Artillery types

US says Russia is buying North Korean artillery as Ukraine strains its military

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is set to release a report on nuclear security in Ukraine which is expected to include the agency’s findings after a delegation from the agency visited the nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Zaporizhzhya occupied by Russia.

The IAEA said on September 5 that Director General Rafael Grossi would publish the report on September 6 and brief the United Nations Security Council on the same day.

Grossi said last week after the IAEA team visited the Zaporizhzhya plant that the site had been damaged in the fighting.

Grossi and part of his team left the site on September 1, but several mission members remained on site to conduct further analysis.

Of the six experts who remained at the facility, four left on September 5. The other two should remain in the plant “permanently”, according to a press release from Enerhoatom, the operator of the nuclear power plant.

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Enerhoatom said earlier that the power line connecting the last operating reactor to the national power grid had been cut after bombings in the area amid heightened fears of an accident at the plant.

In a press release dated September 5, Enerhoatom said that “Russian occupation troops continued to intensively shell the territory near the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant”.

“As a result of a fire caused by the bombardment… the power line connecting the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant to the main electricity network of Ukraine was cut. As a result, the sixth reactor, which supplies the internal needs for power from the nuclear power plant, was cut off,” the statement read.

The IAEA said in a statement that the power line was disconnected deliberately to extinguish the fire.

“The line itself is undamaged and will be reconnected once the fire is out,” the IAEA said.

He said the power plant continues to receive the electricity it needs for the safety of its only operating reactor.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said the new Russian bombing of the plant showed Moscow’s contempt for the IAEA.

The power plant for the second time was “one step away from a radioactive disaster” due to the actions of Russia, Zelensky said in his evening address on September 5.

Russia “does not care what the international community decides,” Zelenskiy said. He is only interested in keeping the situation “the worst for the longest time”, he added.

Fighting around the plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has raised fears of a potential nuclear disaster. Russian state news agency TASS reported early on September 5 that three explosions were heard in Enerhodar, the town where the Zaporizhzhya plant is located.

Russia has accused Ukraine of trying to take over the plant by force, which Kyiv denies.

Ukraine and the West accuse Russia of deploying heavy weapons at the site, knowing that Ukraine was unlikely to fire on it. Moscow denies the claims but has resisted efforts to demilitarize the region to avert an environmental disaster.

Russia’s war on Ukraine, now in its seventh month, has also driven up energy prices and raised supply concerns, with the West accusing Moscow of weaponizing gas and fuel. oil.

Zelenskiy warned this weekend that Russia was preparing “a decisive energy coup” as the winter months approached, while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that “Russia is no longer a reliable energy partner”.

Gas prices in Europe jumped 30% early on September 5 as Russia announced the indefinite closure of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

The link, which runs under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, typically supplies around a third of the gas exported to Europe.

Already operating at just 20% capacity, the pipeline was closed last week for maintenance before Russia claimed a leak meant it could not be reopened. Several Western experts scoffed at the excuse.

According to Reuters, EU energy ministers are due to meet on September 9 to discuss options to curb soaring energy prices, including gas price caps and emergency credit lines. for energy market players.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s counter-offensive targeting the south, in particular the Kherson region, which Russia seized at the start of the conflict, continues.

The Ukrainian General Staff said on September 5 that its shelling of areas in the region “where the enemy is still concentrated” forced the Russians to impose a travel ban on local residents.

With reports from TASS, AFP, AP and Reuters