Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations after attacks hit near a nuclear reactor at the Zaporizhzhia power plant. The United States has warned that 40 million people will be plunged into food insecurity because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying sub-Saharan Africa will be the hardest hit region by the crisis.
Ukraine-Russia trade blame over nuclear plant attacks
Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of striking Europe’s largest nuclear site, causing a reactor stoppage.
Russian troops have occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine since the early days of their invasion and Kyiv has accused them of storing heavy weapons at the site. Moscow, in turn, has accused Ukrainian forces of targeting the plant.
“Three strikes were recorded on the site of the plant, near one of the power blocks where the nuclear reactor is located,” Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power plant operator Energoatom said in a statement.
“There are risks of hydrogen leakage and radioactive spraying. The fire danger is high.”
Turkey’s Fenerbahce fined for Putin chants
Fenerbahce has been handed a one-game partial stadium closure, suspended for two years, and fined 50,000 euros ($50,900) by UEFA after their fans chanted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s name during a Champions League match.
Supporters of the Turkish club sang the name of Putin after Vitaliy Buyalskyi’s goal for Dynamo Kyiv in the Ukrainian club’s 2-1 extra-time victory, which dumped the Turks out of the Champions League last month.
The punishment was for “the throwing of objects and transmitting a provocative message of an offensive nature, i.e. illicit chants,” UEFA said in a statement.
Amnesty says it ‘fully stands by’ report on Ukraine criticised by Kyiv
Amnesty International has said it stands by its accusation that Ukraine is endangering civilians by creating army bases in residential areas to counter Russian forces, after a report from the rights group prompted a furious response from Kyiv.
“The findings … were based on evidence gathered during extensive investigations which were subject to the same rigorous standards and due diligence processes as all of Amnesty International’s work,” the organisation’s Secretary General Agnes Callamard told AFP.
Callamard expressed concern that the Ukraine government’s “reaction risks chilling legitimate and important discussion of these topics.”
Andriy Zagorodnyuk, an analyst at Ukraine’s Centre for Defence Strategies, told Al Jazeera that the report contained “some facts” but placed them out of context. “In some villages, the military took schools and used them for military purposes, but what it doesn’t say is that none of these schools are working,” he said.
Russia accuses Ukraine of ‘nuclear terrorism’ after attacks near power plant
Russia has accused the government of Volodymyr Zelenskyy of committing acts of “nuclear terrorism” after attacks hit close to the Zaporizhzhia power plant.
“Ukrainian armed units carried out three artillery strikes on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the city of Energodar,” the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.
“We are urging international organisations to condemn the criminal actions of the Zelenskyy regime, which is carrying out acts of nuclear terrorism.”
Russia imposes entry bans on 62 Canadians: Ministry
Russia says it has imposed entry bans on 62 Canadian citizens including government officials, in the latest retaliatory move against Western nationals.
The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement that the list included figures known for “their malicious activity in the fight against the ‘Russian world’ and our traditional values”.
Putin, Erdogan agree on partial payments for gas in roubles: Interfax
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to switch part of payments for Russian gas to the rouble currency, Interfax news agency has reported, citing Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
During a four-hour meeting at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, the two leaders also agreed to boost cooperation in the transport, agriculture and construction industries, Russia’s news agency TASS reported.
They also stressed the need to ensure the implementation of the Istanbul grain agreements, including unimpeded exports of Russian grain.
Ukraine accuses Russia of attacks near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant
Ukraine has accused Russian forces of conducting attacks near a nuclear reactor at the Zaporizhzhia power plant in the country’s south, which has been occupied since the early days of the invasion.
“Three strikes were recorded on the site of the plant, near one of the power blocks where the nuclear reactor is located,” Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-run operator of the country’s nuclear power plants, said in a statement.
“There are risks of hydrogen leakage and radioactive spraying. The fire danger is high,” it said, adding that initially there were no casualties.
The Russian-installed administration of the nearby occupied city of Enerhodar blamed Kyiv, saying Ukrainian artillery fire had cut the lines at the plant.
Ukraine signs 200m euro loan agreement with Italy
Ukraine’s finance ministry says the country’s government has signed a 200 million euro ($203m) loan agreement with Italy, adding the funds will go to the state budget to finance teacher salaries.
The ministry said in a statement that Italy would provide funds for 15 years at a zero interest rate, helping the Ukrainian government maintain financial stability despite a sharp fall in budget revenue amid growing spending caused by more than five months of war following Russia’s invasion in late February.