Russian forces begin assault on two key cities in eastern Donetsk region, Ukraine's military and local officials say, as fighting enters its 165th day.

Ukraine has charged 135 people in the alleged war crimes since Russia's February 24 assault on the country.
Ukraine has charged 135 people in the alleged war crimes since Russia's February 24 assault on the country. (Reuters)

Sunday, August 7, 2022

No talks if Russia stages 'pseudo-referendums' – Zelenskyy

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that if Russia proceeded with referendums in occupied areas of his country on joining Russia there could be no talks with Ukraine or its international allies.

"If the occupiers proceed along the path of pseudo-referendums they will close for themselves any chance of talks with Ukraine and the free world, which the Russian side will clearly need at some point," Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address.

Russian and Ukrainian officials held several sessions of talks soon after Russian forces launched their attacks on Ukraine but no meetings have been held since late March, with each side blaming the other for the halt to contacts.

Ukraine probing thousands of suspected war crimes cases

Ukraine is investigating almost 26,000 suspected war crime cases committed since Russia's February 24 assault on the country and has charged 135 people, its chief war crimes prosecutor has said.

Of those charged, around 15 are in Ukrainian custody and the remaining 120 remain at large, Yuriy Bilousov, head of the war crimes department of the Prosecutor General's office, said in an interview in the capital Kiev.

Thirteen cases have been submitted to courts and seven verdicts have been issued, he said.

First ship since Russia's attack arrives in Ukraine — ministry

The first cargo vessel since the start of Russia's attack has arrived at the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Chornomorsk for the future transportation of grain to international markets, Ukraine's Infrastructure Ministry has said.

Earlier on Sunday, four ships carrying Ukrainian foodstuffs sailed from Ukrainian Black Sea ports as part of a deal to unblock the country's sea exports.

"Bulk carrier FULMAR S has arrived at Chornomorsk port and is ready for loading," the ministry said on Facebook.

Ukraine: worker wounded in new Russian strike on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant 

Ukraine's state nuclear power company Energoatom has said that a worker was wounded when Russian forces again shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the biggest in Europe.

The site of the plant's dry storage facility, where 174 containers with spent nuclear fuel are stored in the open air, was hit by rocket attacks, Energoatom said on the Telegram messaging app.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had raised grave concerns on Saturday about shelling the previous day at Zaporizhzhia, saying the action showed the risk of a nuclear disaster.

Russia-backed official in Ukraine's Kherson dies after attack

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

Vitaly Gura, the deputy chief of the Kakhovka district, "died of his injuries", local official Katerina Gubareva, said on Telegram.

Gura was attacked at home on Saturday morning and was gravely wounded by bullets, a source in the Russian-backed administration told TASS news agency.

Russian official re-elected head of chess body FIDE

A Russian former deputy premier has been re-elected as head of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), seeing off a Ukrainian challenger who said his position was untenable because of Moscow's "military operation" in Ukraine.

A total of 157 out of 179 national chess associations voted in India to re-elect Arkady Dvorkovich as FIDE president, said Roberto Rivello, the chair of the body's electoral commission.

Russia's Gazprom will ship 41.3 mcm of gas to Europe

Russia's Gazprom has said it was shipping 41.3 million cubic metres (mcm) of gas to Europe via Ukraine on Sunday, versus 41.6 mcm on Saturday. 

Zelenskyy denounces Russia's 'terror' after damage to nuclear plant

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant "for terror" after the operator of the facility reported major damage at the site.

Energoatom, operator of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the south of the country, said that parts of the facility had been "seriously damaged" by military strikes and one of its reactors was forced to shut down.

Kiev and Moscow have blamed each other for the attacks on the plant, Europe's largest atomic power complex.

Zelenskyy, in his nightly address, once again accused Moscow of terrorism, saying, "Russian terrorists became the first in the world to use the power plant... for terror."

For live updates from Saturday (August 6), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies