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Several people were wounded, one of them seriously, in the Russian shelling of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, local authorities said on August 3, shortly after Russia launched a fresh wave of drone attacks on Kyiv for the second day in a row.

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Russian troops shelled Kherson’s St. Catherine Cathedral and the surrounding area twice during the morning hours, Oleksandr Tolokonnikov, a spokesman of the regional military administration told RFE/RL.

In the first incident, a passing trolleybus was hit and three people were wounded. An elderly man is in critical condition, Tolokonnikov said.

Four members of rescue teams that rushed to put out a fire at the cathedral following the first attack were wounded in a second shelling of the site, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Kherson, which was liberated by Ukrainian troops in November, has been repeatedly targeted by Russian shelling from the left bank of the Dnieper River.

A Russian missile attack on August 1 hit a hospital in Kherson, killing a doctor and injuring several medical workers.

The drone attack on Kyiv was repelled without causing damage or casualties according to preliminary information, the region’s governor said early on August 3.

“Again, like yesterday, the wave of attacks was massive. Eight consecutive attacks of [Iranian-made] Shahed drones on Kyiv,” regional Governor Serhiy Popko said on Telegram.

“Almost a dozen [drones] were detected and destroyed by the air defense on the approach to Kyiv,” Popko said, adding that “according to our current information, there were no victims or destruction in the capital.”

Kyiv was under an air-raid alert for three hours, until 4 a.m., Popko said, adding that this was the 820th air-raid alert for the capital since the beginning of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

On August 2, more than 10 drones were shot down over Kyiv, with the debris causing some damage in parts of the city.

Also on August 2, Russian drone strikes damaged grain facilities at the Ukrainian ports of Izmayil and Odesa.

A grain silo was damaged in Izmayil, one of the two Danube ports that Ukraine has been using to export its grain since Moscow refused to extend a Turkey- and UN-brokered deal that had allowed the export of Ukrainian grain and other produce by sea.

Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said almost 40,000 tons of grain in the warehouses and elevators in Izmayil that were waiting to be exported to African countries, China, and Israel had been destroyed.

Izmayil is located some 15 kilometers north of Tulcea, a major Danube port of NATO member Romania. Last week, Russian drones struck Reni, the other Danube port used by Ukraine to export grain. Reni is some 200 meters across the Danube from Romania.

In Odesa, Russian drones struck grain storage facilities and destroyed a grain elevator.

Odesa, Ukraine’s main Black Sea port, has been increasingly subjected to Russian shelling and drone attacks since Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said Russia has destroyed 180,000 tons of grain inside Ukraine, including 40,000 tons destroyed on August 2, since refusing to extend the grain deal.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to abstain from moves that would exacerbate tensions, Erdogan’s office said after the two leaders held a phone call.

On the battlefield, Ukrainian forces repelled counterattacks by Russian troops in the area of Staromayorske in the Donetsk region, the media center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported on August 3.

Staromayorske was recaptured by Ukrainian forces on July 27.

Ukrainian forces were making gradual advances in the Bakhmut area of Donetsk, Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar said on Telegram.

Russian forces had “tried quite persistently to halt our advance in the Bakhmut sector. Without success,” she wrote.

WATCH: The Ukrainian capital has completed dismantling the Soviet emblem from the Motherland Monument towering in the center of the city. The Ukrainian Culture Ministry plans to have the Ukrainian trident instead of the old Soviet coat of arms on the statue by Independence Day on August 24.

North of Bakhmut, Russian forces were bringing in reinforcements amid heavy fighting over the past weeks, Malyar said.

Ukrainian troops were reportedly making small advances in the south, toward the Berdyansk and Melitopol sectors of the Zaporizhzhya region.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said Ukrainian advances were slower than hoped because Russian forces had a lot of time to beef up their defenses and lay numerous minefields.

“The number of mines on the territory that our troops have retaken is utterly mad. On average, there are three, four, five mines per square meter,” Danilov told national television.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP


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