Kyiv targets Russians at Zaporizhzhia

  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says any Russian soldier who shoots at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant or uses it as cover would become a “special target”, as he repeated accusations that Moscow was using the plant as nuclear blackmail.
  • G7 nations, fearing a nuclear catastrophe, have called on Moscow to withdraw its forces from the Zaporizhzhia plant.

    Russia warns it may cut bilateral ties with United States

    A senior Russian official said Moscow had told Washington that if the US Senate passed a law singling out Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism”, diplomatic ties would be badly damaged and could even be broken off.

    Alexander Darchiev, head of the ministry’s North American Department, was quoted as saying US influence on Ukraine had increased to the degree that “Americans are increasingly becoming more and more a direct party in the conflict”.

    The United States and Europe, wary of being dragged directly into the war, have refused Ukraine’s request to establish a no-fly zone to help it protect its skies from Russian missiles and warplanes.

    Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 172

    As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 172nd day, we take a look at the main developments.

    Russia reorients units to strengthen southern Ukraine, UK says

    Russia’s priority over the past week has likely been to reorient units to strengthen its campaign in southern Ukraine, the British military intelligence has said.

    Russian-backed forces of the self-proclaimed people’s republics in the Donbas continued to attempt assaults to the north of Donetsk city, according to the intelligence update.

    Heavy fighting has focused on the village of Pisky, near the Donetsk airport, the British Ministry of Defence said in its daily intelligence bulletin on Twitter.

    It also said the Russian assault “likely” aims to secure the “M04 highway”, the main approach to Donetsk from the west.

    Russian tourists to Finland greeted with Ukrainian anthem

    A crowd of people gathers in the eastern Finnish city of Imatra on a bridge overlooking Imatrankoski rapids, one of the Nordic country’s most popular natural attractions.

    At the same time every day, the river’s almost century-old dam is opened and water rushes under the bridge, to the sound of music by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. It is quite popular with Russian tourists.

    But since the end of July, the city of Imatra has started the show by playing the Ukrainian national anthem, to protest against the Russian invasion.

    “This is bad for the Russians who love Finland,” says Mark Kosykh, a 44-year-old Russian tourist visiting Imatra with his family.

    “But we understand the government of Finland,” he says.

    Ukraine, Russia accuse each other of nuclear plant strikes

    Kyiv and Moscow are blaming each other for shelling around Europe’s largest nuclear power facility, which is in Russia’s control and has come under fire repeatedly in the past week.

    The Zaporizhzhia plant in southeastern Ukraine has been occupied by Russian forces since March, and Kyiv has accused Moscow of basing hundreds of soldiers and storing arms there.

    During his televised address on Saturday, Zelenskyy said: “They arrange constant provocations with shelling of the territory of the nuclear power plant and try to bring their additional forces in this direction to blackmail our state and the entire free world even more.”

    Ukraine targets Russian soldiers threatening Europe’s largest nuclear plant

    Ukraine has targeted Russian soldiers who shoot at Europe’s largest nuclear power station or use it as a base to shoot from.

    “Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an evening address on Saturday.

    Zelenskyy, who did not give any details, repeated claims that Russia was using the plant as nuclear blackmail.

    Ukrainian forces controlling the towns and cities on the opposite bank have come under intense bombardment from the Russian-held side.

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