- Guterres said in New York that the UN had received requests to that effect from both Russia and Ukraine.
- On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was "absolutely proven" that Ukraine had killed its own soldiers who were being held as prisoners of war.
Kiev/Moscow, Aug 5 (IANS) Ukrainian and Russian forces clashed fiercely in the contested eastern region of Donetsk, vying for control of Avdiivka and Bakhmut.
According to reports from both countries, troops loyal to Moscow are attempting to drive the Ukrainian military out of their positions.
The city of Donetsk has been under pro-Russian separatist control since 2014, but the Ukrainian army still controls large parts of the surrounding region of the same name.
Russian forces claim to be making progress in the Donetsk region, though Kiev claims to have repulsed some of their advances.
According to the Ukrainian General Staff, soldiers fought off Russian attacks north and east of Soledar and Bakhmut, while fighting continued south of Bakhmut.
Brigadier General Olexiy Hromov, however, admitted that Ukrainian troops had been forced to withdraw from the village of Semyhirya.
Ukrainian fighters, according to Hromov, had also left their positions south-east of the industrial town of Avdiivka.
Despite Russian shelling of dozens of Ukrainian positions along the entire front line, Kiev’s forces deflected Russian advances north of Sloviansk, west of Donetsk, and in the Kherson and Kharkiv regions, according to the staff report.
Russia is attempting to seize control of the Donbas region, which includes the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. While Moscow already controls Luhansk, it is now battling for control of the rest of Donetsk.
If Russian forces capture Bakhmut, they will be able to advance to the outskirts of the twin cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Before the war, the area was home to more than 500,000 people.
The reports could not be verified.
According to Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov, several Ukrainian brigades have withdrawn from their positions near Soledar, Avdiivka, and Bakhmut due to heavy losses.
According to reports, Ukraine received four Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jets from North Macedonia as it continues to seek weapons to counter Moscow’s attacks.
North Macedonia allegedly purchased the planes from Ukraine in 2001. The planes, which have been on the market since 2003, were deployed several times during this time, according to the report.
North Macedonia also provided Ukraine with Soviet-made T-72 tanks.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced an investigation less than a week after the devastating attack on a prisoner-of-war camp in eastern Ukraine.
Guterres said in New York that the UN had received requests to that effect from both Russia and Ukraine.
He was not authorised to launch criminal investigations, but he could launch a fact-finding mission, according to the UN Secretary-General.
Preparations were in full swing.
Dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war were killed in the attack on the Olenivka prison camp near Donetsk.
According to Russian sources, the prison barracks were hit by a rocket on July 29.
Moscow and Kiev both claim responsibility for the attack.
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was “absolutely proven” that Ukraine had killed its own soldiers who were being held as prisoners of war.
“There is proof, and nothing can be hidden here.”