Ukraine and Russia accused each other of strikes near a reactor at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant on Friday (August 5), Europe’s largest, on the day three new shipments of grain, crucial for food security worldwide, left Ukrainian ports.
Strikes near the Zaporizhia power plant
Kyiv and Moscow blame each other for “three strikes” near one of the reactors of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. “Despite the provocations of the Russians, the plant continues to operate and supply electricity to the energy system of Ukraine through lines in service”said the Ukrainian state company Energoatom. “It was decided to unload and disconnect one of the reactors.” Nevertheless, “There are risks of hydrogen leakage and spraying of radioactive substances. The danger of fire is high.”
The Russian army, for its part, spoke of “artillery fire” of “Ukrainian armed formations”at a time “against the territory of the Zaporizhia power plant and the city of Energodar”denouncing “acts of nuclear terrorism”. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Tuesday that the situation was becoming “more and more dangerous every day” at the Zaporizhia power plant. When the plant was taken over, the Russian military had opened fire on buildings on the site.
A grain convoy in the Black Sea
Five days after the departure from Odessa of a first freighter carrying Ukrainian cereals, three other loads, also of corn, left Ukraine in a convoy, announced the Turkish Ministry of Defense. A series of regular rotations should follow, in order to supply the agricultural markets.
The three ships will serve Ireland, England and Turkey, the Turkish ministry said. Simultaneously, he pointed out, a building is on its way, also to load grain, towards the port of Chernomorsk (southern Ukraine), which it must reach on Saturday, said the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure, Oleksandr Kubrakov.
Russia and Ukraine have signed two separate agreements, validated by Turkey and the United Nations, which allow the export of Ukrainian cereals immobilized by the conflict and Russian agricultural products despite Western sanctions. They are expected to help ease the global food crisis, which has seen prices soar in some of the poorest countries due to the blocking of Ukrainian ports.
Amnesty accepts its conclusions
Amnesty International has blamed the Ukrainian military for setting up bases in schools and hospitals and launching attacks from populated areas. And this, noted this NGO, in violation of the “IHL”. This document aroused kyiv’s indignation, and President Volodymyr Zelensky in turn accused it of “attempt to grant amnesty to the terrorist state” Russian and “shifting the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”.
>> What is contained in the Amnesty International investigation which accuses kyiv of endangering civilians
This Friday, Amnesty International fully confirmed its “conclusions”, “based on evidence obtained from large-scale investigations subject to the same rigorous standards and the same verification process” than all his usual work. The NGO, however, in its report, insisted that the Ukrainian tactics do not “in no way justify the indiscriminate Russian attacks” that affected the population.
The head of Amnesty International in Ukraine, Oksana Pokalchuk, has announced her resignation. “The Ukrainian office has consistently stressed that the investigation should cover at least the two parties”, she explains on Facebook, “and take into account the position of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine”. The latter was indeed contacted, according to her, but without however having the time necessary to respond. She adds that the NGO, without intending to, “created material resembling support for Russian narratives”.
New Russian strike on Mykolaiv
The Russian army again bombarded Mykolaiv, a town not far from the southern front. Mayor Oleksandr Senkevich said 22 people were injured, including a 13-year-old boy, and the strike damaged many homes. A curfew has been introduced in this city until Monday morning in order to neutralize the “collaborators” Russians, regional governor Vitali Kim said. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are currently conducting a counter-offensive in the south, where they claim to have recaptured more than 50 villages that fell to Russian soldiers.