Ukraine latest updates: NATO says ‘urgent’ need to inspect plant

Members of the State Emergency Service prepare for nuclear disaster response drills amid shelling of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine.
Members of the State Emergency Service prepare for nuclear disaster response drills amid shelling of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine [Dmytro Smolienko/Reuters]

By Joseph StepanskyPublished On 17 Aug 202217 Aug 2022Click here to share on social media

  • It is “urgent” that the UN’s atomic watchdog be allowed to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine that is under Russian military control, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said.
  • Moscow’s defence ministry has said a senior official met with the head of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces and discussed possible military and intelligence cooperation.

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  • 17 Aug 2022 – 20:21 (20:21 GMT)Russia sees 38 percent rise in energy export earnings this year: ReportHigher oil export volumes, coupled with rising petrol prices, will boost Russia’s earnings from energy exports to $337.5bn this year, a 38 percent rise from 2021, according to an economy ministry document seen by the Reuters news agency.The jump in revenues, if it materialises, will help shore up Russia’s economy in the face of waves of Western sanctions.Read more here.
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 20:14 (20:14 GMT)Six dead in Russian shelling of Ukraine district of Kharkiv: regional governorRussian shelling of a residential district in the Ukraine city of Kharkiv killed six people and injured 16, regional governor Oleh Synehubov has said.“Unfortunately, the number of dead and wounded in the shelling of Saltivka district has risen to six dead and 16 injured,” Synehubov said on Telegram.Zelenskyy deplored the attack on Telegram: “This is a devious and cynical strike on civilians with no justification, showing the powerlessness of the aggressor. We cannot forgive. We will avenge it.”
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 19:56 (19:56 GMT)Zelenskyy: Russians must leave Zaporizhzhia plantUkraine’s Zelenskyy has said in nightly address that the Russian military must withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant “without any conditions”.Zelenskyy said that Ukrainian diplomats and scientists “are now working on sending an IAEA mission” to the plant and “only absolute transparency and controllability can guarantee a gradual return to regular nuclear safety”.
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 19:49 (19:49 GMT)Kharkiv mayor says three killed, 10 wounded in Russian strikeA Russian strike killed at least three people and wounded 10 others in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, the city’s mayor has said.The attack started a fire in a block of flats in the northeastern city, Igor Terekhov said on the messaging app Telegram.
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 18:37 (18:37 GMT)Ukraine carries out emergency drills near nuclear plant on front lineUkrainian authorities performed disaster response drills following repeated shelling at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest of its kind in Europe.Both sides accuse the other of attacks in the vicinity of the facility in recent days and engaging in what they call “nuclear terrorism”.As part of the emergency drills, Ukrainian first responders donned full protective gear and then dealt with a man pretending to be a victim. After the team carried out a radiation scan they laid the patient on a stretcher, covered him in shiny silver film and then put him into an ambulance.The first responders were themselves then checked for radiation before being hosed down and disposing of their gear. The drills will be repeated in the coming days, authorities said.Advertisement
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 18:17 (18:17 GMT)First wartime UN food aid for Africa reaches BosphorusThe first wartime shipment of UN food aid for Africa reached the Bosphorus Strait on Wednesday under a deal backed by Russia restoring Ukrainian grain deliveries across the Black Sea.Marine traffic sites showed the MV Brave Commander taking its cargo of 23,000 tonnes of wheat across the heart of Istanbul after leaving Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Pivdennyi on Tuesday.Turkish coast guards expect the Lebanese-flagged cargo vessel to reach the Sea of Marmara on the strait’s southern edge late on Wednesday before sailing to its final destination in Djibouti next week.The grain will then be loaded onto trucks for delivery to war and famine-stricken Ethiopia under the UN World Food Programme (WFP) funded largely by the United States.
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 16:53 (16:53 GMT)NATO says ‘urgent’ need to inspect Ukraine nuclear plantIt is “urgent” the UN’s atomic watchdog be allowed to inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine that is under Russian military control, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has said.Russia’s seizure of the plant “poses a serious threat to the safety and the security of this facility [and] raises the risks of a nuclear accident or incident”, he told reporters in Brussels.“It is urgent to allow the inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency and to ensure the withdrawal of all Russian forces,” he said.The Russian military control of the facility “endangers the population of Ukraine, of neighbouring countries and of the international community”, Stoltenberg added.“Russian troops … now use the ground around the nuclear power plant as a staging area, as a platform, to launch artillery attacks on Ukrainian forces, and this is reckless, it is irresponsible.”
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 16:22 (16:22 GMT)Naftogaz says bondholders reject proposal to suspend debt paymentsUkraine’s state-owned gas company Naftogaz has said its bondholders had rejected its latest proposal to suspend debt payments.Naftogaz, which accounted for almost 17 percent of Ukraine’s total state budget revenue last year, has fallen into default after failing to make several interest payments last month.
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  • 17 Aug 2022 – 15:14 (15:14 GMT)Donetsk governor says two civilians killed in past 24 hoursPavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of the eastern Donetsk region, which has seen some of the fiercest fighting, has said that two civilians were killed and seven wounded in shelling by Russian forces in the past 24 hours.The Ukrainian government has ordered mass evacuations in Donetsk.
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 14:06 (14:06 GMT)Ukraine aide calls for Crimea bridge to be ‘dismantled’ after blastsA senior Ukrainian official has called for Moscow’s main bridge connecting the Kremlin-controlled Crimea to the Russian mainland to be “dismantled,” in the wake of several attacks on the peninsula.The 19-kilometre (12-mile) bridge inaugurated in 2018 by Russian President Vladimir Putin is Moscow’s key military and civilian land corridor to the peninsula, which it grabbed from Ukraine in 2014.“The bridge is an illegal object,” presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak said on social media.It “must therefore be dismantled. Not important how – voluntary or not”, he added, implying the Kerch bridge could become a military target for Ukrainian forces.Advertisement
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 13:00 (13:00 GMT)Ukraine expects biggest convoy of ships to load since grain export deal  Ukraine has said it expects five ships to arrive at its Chornomorsk Black Sea port on Wednesday to be loaded with more than 70,000 tonnes of agricultural products.The convoy would be the largest so far under a UN-brokered deal to assure the safe passage of ships exporting grain. The Ukrainian sea ports authority said in a statement that the new cargoes would include wheat, corn and sunseed oil.The sea ports authority said that 24 ships carrying food had left Ukrainian ports so far during the 17 days of the grain corridor operation under the Initiative for the Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs.The bulk carrier Brave Commander shipThe Lebanese-flagged bulk carrier Brave Commander leaves the Ukrainian sea port of Pivdennyi with wheat for Ethiopia after restarting grain exports [Igor Tkachenko/Reuters]
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 12:53 (12:53 GMT)Russian Black Sea fleet names new commander: RIA news agencyRussia’s Black Sea fleet, which is based in annexed Crimea, has named Viktor Sokolov as its new commander, RIA news agency has cited sources as saying.The appointment followed blasts at Russian military bases in Crimea last week and on Tuesday.Russia militaryA photo release by the Russian Defence Ministry Press Service shows the Russian navy’s amphibious assault ship Kaliningrad sailing into the Sevastopol harbour in annexed-Crimea [File: Russian Defence Ministry Press Service/The Associated Press]
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 12:41 (12:41 GMT)Germany’s domestic intelligence warns of more Russian propagandaGermany’s domestic intelligence service has said expects to see more Russian propaganda and espionage activities in the coming months.The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution said in a statement that Russia is using issues relating to Europe’s energy supply in particular as a “lever”.“Russian propaganda is likely to proliferate within extremist circles and fuel conspiracy narratives with the aim of driving a wedge into our society,” the statement said.The Russian state is also expected to “further intensify and adapt its political and military reconnaissance efforts,” the office said.UkraineA building hit by a Russian missile attack is seen in a resort area in the Odesa region [Press service of the Operational Command South of the Armed Forces of Ukraine/Reuters]
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 12:30 (12:30 GMT)Russia forecasts export gas price will more than double in 2022: ReutersRussia forecasts its average export gas price will more than double this year to $730 per 1,000 cubic metres before gradually falling until the end of 2025 amid a decrease in pipeline gas exports, according to an economy ministry forecast seen by Reuters news agency.Gas flows from Russia, Europe’s top supplier, are currently running at reduced levels in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and some European countries have been cut off for refusing to pay for gas in roubles.Gas prices have surged as a result.Russia’s economy ministry has forecast that pipeline gas exports by Gazprom will fall to 170.4 billion cubic metres (bcm) this year, compared with its forecast published in May of 185 bcm. In 2021, Russia’s pipeline gas exports were 205.6 bcm.RussiaPeople rest on a beach as smoke and flames rise after explosions at a Russian military airbase in Novofedorivka in Russian-annexed Crimea [Reuters]
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 12:05 (12:05 GMT)Russia: Defence official discussed military, intelligence cooperation with Palestinian commanderMoscow’s defence ministry has said a senior official has met with the head of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces, Major General Nidal Abu Dukhan, and discussed possible military and intelligence cooperation.The talks, which occured on the sidelines of Russia’s Army-2022 forum, come as Moscow has increasingly sought allies around the world in the face of Western isolation.Russia has supported the Palestinian drive for statehood but a new alliance could threaten Moscow and Israel’s historically strong ties.Advertisement
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 11:33 (11:33 GMT)Russian-appointed leader of Crimea: Arms depot explosions continued into WednesdayThe Russia-appointed regional leader in Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, has said detonations at an ammunition depot near Dzhankoi have continued into Wednesday.Aksyonov said the last explosions were at about 8:15am local time (05:00 GMT) and two fires were still burning, according to the Associated Press news agency.He said efforts were under way “to get all the machinery off the ground and finish extinguishing fires” by the afternoon.Russia has said saboteurs were responsible for a series of explosions at strategic sites on the annexed peninsula.
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 11:01 (11:01 GMT)Where have Ukrainian refugees fled to?INTERACTIVE Ukraine Refugees
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 10:23 (10:23 GMT)Russia says it has neutralised ‘terrorist’ cell in CrimeaThe top official in Russian-annexed Crimea has said Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) had arrested the members of a six-person “terrorist” cell, a day after explosions rocked one of Russia’s military bases there.“All of them are detained. The activities of the terrorists were coordinated, as one would expect, from the territory of the terrorist state of Ukraine,” Sergei Aksyonov, the official, said on the social messaging app, Telegram.Aksyonov said the suspects were members of the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned in Russia.An FSB statement did not say whether the detained individuals were linked with explosions on Tuesday at a base in Dzhankoi in northern Crimea and last week at a Russian military base in western Crimea. However, it mentioned Dzhankoi, along with the city of Yalta, as the two locations where the alleged cell had been ‘neutralised’.CrimeaSmoke rises over the site of explosion at a Russian ammunition storage depot near the village of Mayskoye, Crimea [The Associated Press]
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 10:18 (10:18 GMT)Who controls what in the Donbas region?INTERACTIVE- WHO CONTROLS WHAT IN THE DONBAS(Al Jazeera)
  • 17 Aug 2022 – 09:51 (09:51 GMT)German gas giant blames Russian squeeze for steep lossesGerman energy giant Uniper has blamed a Russian squeeze on gas deliveries for heavy losses in the first half of the year.The company, which accepted a government rescue package last month, said that it had recorded a net loss in the first six months of the year of $12.5bn (12.3 billion euros).“Uniper has for months been playing a crucial role in stabilising Germany’s gas supply at the cost of billions in losses resulting from the sharp drop in gas deliveries from Russia,” CEO Klaus-Dieter Maubach said in a statement.The German government agreed in late July to take about a 30 percent stake in Uniper, which was threatened with bankruptcy as a result of the Russian invasion. Berlin reportedly plans to postpone the closure of its last three nuclear plants in a policy U-turn amid the energy crisis.Pipes at the landfall facilities of the 'Nord Stream 1' gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, GermanyPipes at the landfall facilities of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline are pictured in Lubmin, Germany [Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters]Advertisement

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES


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