Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now


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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 on Friday, following shelling that caused Europe’s largest nuclear power plant to be disconnected for the first time.

ZAPORIZHZHIA

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* Russia’s defense ministry accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the Zaporizhzhia complex three times in the last 24 hours. Reuters could not verify the battlefield report, and there was no immediate response from Kyiv to the allegation.

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* Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for shelling near the plant, which on Thursday sparked fires in the ash pits of a nearby coal power station that disconnected the plant from the power grid.

FIGHTING

* 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.

* Ukraine’s military command said 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 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.

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* 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 on Friday.

* Russian ex-President Dmitry Medvedev, a top ally of President Vladimir Putin, said on Friday that Moscow would not stop its military campaign in Ukraine even if Kyiv formally renounced its aspirations to join NATO.

Reuters could not verify the battlefield reports.

DIPLOMACY, ARMS SALES

* Two South Korean companies have signed a $5.76 billion contract with Poland to export tanks and howitzers, Seoul’s arms procurement agency said, after Warsaw agreed to ramp up arms imports amid tensions with Russia.

* The United States and India had constructive talks on a proposal to cap prices of Russian oil, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said on Friday, as Washington seeks global support for a proposal to cut Russian revenue.

(Compiled by William Mallard and Frances Kerry)



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