(Bloomberg) -- Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is about to hit the 16-month mark. Kyiv’s ground counteroffensive in the south and east presses on while meeting strong resistance from heavily fortified Kremlin forces. A top Zelenskiy aide lamented delays by Western allies to provide more weapons. “Breaking the Russian front today requires a reasonable and balanced approach,” Mykhailo Podolyak said on Twitter. Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner militia group, said Russian troops are sustaining heavy casualties in a new video challenging Moscow’s military leadership. “Our soldiers are dying,” Prigozhin said.  

Ukraine’s foreign minister pushed back on a report that Russia’s security service had broken up an attempt by five men to buy radioactive material to smuggle into Ukraine and conduct a false-flag operation. The report came a day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy alleged that Russia is weighing a “terrorist attack” on the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that would result in a radiation leak, and said he would share intelligence on the matter with the US, China and others. Zelenskiy urged other countries to heed his warning.

Against the conflicting allegations, Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, met with Rosatom officials about the Zaporizhzhia plant and the recent Kakhovka dam explosion. The UN Security Council was scheduled on Friday to discuss the security situation in Ukraine. Russia said it would bar entry to more European officials in response to the EU’s 11th round of sanctions against Moscow, which came into effect on Friday.   


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