Kiev and Moscow accuse each other of shelling near Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine as fighting rolls into its 172nd day.

The mayor of Ukraine's Enerhodar, the city where the nuclear plant is located, reported mortar shelling on the plant
The mayor of Ukraine's Enerhodar, the city where the nuclear plant is located, reported mortar shelling on the plant "every day and night". (Reuters Archive)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Ukraine nuclear plant risks increasing 'every day'

The risk of disaster at Europe's largest nuclear plant is "increasing every day", the mayor of the city where it is located has warned, after Ukraine and Russia exchanged blame for fresh shelling around the facility.

The Zaporizhzhia plant in southeastern Ukraine has been occupied by Russian forces since March, and Kiev has accused Moscow of basing hundreds of soldiers and storing arms there. The facility has come under fire repeatedly in the past week, raising the spectre of a nuclear catastrophe.

"What is happening there is outright nuclear terrorism, and it can end unpredictably at any moment," said Dmytro Orlov, the mayor of Energodar city where the plant is based. "The risks are increasing every day," he added, noting that there was mortar shelling on the plant "every day and night".

Ship carrying grain for hungry Ethiopia leaves Ukraine

A United Nations-chartered ship loaded with 23,000 metric tons of Ukrainian grain destined for Ethiopia has set sail from a Black Sea port, the first shipment of its kind in a programme to assist countries facing famine.

The Liberia-flagged Brave Commander departed from the Ukrainian port of Yuzhne, east of Odessa, according to regional governor Maksym Marchenko. It plans to sail to Djibouti, where the grain will be unloaded and transferred to Ethiopia under the World Food Programme initiative.

Ukraine and Russia reached a deal with Türkiye on July 22 to re-start Black Sea grain deliveries, addressing the major export disruption that has occurred since Russia began its Ukraine operation in February.

First ship carrying Ukraine wheat under grain deal docks in Türkiye

The first ship carrying Ukrainian wheat to be exported under a Türkiye-brokered deal has arrived in Istanbul, the Joint Coordination Centre based in the Turkish city said.

The Belize-flagged vessel is the first to carry wheat from Ukraine through the Black Sea since Russia's offensive began. The Sormovsky was loaded with 3,050 mt of wheat and had left Ukraine's port of Chornomorsk on Friday.

A total of 18 ships have now departed from Ukraine over the past two weeks, following the deal with Russia to allow a resumption of grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, after they were stalled for five months due to the war.

Mykolaiv hit by deadly rocket attack

Russian forces have fired rockets on the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine, killing at least one person, according to Ukrainian officials.

The Mykolaiv region is just to the north of the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, which Ukrainian forces have vowed to retake. The Ukrainian emergency service said one person was killed in shelling early Sunday of the Mykolaiv region settlement of Bereznehuvate.

Russia’s war priority: Reorient units to strengthen southern Ukraine, UK says

Russia's priority over the past week has likely been to reorient units to strengthen its campaign southern Ukraine, British military intelligence said.

Russian-backed forces of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic in the Donbas continued to attempt assaults to the north of Donetsk city, according to the intelligence update.

Particularly heavy fighting has focused on the village of Pisky, near the site of Donetsk Airport, the British Defence Ministry said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.

Zelenskyy says 'brutal fighting is continuing in Donbass'

Russia has deployed a colossal amount of its military resources in eastern Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said, adding, "brutal fighting is continuing in Donbass."

"The hottest points of the front in this direction remain unchanged: Avdiivka, Marinka, Pisky, Bakhmut and the corresponding direction," he said, adding, "All our male and female defenders there are simply heroes."

In Kharkiv region, he claimed the Ukrainian defence is strong "and the attempts of the occupiers to attack are constantly failing." 

Zelenskyy claimed fighting in the south of the country is causing destruction of Russian army forces and their means. "No day is wasted, we are reducing the occupiers' potential."

For live updates from Saturday (August 13), click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies