Live blog: UN’s nuclear watchdog condemns shelling at Ukraine nuclear plant

live_blog_uns_nuclear_watchdog_condemns_shelling_at_ukraine_nuclear_plant.jpg /

Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of shelling Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant as fighting rages again in the crucial border region of the Donbass on the 164th day. The nuclear plant was captured by Russian forces in early March in the opening stage of the conflict but it is still run by Ukrainian technicians. (Reuters) Saturday, August 6, 2022

UN's nuclear watchdog chief condemns shelling at Zaporizhzhia plant

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has raised grave concerns about the shelling the previous day at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, saying the action showed the risk of a nuclear disaster.

«I'm extremely concerned by the shelling yesterday at Europe's largest nuclear power plant, which underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond,» Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement.

Grossi, who leads the United Nation's nuclear watchdog, urged all sides in the Ukraine conflict to exercise the «utmost restraint» around the plant.

EU condemns Russian military activities around Ukraine's nuclear plant

EU foreign policy chief has deplored the Russian military activities around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear station in southeast Ukraine.

«The EU condemns Russia's military activities around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,» Josep Borrell announced on Twitter.

Calling the military activities a «serious and irresponsible breach of nuclear safety rules» and international norms, he demanded immediate access for the experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Ukraine says it caught spies who helped destroy infrastructure 

Ukraine's State Security Service (SBU) has detained two men it accused of being Russian intelligence agents responsible for identifying targets for Russian missile strikes that wrecked shipbulding infrastructure in the southern port city of Mykolaiv, the agency said.

The two men «collected and transmitted intelligence to the enemy about important infrastructure facilities, fuel depots, the deployment and movement of personnel and equipment of (Ukraine's) Armed Forces,» the SBU said in a post on messaging app Telegram.

As a result, the SBU said several shipbuilding enterprises and fuel depots were damaged or destroyed. The agency said both men were now being held in custody. It did not say when the infrastructure was hit.

Two grain-loaded ships from Ukraine docked at the Black Sea entrance of Türkiye's Istanbul Strait en route to Ireland and England – Turkish National Defence Ministry

— TRT World (@trtworld) August 6, 2022 Moscow-backed official wounded after attack in Ukraine's Kherson

An official with the Russian occupying authorities in Ukraine's Kherson region has been gravely wounded after an assassination attempt, local Moscow-backed authorities said.

Russian state news agency TASS quoted an anonymous official in Russia-occupied Kherson as saying the attack targeted the deputy chief of the Kakhovka district, some 80 km east of Kherson city.

«Vitaly Gur has been the victim of an assassination attempt at his home. He is in hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, in a critical state,» the source said, without providing further details.

The Russian agency that investigates criminal cases in the country and in Russian-occupied areas, on Telegram confirmed there had been an «assassination attempt» against Gur.

Turkish, Ukrainian defense chiefs discuss Ukraine grain shipments

Türkiye's defense chief has discussed the latest developments on Ukrainian grain exports with the minister of defense of that country.

During Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar's phone call with Oleksii Reznikov, he also spoke to Ukraine's Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov, according to a statement from Turkish Defense Ministry.

The ministers hailed the continued acceleration of grain shipments and the co-operative work carried out at the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul.

Russian forces begin assault on two eastern Ukraine cities

Russian forces have begun an assault on two key cities in the eastern Donetsk region and kept up rocket and shelling attacks on other Ukrainian cities, including one close to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Ukraine's military and local officials said.

Both cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka have been considered key targets of Russia’s ongoing offensive across Ukraine’s east, with analysts saying Moscow needs to take Bakhmut if it is to advance on the regional hubs of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

«In the Donetsk direction, the enemy is conducting an offensive operation, concentrating its main efforts on the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions. It uses ground attack and army aviation,» the Ukrainian General Staff said on Facebook.

The last Russian strike on Sloviansk was July 30, but Ukrainian forces are fortifying their positions around the city in expectation of new fighting.

Another three ships loaded with of corn have set sail from Ukrainian ports, and are now headed to Istanbul for inspection. It follows the breakthrough deal to release Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea

— TRT World (@trtworld) August 6, 2022 Ukraine says it will receive tanks, planes from North Macedonia

North Macedonia has agreed to supply tanks and planes to Ukraine to help fend off Moscow's ongoing offensive, senior Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said.

«Many nations are showing more courage today than half of the G20 (Group of 20 major economic powers). Like North Macedonia, giving Ukraine a (supportive) shoulder in the form of tanks and planes,» Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

The defence ministry of North Macedonia, a small Balkan country, confirmed last week that it would supply Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine, but has said nothing about aircraft deliveries. 

Ukraine says parts of nuclear plant 'seriously damaged' in strikes

Parts of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant were «seriously damaged» by military strikes that forced one of its reactors to shut down, the plant's operator has said.

The Friday strikes on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in south Ukraine – Europe's largest atomic power complex – «seriously damaged» a station containing nitrogen and oxygen and an «auxiliary building,» Energoatom said on the Telegram messaging service.

Kiev and Moscow blamed each other for the attacks.

Ukrainian unit digs in for Russian assault on eastern city

Ukrainian military personnel are fortifying their positions around the eastern city of Sloviansk in expectation of a fresh Russian attempt to seize the strategic point in the fiercely fought-over Donetsk region.

As heavy ground fighting continues on the front line only miles to the east, southeast and north of Sloviansk, members of the Dnipro-1 Regiment are digging in after a week of relative calm. The last Russian strike on the city occurred on July 30. 

While the lull provided Sloviansk's remaining residents a reprieve after regular shelling between April and July, some unit members say it could be a prelude to renewed attacks.

Sloviansk is considered a strategic target in Moscow’s ambitions to seize all of Donetsk province, a largely Russian-speaking area in eastern Ukraine where Russian forces and pro-Moscow separatists control about 60% of the territory.

Ukraine fighting set to enter new phase: UK military intelligence

Russia's attack against Ukraine is about to enter a new phase, with most fighting shifting to a nearly 350 kilometre front stretching southwest from near Zaporizhzhia to Kherson, parallel to the Dnieper River, British military intelligence has said.

Russian forces are almost certainly amassing in the south of Ukraine, anticipating a counter-offensive or in preparation for a possible assault, the UK's Ministry of Defence said on Twitter.

Long convoys of Russian military trucks, tanks, towed artillery and other weapons continue to move away from Ukraine's Donbass region and are headed southwest.

(6/8) Ukrainian forces are focusing their targeting on bridges, ammunition depots, and rail links with growing frequency in Ukraine’s southern regions.

— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) August 6, 2022 Head of Amnesty Ukraine quits over rights report

The head of Amnesty International's Ukraine office has resigned, accusing the rights organisation of parroting Kremlin propaganda in a controversial report that criticised the Kiev's military response to Russia's attack.

Amnesty sparked outrage in Ukraine when it released a report on Thursday, accusing the military of endangering civilians by establishing bases in schools and hospitals, and launching counterattacks from heavily populated areas.

Pokalchuk said she had tried to warn Amnesty's senior leadership that the report was one-sided and failed to properly take into account the Ukrainian position, but she was ignored.

The organisation unintentionally put out a statement that sounded like support for Russian narratives. Striving to protect civilians, this research instead became a tool of Russian propaganda…If you don’t live in a country invaded by occupiers who are tearing it to pieces, you probably don’t understand what it’s like to condemn an army of defenders.

Oksana Pokalchuk, The head of Amnesty International Ukraine Hiroshima official targets Russia in atomic bombing memorial speech

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, in his peace declaration, has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of «using his own people as instruments of war and stealing the lives and livelihoods of innocent civilians in another country.»

Russia's aggression on Ukraine is helping build support for nuclear deterrence, Matsui said, urging the world not to repeat the mistakes that destroyed his city 77 years ago by US nuclear bombers.

Matsui criticised nuclear weapon states, including Russia, for not taking steps despite their pledge to abide by obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

«Rather than treating a world without nuclear weapons like a distant dream, they should be taking concrete steps toward its realisation,» he said. Matsui cited Leo Tolstoy, the Russian author of «War and Peace», saying: «Never build your happiness on the misfortune of others, for only in their happiness can you find your own.»

Zelenskyy: Russia must take responsibility for nuclear plant 'terror'

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his daily video address has said Russia should «take responsibility for the very fact of creating a threat to a nuclear plant», following a strike at Europe's largest nuclear site,

«Today, the occupiers have created another extremely risky situation for all of Europe: they struck the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant twice.

Any bombing of this site is a shameless crime, an act of terror,» he said. The Ukrainian foreign ministry earlier said the «possible consequences of hitting a working reactor are equivalent to using an atomic bomb».

Moscow, in turn, has accused Ukrainian forces of targeting the plant.

For live updates from Friday (August 5), click  here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies