News Item: War in Ukraine: latest developments
- 5 Min Read
Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
– Zelensky meets UN nuclear inspectors –
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky meets with a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ahead of its long-awaited visit to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, targeted repeatedly by shelling.
“This is probably one of the top-priority questions regarding the safety of Ukraine and the world today,” Zelensky says, calling for the “immediate de-militarisation of the plant” and its transfer to “full Ukrainian control”.
In his evening address, Zelensky claims Russia is bombing the routes leading to the plant that the UN mission will use.
– ‘Heavy fighting’ for Kherson –
The Ukrainian presidency reports “heavy fighting” in “almost the entire territory” of the strategic Russian-occupied southern region of Kherson.
On Monday Ukrainian troops launched a widely anticipated counter-offensive to retake the region, which was seized by Russia early in the war.
Kherson, the first major city to fall to Russia after its February 24 invasion, shares its name with the region that is important for agriculture and is adjacent to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
– Ukrainian grain reaches Djibouti –
A UN-chartered ship loaded with Ukrainian wheat destined for millions at risk of starvation in Ethiopia arrives in Djibouti.
The bulk carrier MV Brave Commander carrying 23,000 tonnes of grain docked in the Horn of Africa port city, the UN’s World Food Programme says, two weeks after leaving Ukraine.
Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain exporters, was forced to halt almost all deliveries after Russia’s invasion, raising fears of a global food crisis.
Exports of grains, other foodstuffs and fertilisers from three Black Sea ports resumed at the start of this month under a deal between Kyiv and Moscow that was brokered by the UN and Turkey in July.
– Germany braced for gas cuts –
Government measures to ensure gas supplies over winter have prepared Germany to deal with further curbs in Russian deliveries, Chancellor Olaf Scholz says, a day before Moscow is due to cut off gas delivery for three days.
Germany has set about weaning itself off Russian gas since the invasion of Ukraine, bringing mothballed coal power plants back online, launching a drive to save power and filling gas storage facilities ahead of the end of the year.
The government says it has made faster progress replenishing gas stocks than expected, and should meet an October target early.
In neighbouring France, gas supplies will be further cut after Russian energy giant Gazprom says it will suspend deliveries to main French provider Engie from Thursday.
– Ukraine seeks UNESCO protection for Odessa –
Ukraine will ask the UN’s cultural watchdog to add the historic port city of Odessa to its World Heritage List of protected sites as Moscow’s forces approach the city, officials say.
Analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin could soon target Odessa to completely block Ukraine’s Black Sea access, potentially with heavy bombardments like those that razed the port of Mariupol.
Adding a landmark site or traditional activity to the UNESCO list aims to mobilise attention to ensure it is preserved against threats to its existence.
Odessa blossomed after empress Catherine the Great decreed in the late 18th century that it would be Russia’s modern gateway to the Black Sea.
– EU split on Russian travel ban –
The Czech Republic, which holds the rotating EU presidency, faces stiff resistance from some member states over barring Russians from travelling within the bloc following the Ukraine invasion.
The Czechs want to suspend a 2007 deal that eased visa applications for Russian tourists, and some EU countries have urged an outright visa ban.
But others — including powerhouses Germany and France as well as Hungary, Luxembourg and Austria — have raised objections.