Grave concerns of radiation disaster from ‘nuclear terrorism’ at Zaporizhzhia plant

“Ukrainian personnel do not yet have access to these premises, so in the event of new shelling, people have no shelter and are in danger,” it said.

Russian assault

Russian forces began an assault on Saturday (Ukraine time) on two key cities in the eastern Donetsk region and kept up rocket and shelling attacks on other Ukrainian cities, including one close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Ukraine’s military and local officials said.

Both cities of Bakhmut and Avdiivka have been considered key targets of Russia’s ongoing offensive across Ukraine’s east, with analysts saying Moscow needs to take Bakhmut if it is to advance on the regional hubs of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk.

“In the Donetsk direction, the enemy is conducting an offensive operation, concentrating its main efforts on the Bakhmut and Avdiivka directions. It uses ground attack and army aviation,” the Ukrainian General Staff said on Facebook.

The last Russian strike on Sloviansk was July 30, but Ukrainian forces are fortifying their positions around the city in expectation of new fighting.

“I think it won’t be calm for long. Eventually, there will be an assault,” Col. Yurii Bereza, head of the volunteer national guard regiment, said.

Russian shelling killed five civilians and injured 14 others in the Donetsk region in the last day, Donetsk governor Pavlo Kyrylenko wrote on Saturday on Telegram, saying two people were killed in Poprosny, and one each in Avdiivka, Soledar and Pervomaiskiy.

The governor of the eastern Dnipropetrovsk region said three civilians were injured after Russian rockets fell on a residential neighbourhood in Nikopol, a city across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station. The nuclear plant has been under Russian control since Moscow’s troops seized it early in the war.

“After midnight, the Russian army struck the Nikopol area with [Soviet-era] Grad rockets, and the Kryvyi Rih area from barrel artillery,” Valentyn Reznichenko wrote on Telegram.

Another Russian missile attack overnight damaged unspecified infrastructure in the regional capital of Zaporizhzhia. On Thursday, Russia fired 60 rockets at Nikopol, damaging 50 residential buildings in the city of 107,000 and leaving residents without electricity.

Foreign ship

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A foreign-flagged ship arrived in Ukraine on Saturday for the first time since the war started in February, and will be loaded with grain, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said.

Ukraine is starting to resume grain exports in an effort overseen by a Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul where Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish and U.N. personnel are working.

Kubrakov said the Barbados-flagged general cargo ship Fulmar S was in the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk.

“We are doing (everything) possible to ensure that our ports can receive and handle more vessels. In particular, we plan to reach the level of at least three to five vessels per day in two weeks’ (time),” he wrote on Facebook.

Ukraine eventually aims to ship out 3 million tonnes a month from its Black Sea ports, he said.

Roughly 20 million tonnes of grain from last year’s crops are still stuck in the country.

Reuters, AP

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