Ukrainian President Zelenskyj calls for a protective wall for Kharkiv. British Foreign Secretary Cameron wants to ask the United States for military help.

A man on a bicycle passes a burning power plant.

Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine: massive bombing of power plants Photo: Yevhen Titov/AP/dpa

Zelenskyj calls for maximum protection for Kharkiv

Ukraine is expecting a Russian offensive against the large city of Kharkiv in the east of the country and, in the words of President Volodymyr Zelensky, is making “maximum efforts” to protect and support the city of more than one million inhabitants. This applies to both the civilian and military sectors, Zelensky emphasized in his video speech Monday afternoon. “We are working with our partners to strengthen the air defense system to counter Russian plans for Kharkiv.”

According to Ukrainian intelligence, the next major Russian offensive is likely to be directed against Kharkiv. Recent Russian attacks on the city have caused extensive destruction, including power outages. Until Monday, the Ukrainian government did not receive proposals to repair the power outage in Kharkiv and the serious damage to Ukraine's entire energy network. Russian precision strikes with cruise missiles and rockets have hit Ukraine's energy grid hard in recent weeks. (dpa)

Doubts about the Russian armed forces

Military expert Petro Chernik questioned on Ukrainian television the ability of the Russian armed forces to conquer the city of more than a million inhabitants. “This city has been turning it into a fortress for two years,” he said. The comparatively smaller town of Bakhmut, which originally had 70,000 inhabitants, resisted Russian attacks for ten months. In addition to the military issue, Stawka also discussed diplomatic efforts, for example the acquisition of new air defense systems.

In recent weeks, Zelensky has repeatedly called on his Western partners to provide Ukraine with additional anti-aircraft weapons. In a television interview on Sunday, he said his country needed at least 25 American Patriot air defense systems to adequately protect Ukrainian cities. (dpa)

Russian attack hits Zaporizhzhia hard

According to official information, at least three people were killed on Monday in a Russian missile attack on the southern city of Zaporizhzhia. Eight other people were injured when Russian missiles hit an industrial plant. Local military administrator Ivan Fyodorov said on Telegram that 14 buildings were damaged, including a health center. Initially, the information could not be independently verified.

The city of Zaporizhia is located about 55 kilometers north of the nuclear power plant of the same name, occupied by Russian troops for more than two years. The Ukrainian armed forces say they have repelled a series of Russian attacks on positions in the Novopavlivka region, south of Zaporizhzhia. The General Staff in kyiv reported in its afternoon situation report that Russian ground troops attacked the positions of the Ukrainian defenders a total of 20 times with artillery and air support.

A series of Russian attacks were also reported in the Kherson region in the south of the country. There, Russian ground troops attempted to crush the Ukrainian-held bridgeheads on the left bank of the Dnieper. These attacks were repelled, he stated. This information also could not be independently verified. (dpa)

Cameron is expected to be in the US.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron is expected to visit the United States on Tuesday. Cameron wants to pressure the US Congress to release aid to Ukraine, his ministry said. He wants to meet with both Democratic and Republican leaders. Republicans have been blocking a multibillion-dollar aid package for Ukraine for weeks.

Cameron wanted to underline the importance of the United States to Ukraine. The country needs military and humanitarian support to be able to maintain its position against Russia and go on the offensive in 2025. Cameron also wants to talk about the Gaza war in a conversation with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. (rtr)