of the province, adjacent to the Donbass region, while the shelling renewed Russian on the city of Kharkiv itself.
In the Donetsk region of Donbass, Al-Jazeera correspondent Omar Al-Haj said that the Ukrainian forces began yesterday evening, Wednesday, a large-scale operation to restore the strategic city of Lyman, which was seized by the Russian forces last May.
The reporter quoted the Ukrainian army as saying that, at the beginning of the operation, it recaptured towns and villages in the vicinity of the city of Lyman, which includes a civilian and a military airport, and is located near the cities of Kramatorsk and Slaviansk.
Also in Donbass, the pro-Russian Mayor of Donetsk city Alex Kolmzin said that at least 6 civilians were killed today as a result of Ukrainian shelling on the city's central market, while local media said that a shell directly hit a passenger bus near the central market.
Meanwhile, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) announced today, Thursday, that it had thwarted an attack planned by the Ukrainian intelligence that was targeting the oil and gas complex that supplies energy to Turkey and Europe, noting that a Ukrainian agent and 4 accomplices of Russian citizens had been arrested.
A bus damaged as a result of shelling that left people dead in the center of Donetsk in the Donbass region, eastern Ukraine (Anatolia Agency)
In southern Ukraine, Al-Jazeera correspondent Mahmoud Al-Zeibaq quoted the Ukrainian army as saying that its forces are expanding their active operations against the Russian forces in the fighting axes in the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions.
The reporter also quoted the Ukrainian army that in the past 24 hours it had carried out more than 40 raids on Russian forces on this front.
In Mykolaiv, Al-Jazeera correspondent quoted sources in the Ukrainian Military Regional Administration that the Russian forces targeted the city with 9 S-300 missiles during the night hours and at dawn on Thursday, causing material damage, including gas and water pipelines.
In Zaporozhye (southeast), Al-Jazeera correspondent said that dozens of people were killed or wounded in several explosions in the city and in nearby cities and towns, after Russian shelling with missiles, one of which landed near the central hospital in the city.
In the Russian-controlled city of Melitopol - also located in the Zaporozhye region - an explosion occurred that killed 3 soldiers, and the mayor of the Ukrainian city accused Russia of responsibility, while a member of the local administration appointed by Russia accused Ukrainian special agencies of trying to create chaos on the eve of the vote in the referendum on joining. to Russia.
For his part, Oleksandr Starukh, governor of the Zaporozhye region, said that the Russian army fired 9 missiles at the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporozhye, noting that they hit a hotel in the city center and a power station.
Atamex missile launch during US-South Korean drills (Getty Images)
On the other hand, Deputy Defense Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Havrilov said that after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization, Washington became more willing to agree to send ballistic missiles "ATACMS" to Kyiv.
He noted that Ukraine would not strike Russia's territory, but said that Ukrainian forces had targets in Crimea.
Moscow had recently warned Washington against supplying Ukraine with these ballistic missiles, which have a range of up to 300 kilometers, and said that this is a red line.
A few days ago, American sources reported that Washington had postponed supplying Kyiv with these missiles to avoid a dangerous Russian response.
And the NBC news network (NBC) quoted two military sources that senior military officials advised the White House not to send these missiles to Ukraine, fearing that this could lead to a wider war with Russia.
Dmitry Medvedev, deputy head of the Russian National Security Council, said that the Russian armed forces will significantly enhance the protection of all the territories they have joined, adding that not only mobilization capabilities, but also any other weapons, including strategic nuclear weapons, can be used.
Medvedev stressed that independence referendums from Ukraine will be held in Donbass and other regions, and that there is no going back from that.
Meanwhile, Russian news agencies reported today, Thursday, quoting the Russian General Staff, that about 10 thousand people volunteered for recruitment in the Russian military campaign in Ukraine, without waiting for the summons papers issued as part of the partial mobilization.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Russia's first general mobilization since World War II, and his defense minister said it aimed to recruit 300,000 experienced people for Russia's war in Ukraine, which recently suffered severe setbacks.
This news came as Western news agencies reported protests inside Russia against the decision to mobilize, as well as a great demand by citizens to travel outside the country.