The essentials in brief:
- IAEA calls situation at Zaporizhia nuclear plant “very tense”
- Grain freighter from Odessa reaches Turkish coast
- Zelenskyi calls Donbass battlefields “hell”
- Rocket impact in the Ukrainian border area with Poland
- US imposes sanctions on more Russian oligarchs
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in south-eastern Ukraine, which is occupied by Russian troops, is “very tense”. “All security principles have been violated in one way or another,” said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi at the UN headquarters in New York. “We cannot allow things to go on like this.”
“Going to the site is very complex because it requires the consent and cooperation of certain actors,” said IAEA boss Grossi
The power plant in Zaporizhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It has been occupied since the beginning of March by Russian troops, who took control of it a few days after they began their military attack on Ukraine. Since then, the IAEA has been trying to send experts to Zaporizhia – so far without success.
Damage to buildings in Mykolayiv after Tuesday’s Russian shelling
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had previously announced that there were credible reports that Russia was using the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant as a kind of protective shield – that is, shooting at Ukrainian forces from near the plant. The Ukrainians could not fire back because it could lead to a terrible nuclear accident.
Ukraine is opposed to an IAEA mission because Kiev believes it would mean recognition of the Russian occupation.
Grain freighter from Odessa reaches Turkish coast
The first shipment of grain from Ukraine has arrived off the Turkish coast after months of blockade of Ukrainian ports by Russian forces. According to the authorities, the freighter “Razoni” anchors at the assigned spot near the entrance to the Bosphorus. There the ship is to be inspected on the open sea by representatives of the UN, Russia and Ukraine, among others, before it can continue towards Lebanon. The inspection should take place on the open sea off Istanbul, so the ship should not enter the port. The “Razoni” loaded with 26,000 tons of corn left the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa on Monday.
The “Razoni” loaded with grain is waiting for inspection at the entrance to the Bosphorus
On July 22, Ukraine and Russia agreed on a grain export agreement brokered by Turkey and the United Nations. In it, Kyiv and Moscow undertake to respect safe corridors for freighters on the Black Sea and to refrain from military activities there. Whether the resumption of grain exports will succeed on a larger scale is not yet foreseeable.
Battlefields in Donbass are “hell”
According to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian army needs even more weapons to defeat the Russian superiority in the Donbass. Despite US deliveries of rocket artillery, Russia has an advantage when it comes to heavy weapons and personnel. “It can be felt very clearly in the fight, especially in the Donbass,” Zelensky said. “It’s just hell there. Words can’t describe it.”
The Kharkiv region was hit again by Russian missiles
Rocket impact in the Ukrainian border area with Poland
Two explosions are reported near Ukraine’s western border with NATO member Poland. A Russian missile hit a Ukrainian military facility in the Chervonohrad district, the administration of the Lviv region said. There is still no information on the damage done, wrote Governor Maxim Kosizkyj on Telegram.
The Russian army fired eight missiles at Ukraine from long-range bombers over the Caspian Sea on Tuesday evening, the high command of the Ukrainian air force said. Seven of them were intercepted. An anti-aircraft position was hit in the Lviv region. This military information could not be verified immediately. Explosions were also reported from the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine.
Firefighters put out oil tanks that caught fire during a Russian attack on Mykolayiv
US sanctions more oligarchs close to the Kremlin
The US government has imposed new sanctions on Russian oligarchs. The punitive measures have come at a high cost to those who supported President Vladimir Putin’s war, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said. While innocent people suffered from Russia’s illegal war of aggression, Putin’s allies enriched themselves and financed an opulent lifestyle.
Those affected by the sanctions include Andrei Guryev, a close friend of Putin, and his son. Penalties were also imposed on Putin’s alleged partner, former Olympic gymnast Alina Kabaeva. Three Ukrainians who work for the Russian occupiers in southern Ukraine were also put on the US sanctions list. In addition to individuals, a multinational company and a Russian company were hit with punitive measures.
qu/bru (dpa, rtr, afp)
This article will be continuously updated on the day of its publication. Reports from the combat zones cannot be independently verified.