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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now 1

(Reuters) – Shells struck a high-voltage power line on Friday at Europe’s largest power plant, in Ukrainian territory captured by Russia, but Ukrainian authorities said the plant still worked and no radioactive leak had been detected.

FIGHTING

* Ukraine’s Energoatom state nuclear power company said a high-voltage power line at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had been hit by Russian shelling. The Interfax news agency cited the city administration as saying fire had broken out on the plant’s premises, and that power necessary for the safe functioning of reactors had been cut off.

* Ukraine’s southern frontline city of Mykolaiv will impose an unusually long curfew from late Friday to early Monday morning as authorities try to catch people collaborating with Russia, the region’s governor said.

* Russia’s defence ministry said that its forces destroyed

two U.S-made M777 howitzers in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.

* Ukraine’s General Staff said Russian shelling of scores of towns across the country again targeted civilian settlements as well as military infrastructure.

* Ukrainian forces recaptured two villages around the eastern city of Sloviansk, but were pushed back to the town of Avdiivka’s outskirts after being forced to abandon a coal mine regarded as a key defensive position.

* Reuters was not able to verify battlefield reports.

* Human rights group Amnesty International accused Ukraine on Thursday of endangering civilians by basing troops in residential areas in a report that Kyiv likened to Russian propaganda and disinformation.

ECONOMY/DIPLOMACY

* A Turkish bulk carrier is expected to arrive in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Chornomorsk on Friday, the first vessel to reach a Ukrainian harbour during Russia’s invasion, the Odesa regional administration said.

* Ukrainian farmers have threshed 17.5 million tonnes of the 2022 grain harvest so far with an average yield of 3.64 tonnes per hectare, a volume much less than in 2021 due to the Russian invasion, Kyiv’s agriculture ministry said.

* Russia will downgrade its forecast for grain exports in the 2022/23 July-June season from the current 50 million tonnes if its harvest fails to reach the target of 130 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said. It attributed the slower pace of harvesting to a cold spring, as well as rain and a lack of spare parts for foreign-made agricultural equipment.

* The European Union intends to put together another financing package for Ukraine by September that will amount to about 8 billion euros ($8.15 billion), a German government source said.

* A stand-off over the return of a turbine that Russia says is holding back gas supplies to Europe showed no sign of being resolved, with Moscow saying it needed documentation to confirm the equipment was not subject to sanctions.

* The conflict in Ukraine is the most dangerous moment for Europe since World War Two, and Russia must not be allowed to win, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

* A top aide to Turkey’s president said the world cannot end the war in Ukraine by ignoring Moscow, saying “diplomacy and peace must prevail”, as Tayyip Erdogan headed to Russia to meet his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

* Canada will send up to 225 personnel to Britain to train Ukrainian military recruits, starting with the first troops next week, Defence Minister Anita Anand said.

(Compiled by Robert Birsel and Mark Heinrich)

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