Here are the key events on Sunday, August 7.
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- The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, sounded an alarm about the situation at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after shelling damaged parts of the compound on Friday, saying any fighting close to the site amounts to “playing with fire”.
- Russia’s defence ministry accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the plant, saying a radiation leak had been avoided only by luck.
- The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, hit out at Russia for the attacks that damaged Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. The incident was “another example of Russia’s disregard for international norms”, he said.
- Ukraine’s nuclear operator Energoatom confirmed the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been “seriously damaged”, and that one of its reactors was forced to shut down.
- Russia began an assault on two key cities, Bakhmut and Avdiivka, which are a cornerstone of the defence system around the last Ukrainian-held urban area in the eastern Donbas region.
- The UK’s defence ministry said the war in Ukraine was “about to enter a new phase”, with most fighting shifting to a nearly 350km (217-mile) front stretching southwest from near Zaporizhzhia to Kherson.
- The Ukrainian military said in an update on Facebook that Russian shelling was recorded in dozens of towns along the eastern and southern front lines.
- The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office said it had started criminal proceedings against what it said was rocket and artillery shelling by the Russian military of the Zaporizhzhia power plant on Friday.
Diplomacy and economy
- United Nations and Japanese officials warned against a nuclear buildup “at a time when geopolitical tensions are rising” as they marked the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
- Presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak announced North Macedonia had agreed to supply Soviet-era tanks and planes to Ukraine to help fend off Russia’s invasion.
- The head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine office, Oksana Pokalchuk, quit the organisation over the publication of a controversial report she said was parroting Kremlin propaganda.
- A foreign-flagged ship arrived in Ukraine on Saturday for the first time since the war started and will be loaded with grain, Ukraine’s infrastructure minister said.
- Washington said a senior US Treasury Department official will visit Indonesia and Singapore next week to talk with counterparts about the potential price cap on Russian oil exports planned as a response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
- Germans will have to save at least 20 percent of their energy consumption to avoid a gas shortage by December due to falling Russian gas flows, Germany’s network regulator head Klaus Mueller said.
Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies