Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Russia says it could shut down nuclear power plant, warns of effects of potential accident

A serviceman with a Russian flag on his uniform stands guard near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during the Ukraine-Russia conflict outside the Russian-controlled town of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine August 4, 2022 .

Alexander Ermoshenko | Reuters

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday it could shut down the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant if Ukrainian forces continue, as it claims, to bomb the facility.

Ukraine denies bombing the facility and instead accuses Russia of endangering the nuclear power plant, saying it stores munitions and military equipment there.

Ukraine and the international community have warned of the potential for a catastrophic accident at the plant. On Wednesday, the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry conducted a nuclear disaster exercise in Zaporizhzhia in the event of an accident.

Igor Kirillov, the head of Russia’s radioactive, chemical and biological defense forces, said on Thursday that the plant’s backup support systems had been damaged as a result of shelling, Reuters reported.

He also said that in the event of an accident at the plant, the radioactive material would cover Germany, Poland and Slovakia.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is visiting Ukraine today and the status and fate of the nuclear power plant is on the agenda.

The Russian Defense Ministry separately claimed on Telegram today that Kyiv is planning a ‘provocation’ at the power plant during Guterres’ visit to Ukraine, ‘as a result of which the Russian Federation will be accused of creating a man-made disaster in power”. plant.”

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed that “to prepare for the provocation” it was deploying radiation observation posts near Zaporizhzhia and conducting training exercises for a number of military units in the region “on the measures to be taken in conditions of radioactive contamination of the area”. ”

Russia has presented no evidence to support its claim and has often been accused of “false flag” operations.

The possibility of an accident at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant is a terrifying prospect for Ukraine, a country still living with the scars of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

—Holly Ellyatt

Russians move planes and helicopters to Crimea following explosions, Ukraine says

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Russian forces were moving their planes and helicopters “deep” into Crimea and then into Russia, following several attacks in recent weeks on Russian bases on the peninsula.

“The occupants are taking steps to partially transfer aviation equipment from advanced airfields in the Crimea to reserve airfields and airfields permanently based on the territory of the Russian Federation”, the intelligence directorate within the Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday.

The ministry said among the planes moved were SU-34 fighter-bombers and KA-27 helicopters like the one below.

A Russian Helix KA-27 helicopter flies near the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf while conducting operations in the Gulf of Aden, in this US Navy photo taken February 9, 2009.

United States Navy | MC2 Jason R. Zalasky | Reuters

“Such activity was noted after a series of explosions at military infrastructure on the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula,” the ministry noted, including explosions at Saky airfield on August 9 and at Gvardiyske airfields on Tuesday.

CNBC was unable to immediately verify the report. On Tuesday, a fire blew up a Russian ammunition depot in northern Crimea and damaged a nearby rail and power substation. Ukraine has not openly admitted or denied carrying out an attack on the base.

—Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine strives to send IAEA mission to occupied nuclear power plant

A serviceman with a Russian flag on his uniform stands guard near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant outside the Russian-controlled town of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, August 4, 2022.

Alexander Ermoshenko | Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said late Wednesday that Ukrainian diplomats, his nuclear scientists and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were “in constant contact” and were working to bring a team of inspectors into the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occupied by Russia.

The factory has been occupied by Russian troops since the start of the war in Ukraine, but there are growing fears of a nuclear disaster as shelling has intensified around the factory, which, according to the Ukraine, was used by Russia to store munitions and military ammunition. equipment.

Russia, for its part, accused Ukraine of bombing the plant and sought to portray Kyiv as an irresponsible player in the nuclear energy sector.

On Telegram, Zelenskyy said last night that “only absolute transparency and [a[] A controlled situation in and around the ZNPP can ensure a gradual return to normal nuclear safety for the Ukrainian state, for the international community and for the IAEA.”

Zelenskyy reiterated the calls of Ukraine and the international community for the Russian military to withdraw from the territory of the nuclear power plant “and from all neighboring areas, and remove its military equipment from the plant”.

“It must be done without any conditions and as soon as possible,” he added. “Ukraine is ready to ensure proper control of the IAEA, and the relevant mission can be sent to the Zaporizhzhia plant in a legal manner, very quickly and as efficiently as possible.”

—Holly Ellyatt

Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Now Kyiv is fighting back

Smoke rises after explosions were heard heading towards a Russian military airbase near Novofedorivka, Crimea on August 9, 2022.

Stringer | Reuters

When Russia invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014, little was done to stop it or actively help Ukraine reclaim its territory, a highlight given Russia’s large-scale invasion of its neighbour. started earlier this year.

But now Ukraine finally seems able to retaliate on the peninsula with a series of recent incidents in which Russian military positions and infrastructure in Crimea were damaged.

These, it is thought, will likely be part of Ukraine’s attempted counter-offensive in the south as it seeks to dislodge occupying forces and ultimately reclaim its territory, once and for all. .

The latest incidents in Crimea took place on Tuesday when a fire caused multiple explosions at a Russian ammunition depot near Dzhankoi in the north of the peninsula. A nearby rail and power substation was also damaged along with residential buildings, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Read more about the story here: Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Now Kyiv is fighting back

Ukraine’s state-owned energy company says it was the victim of a Russian cyberattack

The Russian flag displayed on a laptop screen with binary code overlay.

Nurphoto | Getty Images

Ukraine’s state-owned energy company said it was the target of a Russian cyberattack, according to a statement on the Telegram messaging app translated by NBC News.

“The strongest hacker attack since the start of the large-scale invasion of the Russian Federation took place on the official website of EnergoAtom State Enterprise,” the company said, adding that the cyberattack originated from the Russian territory.

“The mentioned attack did not significantly affect the work of the website and remained invisible to users,” the company added.

—Amanda Macias

Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry conducts nuclear disaster drill in Zaporizhzhia city

Ukraine’s Emergencies Ministry is holding a nuclear disaster drill in Zaporizhzhia in the event of a potential accident at the city’s nuclear power plant.

Ukraine remains deeply scarred by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, when a Soviet-era reactor exploded and spewed radiation into the atmosphere in the north of the country.

Russian forces took control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant days after the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Rescuers from the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry take part in a drill in the city of Zaporizhzhia on August 17, 2022, in case of a possible nuclear incident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant located near the city.

Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

Rescuers from the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry take part in a drill in the city of Zaporizhzhia on August 17, 2022, in case of a possible nuclear incident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant located near the city.

Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

Rescuers from the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry take part in a drill in the city of Zaporizhzhia on August 17, 2022, in case of a possible nuclear incident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant located near the city.

Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

Rescuers from the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry take part in a drill in the city of Zaporizhzhia on August 17, 2022, in case of a possible nuclear incident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant located near the city.

Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

—Dimitar Dilkoff | AFP | Getty Images

UN secretary general will not meet Russian officials during his trip

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is not expected to meet any Russian officials after his visit to Ukraine.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres would meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week. He added that Guterres did not plan to have talks with Russian officials.

Dujarric said Guterres would also meet separately with Zelenskyy to discuss the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

—Amanda Macias

Russian military sites in Crimea continue to explode, hinting at Ukraine’s growing ambitions and capabilities

Smoke rises after explosions were heard heading towards a Russian military airbase near Novofedorivka, Crimea on August 9, 2022.

Stringer | Reuters

Crimea is now at the heart of what appears to be a bold Ukrainian effort to target Russian supply lines and morale.

A series of explosions hit a Russian military depot on the annexed peninsula on Tuesday – rocking the laid-back summer vacation destination for the second time in a week and suggesting Ukraine’s growing ability to strike deep behind enemy lines.

This is an important development that could alter the dynamics of the war as it nears six months and defies Moscow’s warnings against attacking a region that holds deep strategic and symbolic value for the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Lily more here.

— NBC NEWS

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