Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command reported on Sept. 6 that several settlements in Kherson Oblast were liberated by the Armed Forces.
Operational Command’s spokeswoman Natalia Humeniuk said that the military is now conducting demining in those areas and will give more details shortly.
Ukraine has also been active in the northeastern Kharkiv Oblast where heavy fighting was reported by Russian propaganda. According to unconfirmed Russian reports, Ukraine has made gains near Balakliia, a town 90 kilometers southeast of Kharkiv.
Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) published a report following a visit to the Moscow-held Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
The IAEA confirmed the presence of Russian military vehicles and equipment inside the occupied plant’s territory, contradicting the Kremlin’s earlier claim that there is no arsenal at the site.
"There is an urgent need for interim measures to prevent a nuclear accident arising from physical damage caused by military means,” the United Nation’s watchdog said in the report, proposing to create a safe zone around the plant.
As Russia continues to use the nuclear plant as a weapon, the U.S. decided to not recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, despite Ukrainian requests.
U.S. President Joe Biden made the decision as the label could jeopardize the export of grain through the Black Sea, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Sept. 6. In response to the decision, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine will continue to lobby for the designation regardless.
Front line movement
As Ukraine aims to push Russian troops out of Kherson and Kharkiv oblasts, Moscow continues to attempt to advance in the eastern Donetsk region.
On Sept. 4, President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukrainian forces liberated two villages in Kherson Oblast. More settlements were freed, according to the military command.
Ukrainian troops are advancing from the north and west in an attempt to encircle the occupied regional capital Kherson, located on the right bank of the Dnipro River.
Ukrainian troops have also begun boxing out Russian troops from the northern Kharkiv Oblast. According to multiple Russian military Telegram channels, Ukrainian troops advanced near Balakliia, which according to unconfirmed reports has been surrounded.
The Kharkiv Oblast Military Administration and Eastern Operational Command East declined a request to comment.
Meanwhile, Russian gains remain limited.
Russia’s military goal “almost certainly” remains to capture the entire Donetsk Oblast, the U.K. intelligence reported.
However, Russian military achievements are limited, with Moscow able to advance by 1 kilometer in the direction of Bakhmut within the last week, according to U.K. intelligence.
Russian forces continue shelling Donetsk Oblast, firing at dozens of settlements with mortars and artillery, according to Ukraine’s General Staff.
The Ukrainian military reported repelling attacks across the eastern front line, near the towns of Dolyna, Soledar, Avdiivka, and Marinka.
Explosions were reported in the occupied cities of Berdiansk and Enerhodar in southeastern Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
Artem Bardin, the head of the Russian occupation administration in Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia Oblast, was reportedly killed after his car was blown up, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said. He was later reported of being alive, yet in critical condition.
The week began with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov saying his country will cut gas supplies to Europe until sanctions are lifted.
Gazprom’s Deputy Chief Executive Vitaly Markelov told Reuters on Sept. 6 that the pipeline was waiting for a repair from Siemens Energy, to which Germany's federal regulator and industrial giant reacted with confusion.
As Russia cuts flow westwards, Europe is diving into crisis as energy prices soar and German importers discuss the possibility of introducing economy rationing.
If Russia continues to halt gas to Europe, its main export market, Moscow could lose as much as $6.6 billion a year in tax revenues, Bloomberg reported, citing an internal report.
Meanwhile, Der Spiegel reports that Russia generates record revenues from fossil fuels, gaining 158 billion euros since Feb. 24.
In the embattled Donetsk Oblast, where a mandatory evacuation has been underway since August, four people were injured on Sept. 5, according to Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko.
In Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, Russian forces struck residential areas with S-300 missiles. A woman was killed in an overnight missile strike on the city.
An administrative building was also damaged.
Russian shelling near the village of Yavkyne, Mykolaiv Oblast, destroyed a grain storage facility, Governor Vitaly Kim reported.
Air raid sirens continued to blare across the region throughout the day.