Russia threatens to shut down nuclear power plant in Ukraine
Russia threatens to shut down Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which has been the subject of major fighting with the Ukrainian army in recent weeks. The reactor has been in the hands of Russia since March. Both warring parties accuse each other of bombing the compound.
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Ukraine to discuss the war in Ukraine and grain exports with President Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as the situation in Zaporizhia. Guterres feared a nuclear catastrophe and called for a demilitarized zone around the nuclear reactor. For Russia, this idea is “unacceptable” because it will only make the complex more vulnerable.
Russia said on Thursday that Ukraine was preparing for a “provocation” at a nuclear power plant. The Ukrainian military wants to cause a “minor accident” and then blames Russia for it. To prevent a nuclear catastrophe, Russia will have to close the plant. Russia said the Ukrainian action should happen on Friday if Guterres was still in the country.
The nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, is of great importance for Ukraine’s energy supply. According to Zelensky, the Russian army has deployed several heavy weapons at the plant site, but Russia denies this. The president and NATO have called on Russia to accept the IAEA’s inspection. The United Nations wants to arrange that visit, but Russia refuses, because it would be too dangerous for the mission to cross the front line from Ukrainian territory.
09.45 They were killed in the Russian attacks on Kharkov
The region’s governor said that the Russian attacks on the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv left many civilians dead and wounded. On Wednesday evening, seven people were killed in an attack, and two more RPGs were added early this morning.
The governor reported that rockets landed on apartment complexes in both attacks. Several buildings were said to have been destroyed and a fire broke out. More than 30 people were injured, including three children. According to the governor, an attack took place at the same time near the city of Krasnograd, about 100 kilometers southwest of Kharkov. It was also said that two were killed.
The official Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that the Russian army killed 90 foreign mercenaries in a precision attack in Kharkov. It will be a temporary base for the troops. According to Russia, 80 Ukrainians were also killed in the attack. These claims have not been independently verified.
07:00 – Chinese troops are sent to Russia for military exercises
Chinese forces will participate in a military exercise in Russia at the end of this month. China’s Defense Ministry wrote in a statement on Wednesday that it wants to strengthen ties with Moscow. Belarus, India and Mongolia are also participating in the Vostok exercise, which lasts several days.
Moscow said the military exercises, which were held as recently as 2018 in the Far East on the border with China, will take place from August 30 to September 5. In a statement, the Chinese military said it would participate “to improve military cooperation between participating countries.”
China wrote that the exercises should enhance the ability to “respond to various security threats.” Beijing stressed that the “current international and regional situation” had nothing to do with the Chinese military’s participation in the exercises.
This is the second time this year that Chinese and Russian soldiers have trained together. The last time was at the end of May, when US President Joe Biden visited Tokyo, the Japanese capital.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the United States was “looking for nothing” behind the joint exercises. Price does not say that “the close relationship between China and Russia undermines global security.”
05.00 – The grain deal and the clash of arms over the deployment of a nuclear power plant visits the Secretary-General of the United Nations
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Ukraine on Thursday for a meeting with Ukrainian President Zelensky and his Turkish counterpart Erdogan. The meeting in Lviv follows the failed efforts of Turkey and the United Nations to secure Ukrainian food exports by sea.
Despite the war, Ukrainian food products, especially cereals, can safely sail to Turkish waters thanks to an international agreement concluded at the end of July from Ukrainian ports through the Black Sea. But Guterres is also expected to talk with Zelensky about the prospects of ending the battle at the front, especially at the large Enerhodar nuclear power plant in the Zaporizhzhya region. The nuclear power plant fell into the hands of Russia at the beginning of the war. Guterres hopes to be able to help arrange a new visit by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency to the nuclear power plant.
Since Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations signed an agreement on the export of Ukrainian agricultural products, more than 560 thousand tons of grain have been exported from Ukrainian government-controlled ports, according to the United Nations. The war between the two major exporters of grain and fertilizer products, Russia and Ukraine, deprived the world market of a large part of the supply of those products. This leads to higher prices and in poor countries that depend on imports, it immediately leads to life-threatening food shortages.
Guterres is scheduled to visit, on Friday, Ukraine’s largest port, Odessa. On Saturday, he will visit the coordination center in Istanbul, where representatives from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey and the United Nations are organizing the implementation of the grain deal.
00.01 – Six killed in Russian missile attack on Kharkov: ‘a mock attack on civilians’
At least six people were killed in a rocket attack on the Ukrainian city of Kharkov on Wednesday evening, local authorities reported. The missiles allegedly hit buildings in the residential area of Saltivsky.
Unconfirmed photos show that several buildings are on fire. Firefighters fight the fire. Also, 16 people were wounded in the attack.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted with fury to the attack. This is a cynical attack on civilians without any justification. It shows Russia’s impotence. “We will not forgive this and we will not avenge this attack,” Zelensky said on Telegram.
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