Ukraine's intelligence agency, the Secret Service of Ukraine (SSU), said Monday that it had arrested a woman in connection with an alleged assassination plot against President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The woman in question "was preparing a Russian airstrike in the Mykolaiv region during the visit of the President of Ukraine," the SSU said.
"Primarily, the woman tried to establish time and list of locations of the Head of State's tentative itinerary in the region," a statement from the SSU said, referring to a planned visit by the president to the southern region.
The report from Kyiv's intelligence community came asthe southern Ukrainian city of Kherson in the south, and border areas in the northeast Kharkiv region, with at least three people killed in the attacks, according to Ukrainian officials.
"A difficult night for Kherson... The Russian army continued to set fire to the homes of Kherson residents in the central part of the city," Kherson Governor Oleksandr Prokudin said on social media. One woman was killed in the attacks, Prokudin said.
Separately, Andriy Yermak, President Zelenskyy's chief of staff, said Moscow had shelled the village of Kucherivka, close to Ukraine's border with Russia in the Kharkiv region. That strike left two people dead, Yermak said.
The strikes were just the latest examples of Russia's daily aerial bombardment of Ukrainian towns and cities. Both countries have ramped up attacks on each other's troops, infrastructure and military hardware in recent weeks as the deadliest war in Europe since World War II nears the 18-month mark.
On Sunday, the Reuters news agency, citing officials in both Kyiv and Moscow, reported that Ukraine had struck two bridges linking Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula — a large region that has been occupied by Russia since 2014 — to the Ukrainian mainland.
Over the weekend, Russia unleashed a missile and drone barrage across Ukraine,that Zelenskyy called "a war crime." The strikes were seen as likely retaliation for a Ukrainian attack on a major Russian port in the Black Sea, which was , causing significant damage to a Russian warship.
have increased following Russia's withdrawal in July from an internationally brokered deal that had allowed Ukraine to export grain to the rest of the world.
Meanwhile, senior officials from some 40 countries including Ukraine, the U.S and China, but notably not Russia, gathered in Saudi Arabia on Sunday for peace talks, with no concrete steps emerging from the summit.
The Ukrainian delegation described the talks as an attempt to secure broad international support for Kyiv's terms and conditions for peace, including the withdrawal of all Russian troops and the return of all Ukrainian territory to its control.
On Monday, China's foreign ministry said in a written statement to Reuters that the talks in Jeddah had helped "to consolidate international consensus."
Last week, Ukraine's Zelenskyy expressed hope that a Ukraine "peace summit" would be held later this year, and he said the talks in Saudi Arabia were a step toward that objective.
for more features.