Russia-Ukraine war: Liz Truss pledges ‘full backing’ to Ukraine; UN finds extensive damage to nuclear plant – live | Ukraine

 Russia-Ukraine war: Liz Truss pledges ‘full backing’ to Ukraine;  UN finds extensive damage to nuclear plant – live |  Ukraine


Key events

UN calls for demilitarized zone around nuclear plant

The UN has called for a demilitarized zone around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Secretary General António Guterres urged for the withdrawal of Russian occupying troops and the agreement of Ukrainian forces not to move in.

An agreement on a demilitarized perimeter should be secured,” he said.

Specifically, that will include the commitment by Russian forces to withdraw military personnel and equipment from that perimeter and the commitment by Ukrainian forces not to move in.”

Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters ahead of the council meeting, “if we demilitarize then the Ukrainians will immediately step in and ruin the whole thing.”

UN calls for demilitarized zone around nuclear plant
UN calls for demilitarized zone around nuclear plant

UN finds extensive damage around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

The A nuclear watchdog has said its experts found extensive damage at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in a report presented to the UN security council on Tuesday.

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossisaid his team closely witnessed shelling in the vicinity of the power plant and confirmed the presence of Russian soldiers and military equipment.

The report also found Ukrainian staff were operating under constant high stress and pressure where there was an increased possibility of human error.

The IAEA said it was “gravely concerned” about the “unprecedented” situation at the plant, which is controlled by Russian forces but operated by Ukrainian technicians, and urged interim measures to prevent a nuclear disaster.

Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Ukrainian staff were operating under constant high stress and pressure, especially with the limited staff available, the report said. “This is not sustainable and could lead to increased human error with implications for nuclear safety,” it added.

While the ongoing shelling has not yet triggered a nuclear emergency, it continues to represent a constant threat to nuclear safety and security with potential impact on critical safety functions that may lead to radiological consequences with great safety significance,” the inspectors wrote.

Areas damaged by shelling included a turbine lubrication oil tank and the roofs of various buildings such as one housing a spent fuel transporter vehicle.

“We are playing with fire and something very, very catastrophic could take place,” Grossi said.

Summary and welcome

Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

I’m Samantha Lock and I will be bringing you all the latest developments for the next short while. Whether you’ve been following our coverage overnight or you’ve just dropped in, here are the latest lines.

An expert mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has released its findings from the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in a detailed report.

It is 7.30am in Kyiv. Here is where things stand:

  • The UN has called for a demilitarized zone around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Secretary General António Guterres urged for the withdrawal of Russian occupying troops and the agreement of Ukrainian forces not to move in. “An agreement on a demilitarized perimeter should be secured,” he said. “Specifically, that will include the commitment by Russian forces to withdraw military personnel and equipment from that perimeter and the commitment by Ukrainian forces not to move in.” Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters ahead of the council meeting, “if we demilitarize then the Ukrainians will immediately step in and ruin the whole thing.”

  • Biden and newly appointed British prime minister, Liz Truss, have vowed to partner against Russia and show their “continued support for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression” after speaking by phone on Tuesday. A Downing Street spokesperson said Truss reiterated to the Ukrainian leader that he had her full backing, and Ukraine could depend on the UK’s assistance for the long term,” while Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he felt the two leaders “will be able to build a profound and productive relationship”.

  • The UN nuclear watchdog said its experts found extensive damage at the plant in a report presented to the UN security council on Tuesday. Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, said his team closely witnessed shelling in the vicinity of the power plant and confirmed the presence of Russian soldiers and military equipment. The report also found Ukrainian staff were operating under constant high stress and pressure where there was an increased possibility of human error. “We are playing with fire and something very, very catastrophic could take place,” Grossi said.

  • A “parallel” counteroffensive is occurring in eastern and northeastern Ukraine as well as in the south, a senior presidential adviser has claimed. “We are advancing and pressing almost along the entire frontline,” Oleksiy Arestovych said on Telegram late on Tuesday night. “In the coming months, we can expect the defeat of the Russian army in the Kherson region on the western bank of the Dnieper and a significant advance of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the east.”

  • Ukraine’s major western allies have yet to sign up to establish a tribunal to try Russian president Vladimir Putin and his inner circle for the crime of aggression, wanting to leave space for future relations with Russia, according to Ukraine’s top officials. “It’s big politics. On the one hand, countries publicly condemn the aggression but on the other, they are putting their foot in the closing door on relations with Russia so that it doesn’t close completely,” said Andriy Smyrnov, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential administration. “They are attempting to keep some space for diplomatic maneuvers… agreements with Russia are not worth the paper they are written on.”

  • US president Joe Biden’s administration has rejected calls from Ukraine to brand Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism,” saying it would have “unintended consequences” to Ukraine and the world. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the designation would hamper aid delivery to Ukraine or prevent aid groups and companies from participating in a deal brokered by the UN and Turkey to ship grain from Ukraine’s blockaded ports.

A man walks by a street market destroyed by military strikes in the residential area of ​​Saltivka in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
A man walks by a street market destroyed by military strikes in the residential area of ​​Saltivka in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Viacheslav Ratynskyi/Reuters



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