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Ukraine news – live: Nuclear power ‘must not be instrument of war’, Macron warns

‘Radiation disaster’ narrowly avoided, says Zelensky, as one of six reactors ‘reconnected to grid’

Boris Johnson celebrates Ukraine's Independence Day

Nuclear power must not be used “as an instrument of war”, French president Emmanuel Macron has warned, after the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – Europe’s largest – was disconnected from the Ukrainian grid due to shelling nearby.

The United States accused Moscow of turning the plant into an “active war zone” as part of “its strategy to create an energy crisis in Europe”, with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky warning that the world narrowly avoided a “radiation disaster” after electricity to the plant was cut.

Ukraine’s state nuclear firm Energoatom said one of the plant’s six reactors had been reconnected to the grid on Friday afternoon, as hopes were raised for International Atomic Energy Agency officials to be permitted to visit the plant, which was captured by Russia in the early days of Vladimir Putin’s war.

In a sign that he expects the war to grind on for months to come, Mr Putin this week signed a decree to expand the Russian army by 137,000 troops, following widespread claims that the Kremlin’s forces have suffered severe casualties over the past six months.


UK to advise Ukraine on reconstruction, says Shapps

Britain will offer Ukraine technical advice about how to reconstruct its damaged infrastructure, the UK government has said.

The training in airport and port reconstruction will come as part of the UK’s new £54m package of support for Ukraine, British transport secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement.

Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 12:17

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant’s safety systems activated, says Russia

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant’s safety systems have been activated after power outages, the Russian-state RIA news agency has said.

The nuclear facility, which is located in Russian-occupied southeastern Ukraine, is Europe’s largest.

Fears have been growing about the site’s safety recently following reports of shelling in the vicinity.

Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 12:39

Scholz visits training programme for Ukrainian soldiers in Germany

German chancellor Olaf Scholz paid a visit on Thursday to a training programme for Ukrainian soldiers near Oldenburg.

On the tour, the head of training at arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Juergen Schoch showed him an anti-aircraft tank:

German chancellor Olaf Scholz inspects an anti-aircraft gun. (REUTERS)
Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 13:05

Putin signs decree to increase size of Russian army

Russian president Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on Thursday to increase the army by 137,000 soldiers, the country’s state media has reported.

After the enlargement takes effect in January, the size of the Russian army will stand at more than 2 million .

Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 13:33

Detained Kremlin critic taken to court

Yevgeny Roizman, a critic of Russia’s war in Ukraine, was arrested yesterday.

On Thursday, the former mayor of Yekaterinburg was pictured being led into court in the city he used to oversee.

The EU has condemned his detention, calling it a “grim act of oppression” by the Putin regime.

Kremlin critic Yevgeny Roizman is escorted to a court building in Yekaterinburg, Russia, on 25 August, 2022. (via REUTERS)
Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 14:00

Macron backs IAEA trip to Russian-held nuclear power plant

French president Emmanuel Macron has reiterated that he wants to see experts from the UN’s nuclear watchdog travel to the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia plant to conduct safety tests.

After meeting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi, Mr Macron voiced his support for the visit to Europe’s nuclear power station, which is located in southeast Ukraine.

Concerns have grown about the situation there, with the IAEA saying its contact with the site is limited.

Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 14:23

Stop the war in Ukraine, UN human rights chief urges Putin

Michelle Bachelet, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, has urged Vladimir Putin to stop the war in Ukraine.

The human rights chief said Russia’s war had caused six “unimaginably terrifying months” for the people of Ukraine, adding that at least 5,587 Ukrainian civilians had been killed and another 6.8 million of them had fled their country.

Ms Bachelet said the hostilities around the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant posed “unthinkable risks” to civilians and the environment.

Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 14:45

Last operating reactors close at Zaporizhzhia, says Energoatom

The two last operating reactors at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station have been shut after fire damage to overhead power lines, Ukraine’s state nuclear company has said.

The problem was caused by a fire which initially broke out in the ash pits of a nearby coal plant and then affected the power lines, Energoatom said.

“As a result, the station’s two working power units were disconnected from the network,” it said on Telegram.

Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 15:03

Russian cluster munitions have killed almost 700 civilians, says HRW

Russia’s use of cluster munitions in Ukraine killed at least 689 civilians between February and July, Human Rights Watch has said.

The NGO said that homes, parks and a maternity hospital in Kharkiv had been hit by such attacks.

It added that Ukraine, which like Russia is not a signatory to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, had fired cluster munitions rockets on at least two occasions.

“All countries should condemn the use of these weapons under any circumstances,” says Mary Wareham , arms advocacy director at Human Rights Watch

Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 15:25

UN humanitarian coordinator ‘shocked’ by deadly Russian attack on train station

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine has expressed her “shock” at yesterday’s deadly Russian shelling of Chaplyne railway station.

Kyiv says 25 civilians died in the attack.

“I am truly shocked by the strikes that yesterday killed and injured civilians close to the rail station in Chaplyne, in central Ukraine,” Denise Brown said.

“Children were killed in this attack and they died in places where they expected to be safe, in their homes or travelling with their families,” she added.

Ms Brown called on all parties to respect international law.

Rory Sullivan25 August 2022 15:46

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