Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now
The situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine remains “very risky” after two of its six reactors were reconnected to the grid, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said, following shelling that caused Europe’s largest nuclear power plant to be disconnected for the first time.
* More than 18,000 people in 72 settlements in Zaporizhzhia region were without electricity due to damage caused to powers lines, the regional administration said, without specifying which lines.
* Zelenskiy had said Russian shelling had sparked fires on Thursday in the ash pits of a nearby coal power station that disconnected the reactor complex from the power grid. Russia’s defense ministry blamed Ukraine, saying its forces had destroyed the Ukrainian gun responsible.
* Russian ex-President Dmitry Medvedev, a top ally of President Vladimir Putin, said Moscow would not stop its military campaign in Ukraine even if Kyiv formally renounced its aspirations to join NATO.
* Russia has probably stepped up attacks along the Donetsk sector of Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas over the last five days in a move that could be aimed at sucking in Ukrainian troops and foiling a counterattack, Britain’s defense ministry said on Saturday.
* Ukraine’s military command said on Saturday its forces had beaten back assaults by Russian forces in the direction of Soledar, Zaitseve and Mayorsk in the Donetsk region.
* Ukraine’s southern military command said on Saturday a Ukrainian air strike destroyed a Russian air defense system in the Kherson region, while the Antonivskyi and Daryivskiy bridges remained unusable by heavy vehicles after previous strikes.
* Ukraine plans to expand the number of districts on the war’s front lines where civilian evacuations will be mandatory, as those areas could be occupied and face central heating problems this winter, a deputy prime minister said.
Reuters could not verify the battlefield reports.
* The United States and India had constructive talks on a proposal to cap prices of Russian oil, said U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo as Washington seeks global support for a proposal to cut Russian revenue.
* A U.S. citizen recently died in Ukraine, a State Department spokesperson, reiterating that Americans should avoid the country “due to the active armed conflict and the singling out of U.S. citizens in Ukraine by Russian government security officials.”
(Compiled by William Mallard)