Russian-Ukrainian war: Frequent explosions behind Russian lines hitting logistics, says UK – live | Ukraine

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Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. As it approaches 9.30am in Kyiv, here is a summary of the latest developments on this Saturday 20 August 2022.

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  • Vladimir Putin has agreed to inspectors visiting the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine. According to the office of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, the Russian leader had “reconsidered the demand” that the International Atomic Energy Agency travel through Russia to the site, after Putin himself warned fighting there could bring about a “catastrophe”. The office said Putin had dropped his demand that the IAEA team travel to the site via Russia, saying it could arrive via Ukraine.

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  • The UN secretary general has asked Russia not take the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant off grid. António Guterres asked on Friday that the Russian-occupied facility not be cut off from Ukraine’s electrical grid after Ukrainian reports that Moscow was planning to do so, saying the plant used “Ukrainian electricity”.

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  • Western officials say there are growing concerns over concerns over water cooling at the Zaporizhzhia plant. Its existing reactor cooling system is critical to the safety of the site and relies on the maintenance of the electricity supply to ensure operation, but officials are anxious that Russia may disconnect the supply if it tries to cut off the plant from Ukraine’s grid.

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  • More than half of Russia Black Sea naval aviation has been knocked out, according to a western official in Ukraine. The Ukrainian raid on the Saky airbase in occupied Crimea last week knocked out “more than half” of Russia’s combat naval aviation in the Black Sea, western officials have said. However, overall “combat stasis” remains.

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  • The US has announced a new $775m (£655m) package of defence equipment and ammunition for Ukraine, including various types of missiles, drones, artillery and mine-clearing systems. The US has previously sent Ukraine more than $9bn in weapons systems, ammunition and other equipment.

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  • Russia’s media watchdog said it was taking punitive measures against TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord and Pinterest. Russia has repeatedly threatened to fine sites – including Google – that violate harsh new laws criminalising the spreading of “false information” about the Russian army. On Tuesday, Russian courts fined the US-based live streaming service Twitch 2 million roubles ($34,000) and messenger service Telegram 11 million roubles for violating military censorship laws.

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  • A former Russian mayor has been appointed head of Russian-occupied Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. It is the latest in a string of such appointments, which Kyiv says are part of attempts to annexe its territory.

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  • Ukraine’s economy minister has said the country’s economy could contract 35-40% by the end of the year. Hit by Russia’s 24 February invasion, the economy contracted 15.1% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022.

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  • The Kyiv Independent reported that rescuers are searching for people and bodies under the rubble of a dormitory destroyed in attacks on Kharkiv.

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  • The Chinese and Russian leaders, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, will attend the G20 summit in Bali in November, Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, told Bloomberg News. “Xi Jinping will come. President Putin has also told me he will come,” he said. As hosts of this year’s summit, Indonesia has faced pressure from western countries to withdraw its invitation to Putin. The country has also invited the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

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  • Kharkiv has been one of the most consistently shelled cities since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to British intelligence. Sitting around 15km from the Russian front line, Kharkiv has suffered because it remains within range of most types of Russian artillery, the latest report from the UK’s ministry of defence reads.

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Key events

here is a roundup what we know yesterday about the Russian-Ukrainian war.

Turkey said two more ships carrying grain left the Ukrainian port of Chornomorsk, bringing to 27.

Reuters reports:

The Zumrut Ana and the MV Ocean S, cleared to depart on August 20, were loaded with 6,300 tons of sunflower oil and 25,000 tons of wheat respectively, the joint coordination center set up in a statement said. to allow safe passage.

Ukraine’s Seaports Authority said on Saturday that three Ukrainian seaports had started loading food onto seven ships, which would deliver 66,500 tonnes of wheat, corn and sunflower oil to consumers.

Ukraine’s grain exports have plummeted since the start of the war because its Black Sea ports – a vital route for shipments – were closed, driving up global food prices and raising fears of shortages in Africa and in the Middle-East.

At the end of July, three Black Sea ports were unblocked under an agreement between Moscow and Kyiv, negotiated by the United Nations and Turkey.

Frequent explosions behind Russian lines hit logistics, UK says

In its daily intelligence briefing, the UK Ministry of Defense says:

The past week has seen only minimal changes in territorial control along the front line. In Donbass, after small advances since early August, Russian forces have moved closer to the outskirts of the town of Bakhmut, but have not yet entered the town.

Russia has made no major effort to advance in the Zaporizhzhia or Kharkiv sectors.

In the southwest, neither Ukrainian nor Russian forces advanced on the Kherson front line.

However, he adds that “increasingly frequent explosions behind Russian lines are likely to strain Russian logistics and airbases in the south.”

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Russia has reported fresh Ukrainian drone attacks, a day after explosions erupted near military bases in Russian-held areas in Ukraine and Russia.

The latest apparent demonstrations of Kyiv’s growing ability to hit Moscow assets away from the front lines occurred on Friday evening, Reuters reported, and followed huge explosions last week at an air base in Crimea annexed by Russia. Russia.

In a new assessment, a Western official said previous explosions had rendered half of Russia’s Black Sea naval aviation force useless.

Russian news agencies RIA and Tass, citing a local official in Crimea, said it appeared Russian anti-aircraft forces were in action near the western Crimean port of Eupatoriya on Friday evening. Video posted by a Russian website showed what appeared to be a surface-to-air missile hitting a target.

Tass quoted a local official as saying that Russian anti-aircraft forces knocked down six Ukrainian drones sent to attack the town of Nova Kakhovka, east of the city of Kherson. Ukraine says the recapture of Kherson is one of its top priorities.

Separately, an official in Crimea said defenses shot down an unknown number of drones over the city of Sevastopol.

The aftermath of a suspected Ukrainian strike on a Russian arms depot at Nova Kakhovka in Kherson last month. Photography: EyePress News/REX/Shutterstock

Vladimir Poutine’According to the French presidency, the agreement to allow independent inspectors to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant comes amid growing concerns over fighting near the Russian-occupied site.

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, Raphael Grossi“welcomed recent statements that Ukraine and Russia support the [International Atomic Energy Agency’s] aim to send a mission to the factory, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Kremlin said after Putin and the French president, Emmanuel Macronsaid Friday by telephone that the two leaders had agreed that the IAEA should carry out inspections as soon as possible to “evaluate the real situation on the ground”.

An upsurge in fighting around the Russian-controlled nuclear power plant – with both sides blaming each other for the attacks – has raised the specter of a disaster worse than Chernobyl.

The Kremlin said Putin had stressed that the bombing of the factory “created the danger of a full-scale catastrophe”.

The warning came a day after the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterresand the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, gathered in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv and sounded the alarm over the fighting. Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyurged the UN to secure the site.

Summary

Hello and welcome to the Guardian’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine. As 9:30 a.m. approaches in Kyiv, here is a summary of the latest developments for this Saturday, August 20, 2022.

  • Vladimir Putin has agreed to allow inspectors to visit Russia’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. According to the office of French President Emmanuel Macron, the Russian leader had “reconsidered the request” that the International Atomic Energy Agency visit the site across Russia, after Putin himself warned that the fighting there could result in a “catastrophe”. The office said Putin dropped his request for the IAEA team to travel to the site via Russia, saying it could arrive via Ukraine.

  • The UN Secretary General has asked Russia not to remove the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from the network. António Guterres called on Friday for the Russian-occupied facility not to be cut off from the Ukrainian power grid after Ukraine announced that Moscow planned to do so, saying the plant used “Ukrainian electricity”.

  • Western officials say worries about water cooling at the Zaporizhzhia plant are causing growing concern. Its existing reactor cooling system is critical to site safety and relies on maintaining electrical power to keep it running, but officials fear Russia could disconnect power if it tries to cut the plant off the grid. Ukrainian.

  • More than half of the Russian Black Sea naval aviation was knocked outaccording to a Western official in Ukraine. The Ukrainian raid on Saky air base in occupied Crimea last week knocked out “more than half” of Russian naval combat aviation in the Black Sea, Western officials said. However, the overall “combat stasis” remains.

  • The US has announced a new $775m (£655m) defense equipment and ammunition package for Ukraine, including various types of missiles, drones, artillery and mine clearance systems. The United States has already sent Ukraine more than $9 billion in weapons systems, ammunition and other equipment.

  • Russia’s media watchdog said it was taking punitive action against TikTok, Telegram, Zoom, Discord and Pinterest. Russia has repeatedly threatened to fine sites – including Google – that violate tough new laws criminalizing the dissemination of “false information” about the Russian military. On Tuesday, Russian courts fined US live-streaming service Twitch 2 million rubles ($34,000) and messaging service Telegram 11 million rubles for violating military censorship laws.

  • A former Russian mayor has been named head of Russian-occupied Kharkiv, The second largest city in Ukraine. This is the latest in a series of such appointments, which Kyiv says are part of attempts to annex its territory.

  • Ukraine’s economy minister said the country’s economy could shrink by 35-40% by the end of the year. Hit by the Russian invasion on February 24, the economy contracted by 15.1% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2022.

  • The Kyiv Independent reported that rescuers search for people and bodies under the rubble of a dormitory destroyed during attacks on Kharkiv.

  • Chinese and Russian leaders Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin will attend the G20 summit in Bali in NovemberIndonesian President Joko Widodo told Bloomberg News. “Xi Jinping will come. President Putin also told me he would come,” he said. As host of this year’s summit, Indonesia has come under pressure from Western countries to withdraw its invitation to Putin. The country also invited the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

  • Kharkiv is one of the most bombed cities since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to British intelligence. Located about 15km from the Russian front line, Kharkiv has suffered as it remains within range of most types of Russian artillery, the latest report from the UK Ministry of Defense says.



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