Concerns over potential radiation leak at Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant persist. Ukraine’s state energy manager has warned that there are “risks of hydrogen leakage and sputtering of radioactive materials” at the Russian-occupied factory. Authorities distributed iodine tablets to residents living near the factory in case of radiation exposure.
Russia and Ukraine have exchanged new allegations over shelling of nuclear power plant area, Europe’s largest, on Saturday. Moscow forces have “repeatedly shelled the factory site” over the past day, Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear company Energoatom said. The Russian Defense Ministry has claimed that Ukrainian troops “fired three times on the territory of the station” in the past day.
UN nuclear watchdog International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) tries to negotiate access to plant for urgent inspection mission “to help stabilize the nuclear security situation there”. Energoatom head Petro Kotin told the Guardian a visit could come before the end of the month, but Ukraine’s Energy Minister Lana Zerkal told a local radio station she was not convinced Russia was negotiating in good faith.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy issued a statement on the occasion of Ukrainian Aviation Day, in which he promised that Kiev’s troops would “step by step destroy the occupier’s potential”. The Ukrainian president vowed that the Russian “invaders will die like dew in the sun”.
Russia has likely increased the intensity of its attacks in the Donetsk area of eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region according to British intelligence in the past five days. Pro-Russian separatists have most likely made progress towards the center of Pisky village, near Donetsk airport, but Russian forces have made little ground gain overall, says the latest report from the British Ministry of Defense .
Russia has blocked an agreement at the UN aimed at strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The failure to agree to a joint statement, as a result of Moscow’s objection to a clause over control of the Zaporizhzhya factory, is the final blow to hopes of maintaining an arms control regime and curbing a renewed arms race.
Ukrainian seamen allowed to leave the country for work, the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers has said. The Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, said men of military age employed as crew members may leave the country as long as they have permission from their local conscription offices to cross the border.
The British Ministry of Defense has said it is giving Ukraine six underwater drones to help clear its coastline of mines and make grain shipments safer.. In addition, dozens of Ukrainian naval personnel will be trained to use the drones in the coming months, the ministry said.
Kazakhstan, Russia’s neighbor and ally, has suspended all arms exports for a yearthe government said, amid the conflict in Ukraine and Western sanctions against Moscow.
Poland and the Czech Republic have agreed to protect the airspace of their NATO ally Slovakiaas it upgrades its air force from old Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters to a new batch of F-16 jets from the US.