Latest in Ukraine: Russia escalates energy war with gas pipeline shutdown

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Time of the explosion in Enerhodar near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

Russian state-controlled Gazprom on Friday unveiled a major escalation in its energy war with Western Europe by announcing that the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline will remain closed indefinitely, a move that threatens the prospect of blackouts and unrest economies across the continent.

The announcement was immediately condemned in capitals across the continent, but despite the anger Gazprom’s move will only heighten fears that Europe, which has long relied on Russian energy, is facing a long and harsh winter of rationing and potentially crippling price hikes.

The 1,200 km (745 mile) undersea gas link, which connects the Baltic Sea near St. Petersburg to northeastern Germany, was due to reopen on Saturday after several days of maintenance work.

Gazprom said on social media that the leak was discovered in a vital turbine and identified “malfunctions”. He did not give a timeframe for reopening.

Friday’s announcement by the Russian gas giant came just hours after G7 finance ministers agreed to a global price cap on Russian oil and petroleum products.

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Russia says there are no US visas yet for Lavrov’s visit to the United Nations

Russia has applied for 56 visas from the United States to allow Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his delegation to travel to New York for the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations this month, but has none so far received none.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres seen by Reuters on Friday, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said it was “alarming” because over the past few months Washington had ” consistently refused to grant entry visas” to a number of Russians. delegates for other UN events.

The United States takes its obligations as a UN host country seriously, a State Department spokesperson said, adding that visa records are confidential under US law and are not therefore could not comment on individual cases.

Under the UN’s “Headquarters Agreement” of 1947, the United States is generally required to allow access to the United Nations to foreign diplomats. But Washington says it can deny visas for “security, terrorism and foreign policy” reasons.

Relations between the United States and Russia have been strained since Moscow invaded neighboring Ukraine in February.

“We process hundreds of visas each year for Russian Federation delegates to UN events,” the State Department spokesperson said, adding that applications should be submitted as soon as possible to ensure quick treatment.

“This is particularly important given Russia’s unwarranted actions against our embassy in Russia, including the forced dismissal of local national and third-country staff, which have significantly limited our staff and therefore our ability to process visas,” he said. said the spokesperson.

Nebenzia said the necessary applications have been submitted to the US Embassy in Moscow.

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Gazprom’s shutdown of Nord Stream 1 will be seen as a major escalation in Russia’s energy war with Western Europe and threatens the prospect of blackouts and economic unrest across the continent.

The announcement was immediately condemned in capitals across the continent, but despite the anger Gazprom’s move will only heighten fears that Europe, which has long relied on Russian energy, is facing a long and harsh winter of rationing and potentially crippling price hikes.

David Hardin and Maryam Zakir-Hussain report:

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Russian Gazprom announces that the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Europe will remain closed indefinitely

Russian energy giant Gazprom has announced that a key pipeline bringing gas to Europe will remain closed indefinitely.

Russia’s state-owned energy company said in a social media post that it had identified “malfunctions” in a key turbine along the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which carries natural gas from western Russia to Russia. ‘Germany.

Gazprom completely halted gas flow via Nord Stream 1 on Wednesday and said the shutdown would last three days.

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Kushner says war in Ukraine ‘would never have happened’ if Trump was president

Kushner says war in Ukraine ‘would never have happened’ if Trump were president

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The disconnected reactor of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been reconnected to the Ukrainian network, according to Energoatom

Reuters reports that the fifth reactor at Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was reconnected to the Ukrainian grid on Friday, a day after it was shut down due to shelling near the site, Ukraine’s nuclear company Energoatom said.

“At present, two reactor blocks are operating at the plant, producing electricity for Ukraine’s needs,” Energoatom said on the Telegram messaging app.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, was occupied by Russian troops in March but continues to be operated by Ukrainian engineers despite repeated bombardments on its territory, for which Kyiv and Moscow blame each other.

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UN nuclear experts in Zaporizhzhia are ‘manipulated’ by Russia, says Ukraine

Ukraine has claimed that UN experts inspecting Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia, which is in Russian-held territory, were receiving false information from Moscow.

David Hardin has the last.

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Latest pictures of Ukraine

A student rides a bicycle past a destroyed building in Borodyanka, Ukraine, on the first day of school

(The Washington Post by Wojciech Grzedzinski)

In this photo taken from a video released by the press service of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, the head of mission, left, and d other members of the IAEA inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

(Russian Defense Ministry Press Service)

A graduating cadet holds the hand of a young schoolgirl and rings the bell on the first day of school at a cadet high school in Kyiv, Ukraine

(Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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31-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of telling Russia the location of her husband’s military unit

A 31-year-old woman from eastern Ukraine has been arrested for sending the locations of her soldier husband’s unit and other army assets to Russian military intelligence, the report said on Friday. Ukrainian State Security Service (SBU).

The anonymous woman from the Dnipropetrovsk region transmitted information about the location of military buildings and equipment along the front-line positions in the Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia regions, the SBU wrote on Telegram.

The woman was questioning her husband about the location of his unit and other Ukrainian formations on the front line, Reuters reports.

“It would pass the information it received through messaging apps to Russian military intelligence, where it was used for artillery and airstrikes,” the agency said in its statement.

“She passed this milestone despite the fact that she is married to a Ukrainian Armed Forces serviceman and they have a son together,” the agency said.

Since the beginning of the invasion of Moscow, the Ukrainian security services have been trying to dismantle and arrest a network of Russian agents.

The SBU, Ukraine’s top internal security agency, regularly announces the capture of people it calls spies who have been caught passing military intelligence to Moscow.

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G7 agrees Russian oil price cap to curb runaway energy costs

Finance ministers from the G7 group of major democracies have agreed on a global price cap for Russian oil and petroleum products.

Andre Bécasse has the latest on this breakup story.

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Ukraine “pushes back” Russian forces in Kherson

Western officials said Ukraine pushed back Russian troops in several areas around Kherson, the southern city-region that fell to Vladimir Putin’s forces in February.

Officials said the Ukrainians had made tactical gains in the region, but warned it was too early to determine whether the offensive launched this week by Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces was successful.

Russian forces are believed to number around 20,000 troops west of the Dnipro River in the Kherson region. Ukraine’s long-range strikes have caused dismay among Russian forces, Western officials said.

In a statement, Sir Stephen Lovegrove – the UK’s national security adviser – hailed the “brave resistance” of Ukrainian forces who have “blocked the Russian advance” in recent days.

He added: “The risks around this terrible conflict continue as Putin finds he cannot make progress, his forces suffer heavy casualties and sanctions continue to degrade his war machine and take money away. from the pockets of Russia’s wealthiest”.


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