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More shelling raises nuclear fears as Kyiv and Moscow await UN report

Ukraine’s nuclear power plant was shut down Monday morning (5 September). Moscow was accused by Kyiv. The UN nuclear watchdog had been scheduled to inspect the Zaporizhzhia facility on Monday.

Russia and Ukraine accuse one another of causing disaster by bombarding the plant. Officials claim that the bombing caused power disruptions and knocked the reactor at Europe’s biggest nuclear plant offline.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, (IAEA), while the backup power line was cut to extinguish the fire, the line itself was not damaged and would be reconnected.

The plant is safe and generates enough electricity. Once backup power is restored, it will be connected to the grid. The watchdog agency stated this before it published its complete findings in a Tuesday Report.

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Volodymyr Zelenskiy was the Ukrainian president and warned of a “radiation disaster” in the region. He also stated that Russia’s bombardment proved it “doesn’t care what they will tell them.”

In his nightly video message, he stated: “Again, already for the second-time – due to Russian provocation Zaporizhzhia Station has been placed one step away form a radiation catastrophe.”

The ongoing energy battle between Moscow and the West has intensified since February when Russian troops invaded Ukraine.


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European markets collapsed Monday after Russia cut off its main gas line to Germany. Meanwhile, Kyiv’s counter-offensive against Russian forces in South was halted for a week. It boldly claimed victory on the battlefield.

It was a central point of the six-month conflict since March, when Moscow took control of Zaporizhzhia. This six-reactor plant is located in southern Ukraine. The possibility of nuclear disaster is still possible because the facility is still being operated by Ukrainian engineers.

Energoatom Ukraine, the nuclear state company of Ukraine, stated that Ukraine had cut off its final reactor block after Russian shelling.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official in Zaporizhzhia stated that Ukrainian shelling had damaged a containment vessel close to the second reactor but that it was still operational.

After several days of silence about their new offensive, Ukrainian officials published an online photo of three soldiers raising flags above a Kherson provincial city. This is the region that has been occupied by the Ukrainians since the start of World War II.

Zelenskiy published the photo of the flag attached to a pole top of a roof in Vysokopyllya (north of Kherson). He said that Ukrainian forces had taken two towns in the south and one in the east, but he did not identify them.

COUNTER-ATTACK

After suffering for months from Russian artillery strikes in the east, Ukraine finally launched its long-awaited counterattack. This is the largest counterattack since March, when it defeated Russian forces in the outskirts of Kyiv.

Ukraine kept details about its new campaign under wraps, with journalists being excluded from the frontline. There was little commentary on tactical surprise to keep it secret.

Russia claims that it has repelled the attacks on Kherson. TASS news agency quotes a Moscow-based official who said that plans to hold a referendum on joining Russia were halted because of security concerns.

Monday night, the Ukrainian general staff reported that Russian forces were defeated in an area near Kramatorsk (a major city in eastern Donetsk). However, Russian forces have shelled about a dozen towns to the south.

Zelenskiy warned European nations that they could be in for a cold winter.

According to emergency officials, a missile attack by Russian forces destroyed an oil depot in Kryvorizsky (Dnipropetrovsk) on Monday evening. This was an earlier Russian missile strike.

BLEAK WINTER

Moscow attributes the interruption in equipment repairs and maintenance due to Western sanctions to the halting of gas flow through Nord Stream 1, its main pipeline to Germany. Russia had been supposed to reopen Nord Stream 1 Saturday. However, it has now been closed indefinitely.

Dmitry Peskov (a Kremlin spokesperson) said Monday that problems in gas supply were due to sanctions imposed last week by Western countries, including Britain and Germany.

While the United States and Europe both claim that Russia uses energy to make weapons, they also say they work together to ensure supplies.

Last week, billions of euros in aid was also provided by European countries. This helped to lower European gas prices from record highs.

The weekend news about Nord Stream’s extended shutdown on Monday caused prices to rise once again. The benchmark for Europe rose by 35%, triggering fears about a harsh winter for consumers and businesses.

Germany’s DAX shareindex fell by more than 2%. For the first time in many decades, the euro dropped below 99 US cents. When Liz Truss was appointed Britain’s next prime minster, the pound was at its lowest level since mid-1980s.

Russia’s Peskov has promised to retaliate against the West’s recent move to limit Russian oil exports beginning December. This was done to reduce Moscow’s primary source of income.

Since Vladimir Putin’s 24 February “special military operation”, Russia has effectively blocked independent media. On Monday, a Russian judge revoked the license to Novaya Gazeta, a liberal newspaper that was one of the last unofficial voices.

Dmitry Muratov (editor), who won the Nobel Peace Prize last-year for his fight for freedom speech, stated that the ruling was a “political hitjob, with no legal basis”.

A Russian court sentenced a former journalist to 22 years imprisonment for having disclosed state secrets after prosecutors accused him. His supporters claim that the case was revenge for his disclosures about Russia’s international arm agreements.

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