Russian artillery fired at Ukrainian towns across the river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, local officials said on Sunday. The regional governor, Oleksandr Starukh, said Russian forces struck residential buildings in the main city of Zaporizhzhia and the town of Orikhiv farther east. Ukraine’s military reported shelling of nine more towns in the area on the opposite side of the Dnieper river from the plant.
The United States said Russia did not want to acknowledge the grave radiological risk at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, adding that was the reason it blocked a nuclear non-proliferation treaty deal’s final draft.
Russian air forces hit workshops at a Motor Sich factory in the Zaporizhia region of Ukraine where helicopters were being repaired, Russian state news agency RIA quoted the defence ministry as saying.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday the UN nuclear watchdog’s long-awaited expert mission to the Zaporizhzhia power plant in Ukraine “is now on its way”.
EU foreign ministers are expected to suspend Russian tourist visa facilitation next week. The EU move falls short of an outright ban but would make getting travel documents significantly more complicated and expensive. The EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said a ban would lack the necessary support. “I don’t think that to cut the relationship with the Russian civilian population will help and I don’t think that this idea will have the required unanimity,” he told Austria’s ORF TV on Sunday.
Six ships laden with food left the Ukrainian port of Odesa, the spokesman for the regional administration, Serhiy Bratchuk, said on Telegram app. Ukraine has exported 1 million tonnes of grains since the UN-backed deal was announced last month, according to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Ukrainians are likely to experience their coldest winter in decades, its gas chief has said, as the thermostats on its Soviet-era centralised heating systems are set to be switched on later and turned down. Yurii Vitrenko, the head of the state gas company Naftogaz, said indoor temperatures would be set at between 17-18C, about four degrees lower than normal, and he advised people to stock up on blankets and warm clothes for when outdoor temperatures fall to and beyond the -10C winter average.
Germany is replenishing its gas stocks more quickly than expected despite drastic Russian supply cuts and should meet an October target early, the government has said. Europe’s largest economy is heavily dependent on Russian gas and has raced to bolster its reserves before winter, crediting energy-saving measures in recent weeks and massive purchases of gas from other suppliers.