At least two people were killed in Russian military strikes in Ukraine on August 12 as Moscow said Ukraine had sent drones to attack Crimea and fired missiles at the bridge connecting the peninsula to Russia.
Russian troops carried out six missile and 36 air strikes on Ukrainian positions and settlements during the day on August 12, the General Staff of the Ukrainian military said. There also were 32 attacks from rocket salvo systems and 33 combat clashes at the front, according to the General Staff’s evening report.
A police officer was killed and 12 people injured, including four police officers, in Russian air strikes on Orihiv, a town in the southern region of Zaporizhzhya, local officials said.
Three Iranian-made Shahed drones were shot down over Zaporizhzhya overnight, the Ukrainian military said.
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Elsewhere, a 73-year-old woman died in an August 12 Russian military strike on a southern district of Kupyansk, Kharkiv regional Governor Oleh Synyehubov said.
The General Staff’s summary said Russian forces conducted “unsuccessful offensive actions” near Kupyansk and other towns and cities in the Kharkiv region.
The report also reported unsuccessful attempts by Russian troops to advance near the Bakhmut area of the Donetsk region and said Ukrainian defense forces continue to hold back a Russian offensive near Avdiyivka and Maryinka.
Ukrainian forces continue their own offensive operations in the Melitopol and Berdyansk areas, the General Staff said, citing “partial success” in a central area of the Zaporizhzhya region.
In the city of Donetsk, Russia-installed Mayor Aleksei Kulemzin said a man was killed in the Petrovsky district as a result of shelling by Ukrainian armed forces. Kulemzin said on Telegram that the man, born in 1986, was killed when a Ukrainian shell hit the kitchen of a house.
The claims could not be independently verified by RFE/RL.
Local officials reported explosions early on August 12 in the central Ukrainian city of Kryviy Rih, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s hometown, but said that there were no known casualties.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said on August 12 that Ukraine had tried unsuccessfully to strike the Crimean Bridge with S-200 rockets. Moscow condemned the attacks.
Russian-installed Crimean leader Sergei Aksyonov said that two rockets had been downed by anti-aircraft defenses near the bridge, which has come under repeated attack by Ukraine since last year.
Video circulating on social media appeared to show smoke rising from the bridge. Traffic on the bridge has been stopped.
“The Ukrainian missile was detected in a timely manner and was intercepted in the air by Russian air-defense systems. No damage or casualties were reported,” the Defense Ministry said.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova vowed to avenge the attacks.
“There can be no justification for such barbaric actions and they will not go unanswered,” Zakharova said on Telegram.
The Ukrainian side did not comment, but Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) published a video purportedly showing the operations of seaborne drones over the last three months.
“We continue to destroy the Moscow invaders on the ground, in the air, and on the water! Glory to Ukraine!” the HUR said on Telegram. The video ends with the phrase, “This is our sea.”
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed its forces had destroyed what it described as 20 Ukrainian drones launched onto the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia seized control of in 2014.
The reported overnight attacks followed three consecutive days of drone attacks on the Russian capital, Moscow.
Drone attacks on Russian-controlled territories in Ukraine and deep inside Russia have increased since a drone was destroyed over the Kremlin in early May.
WATCH: RFE/RL has found documentary evidence that Russia is attacking Ukraine with cruise missiles that Kyiv handed over to Moscow in the 1990s.
On August 11, Zelenskiy announced the dismissal of all the heads of regional conscription centers, part of his crackdown on corruption since the outbreak of Russia’s war in Ukraine more than 17 months ago.
The step was taken after Ukrainian security services presented details of 112 criminal cases against draft board officials suspected of taking bribes and engaging in corrupt practices.
Zelenskiy said in a Telegram post that the jobs should instead go to war veterans, including those with injuries.
Elsewhere, authorities in Ukraine’s Black Sea port city of Odesa have announced they are opening six beaches for swimming for the first time since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022.
Swimming will be banned during air raid alerts, local officials added on August 12.
Odesa has been targeted by Russian missiles and drones. The surrounding sea has also been mined by Russia.