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UN nuclear experts are due to visit the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine’s south to assess any damage from shelling that has prompted bitter recriminations and global fears of a radiation disaster.

Russians, Belarusians caught in the crossfire in Ukraine

Nuclear plant, fighting

  • The head of the Ukrainian military administration of Nikopol across the Dnipro river from the Zaporizhzhia plant said Russian forces were shelling near the plant to try to give the IAEA the impression that Ukraine was attacking it. Russia accuses Ukraine of shelling the plant.

  • Ukrainian forces have had successes in three areas of the Russian-occupied region of Kherson, a Ukrainian regional official said, after Kyiv launched a fresh push this week to retake territory in its south.

  • Russia’s defence ministry said Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the south had failed, with their forces suffering heavy losses of equipment and men.

  • The Kyiv district of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city that has been frequently shelled since the beginning of the invasion, came under overnight fire, the mayor said. A city enterprise was targeted and a fire broke out. Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports.

Diplomacy, economy

  • Germany’s chief of defence warned the West not to underestimate Russia’s military strength, saying it has the potential to open up a second front.

  • EU foreign ministers decided to make it more expensive and lengthier for Russians to get visas to travel to the bloc, but stopped short of agreeing to a visa ban that Ukraine and several member states had called for.

  • Russia halted gas supplies via a major pipeline to Europe, intensifying an economic battle between Moscow and Brussels and raising the prospect of recession and energy rationing in some of the region’s richest countries.

  • Russia blamed sanctions for the supply halt.

  • G7 finance chiefs will discuss the US administration’s proposed price cap on Russian oil when they meet on Friday, the White House said.

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