Russian forces seize Zaporizhzhia plant

  • Ukrainian authorities say Russian forces have seized control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest such facility in Europe.
  • A fire broke out at the complex when it came under attack early on Friday, but it has now been extinguished.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has urged his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to meet him for talks.
  • Kyiv and Moscow have agreed to a tentative plan to create humanitarian corridors following a second round of negotiations.
  • While Kherson is under Russian control, other cities, including the capital, Kyiv, northeastern Kharkiv and Mariupol, in the southeast, continue to be attacked.
  • Russia’s offensive has sparked a rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis and a mass exodus from Ukraine.

    Belarusian forces will not take part in Ukraine war, Lukashenko says

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that his country’s troops are not currently taking part in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, adding they will not participate in the offensive in the future either.

    A close ally of Moscow, Lukashenko said he spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin at length by telephone on Friday.

    Russia has used Belarusian territory to carry out its multipronged invasion of Ukraine.

    No radiation release at Ukraine plant, UN nuclear watchdog says

    The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog says there has been no release of radioactive material at the Zaporizhzhia plant following Russia’s attack on the site.

    Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been in contact with the Ukrainian nuclear regulator and staff at the Zaporizhzhia plant after a training building at the site was hit, sparking a fire.

    Addressing reporters at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna, Grossi said two people on the site were injured in the blaze.

    He added that the plant’s operators and the Ukrainian regulator have warned the situation at the site “continues to be extremely tense and challenging”.

    Only one of the plant’s six reactors is operating, at about 60 percent of its potential, Grossi said.

    Miles-long Russian military convoy ‘essentially stalled’: AJE correspondent

    Al Jazeera’s Jonah Hull, reporting from the city of Lviv, in western Ukraine, says the miles-long Russian military convoy north of Kyiv “is essentially stalled”.

    “According to satellite imagery and Western intelligence agencies … it hasn’t moved, barely an inch, in three days now,” Hull said.

    “They speculate about the causes of that, they are potentially multiple – logisitical, mechanical, morale-related and potentially resistance-related as well,” he added.

    “There are suggestions that all sorts of things are going wrong … but the simple fact is this convoy may be bogged down now, but it is at some point going to get started again.”

    BBC says Russian block will not stop it providing accurate news

    The BBC says it will continue efforts to make its news available in Russia after the country’s media watchdog moved to restrict access to the British broadcaster’s Russian-language websites.

    “Access to accurate, independent information is a fundamental human right which should not be denied to the people of Russia, millions of whom rely on BBC News every week,” the BBC said in a statement.

    “We will continue our efforts to make BBC News available in Russia, and across the rest of the world,” it added.

    Ukraine’s president urges Russians to protest over seizure of nuclear infrastructure

    Zelenskyy has appealed to Russians to stage protests against Moscow’s seizure of nuclear power infrastructure in Ukraine.

    “Russian people, I want to appeal to you: how is this possible? After all we fought together in 1986 against the Chernobyl catastrophe,” he said in a televised address.

    Blinken says NATO does not seek conflict with Russia, but warns alliance is ready for it

    NATO will defend all its allies and territory in the event of any Russian attack on the United States-led transatlantic military alliance, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.

    “Ours is a defensive alliance. We seek no conflict. But if conflict comes to us we are ready for it and we will defend every inch of NATO territory,” Blinken told reporters as he arrived for a meeting of the alliance’s foreign ministers at its headquarters in Brussels.

    “And overnight, we’ve also seen reports about the attack against a nuclear power plant. This just demonstrates the recklessness of this war and the importance of ending it and the importance of Russia withdrawing all its troops and engaging in good faith in diplomatic efforts,” he added.

    France activates crisis cell at nuclear watchdog

    France has activated the crisis cell of its Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) watchdog after the fire at the Zaporizhzhia plant, the country’s energy minister says.

    Barbara Pompili said in a tweet that no changes in radiation levels had been recorded at the site. She added that “more than ever, the only desirable outcome is de-escalation”.

    Death toll from air raids in Chernihiv rises to 47, local authorities say

    Regional authorities in Ukraine’s northern Chernihiv region have said that 47 people were killed during Russian air raids on a residential district yesterday, in an upwards revision of the death toll from an earlier figure of 33.

    Rescue work in the affected area had to be suspended on Thursday due to heavy shelling, according to the local emergency services.

    Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the death toll.

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