Russia-Ukraine war: UN warns of ‘very dangerous’ situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – as it happened (2023)

Key events

  • 2d agoClosing summary
  • 2d agoRussian and Belarusian athletes may compete as neutrals, says IOC
  • 2d ago‘Very dangerous’ situation at Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, says IAEA chief
  • 2d agoSummary of the day so far
  • 2d agoRussian man whose daughter drew pro-Ukraine picture sentenced to two years in jail
  • 2d agoUkraine’s Avdiivka being ‘wiped off the face of the Earth’, says official
  • 2d agoSummary of the day so far …
  • 2d agoRussian energy minister: drone attacks on energy facilities within Russia a 'key threat'
  • 2d agoCommander: main Ukrainian task in Bakhmut is 'wear down overwhelming forces of enemy'
  • 2d agoBelarus foreign ministry: country forced to host nuclear missiles due to Nato actions
  • 2d agoOpening summary

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2d ago09.03EDT

The US secretary of state Antony Blinken is chairing an event entitled “A Just and Lasting Peace in Ukraine”, and the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy is expected to join the event virtually. It is part of a summit for democracy event being held in Washington DC.

You will be able to watch a live stream on this blog. You may need to refresh the page for the play button to appear. The session is just starting.

2d ago08.58EDT

Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, said Belarus will certainly face further EU sanctions resulting from Vladimir Putin’s announcement that Moscow has made a deal to station tactical nuclear weapons on Belarusian territory.

The Russian president said on Saturday that he was acting after negotiations with his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, who he said had “long raised the question” of a nuclear deployment on his country’s territory.

The Belarusian foreign ministry justified its decision to cooperate with Russia in a statement today, saying Minsk was acting to protect itself after years of pressure from the US and its allies aimed at changing its political and geopolitical direction.

Morawiecki, at a news conference in Bucharest, said:

This step taken by Russia... the announcement of the deployment of nuclear weapons in Belarus, will certainly lead to the announcement of additional sanctions, the level of sanctions will be much more severe for the Lukashenko regime.

The US has accused Russia of destabilising Belarus and making its smaller neighbour into “a nuclear hostage”. Aa senior Biden administration official has said there were no signs Moscow planned to use its nuclear weapons.

Morawiecki said he was in daily talks with other EU leaders about an 11th package of sanctions against Russia and that it would include more measures targeting Belarus.

In February, Poland announced it would close a key border crossing with Belarus amid rising tensions after a journalist of Polish origin was sentenced to eight years in prison by a Belarusian court in a trial Warsaw says was politically motivated.

(Video) Russia, Ukraine War Of Words at UN Over Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

Poland was considering further limitations on cross-border traffic, Morawiecki said today. He added:

We border Belarus and, as part of our bilateral relations, we are considering tightening the parameters of passenger and freight traffic in order to send a signal that we do not accept actions that serve Russia in its aggressive actions in Ukraine.

2d ago08.48EDT

Russian man whose daughter drew pro-Ukraine picture sentenced to two years in jail

A Russian man who was investigated by police after his 12-year-old daughter drew a picture depicting Russian bombing a family in Ukraine has been sentenced to two years in a penal colony, according to a rights group.

Alexei Moskalyov, a single parent from the town of Yefremov, 150 miles south of Moscow, was convicted on Tuesday of discrediting the armed forces, the OVD-Info rights group said.

He has been separated from his daughter, Maria, since he was placed under house arrest and she was taken into a state-run shelter last month.

Moskalyov was convicted over comments he had posted online about the war in Ukraine, Reuters reports. But the investigation last April when Maria, a sixth-grader, refused to participate in a patriotic class at her school and made several drawings showing rockets being fired at a family standing under a Ukrainian flag and another that said: “Glory to Ukraine!”

School officials summoned the police, who questioned the girl and threatened her father. Moskalyov was subsequently fined about £350 for a post online in which he characterised the Russian army as “rapists”. The remarks came since revelations of alleged war crimes committed against civilians at Bucha in Ukraine.

The case has provoked an outcry among Russian human rights activists and sparked an online campaign to reunite the father and daughter. The banned rights group Memorial said it considered Moskalyov to be a political prisoner.

2d ago08.31EDT

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has visited Ukraine’s northern Sumy region during his tour of areas of the country that have borne the brunt of Russia’s invasion.

Zelenskiy met officials and local residents in the city of Okhtyrka, which had fierce battles last year but was never occupied, and Trostianets, which was occupied by Russian forces for a month and liberated in March 2022, Associated Press reports.

Russia-Ukraine war: UN warns of ‘very dangerous’ situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – as it happened (1)

During the past seven days, the Ukrainian leader has visited the Kherson and Kharkiv regions, parts of which were retaken last year from Russia, to the frontline area near Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region, and to Zaporizhzhia in the south.

Addressing a crowd of people on a square in Okhtyrka, he promised that the city would be rebuilt. Zelenskiy said:

We won’t let any wound remain on the body of our state.

Russia-Ukraine war: UN warns of ‘very dangerous’ situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – as it happened (2)
(Video) Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia may be world’s most dangerous place now | 60 Minutes

In Trostianets, Zelensky honoured soldiers at the local railway station, where Ukrainian authorities say the Russians tortured prisoners. One resident told the AP that the president’s visit to the city meant a lot to him, adding:

It’s a symbol of unity and the iron will that brought the country together.

2d ago08.05EDT

Ukraine’s Avdiivka being ‘wiped off the face of the Earth’, says official

Ukraine’s frontline city of Avdiivka “is being wiped off the face of the Earth” amid intensifying Russian shelling, according to its top local official.

Russian forces have been making recent gradual gains on the flanks of Avdiivka, and the Ukrainian military said last week that the city could become a “second Bakhmut”.

About 2,000 civilians remain in Avdiivka, a Donetsk region city about 90km (56 miles) south-west of the besieged Bakhmut, according to officials. The city had a prewar population of more than 30,000.

Starting on Sunday, the city’s utilities will begin to be shut off as “more and more of the town is shelled and destroyed daily,” said Vitaliy Barabash, the city’s military administration head. He added:

The town is being wiped off the face of the Earth.

Barabash, in a Telegram post yesterday, said Russian forces were turning Avdiivka into “a place from post-apocalyptic movies”.

2d ago07.37EDT

Russia-Ukraine war: UN warns of ‘very dangerous’ situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – as it happened (3)

Philip Oltermann

Germany’s much-awaited shipment of 18 Leopard 2 battle tanks has arrived in Ukraine, the German defence ministry has confirmed.

After months of prevaricating, the German government announced in late January it would provide Kyiv with the state-of-the-art fighting vehicles as part of a deal under which several EU states would contribute to a shipment of two Leopard 2 battalions and 31 American-made M1A2 Abrams tanks from the US.

Russia-Ukraine war: UN warns of ‘very dangerous’ situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – as it happened (4)

Berlin had promised 14 vehicles but increased that to 18 in order to make up the numbers of a Ukrainian battalion, with Portugal contributing three tanks and Sweden 10. Poland has supplied Ukraine with a battalion of the older Leopard 2 A4 model.

(Video) Ukraine War: UN warns of 'disaster'

“As promised, our tanks have arrived on time in the hands of our Ukrainian friends”, Boris Pistorius, the German defence minister, said on Monday night. “I am sure that they can make the difference on the front.”

The vehicles were handed over at the Ukrainian border at the end of last week, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported, adding that 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles and two tank recovery vehicles promised by Berlin have also arrived in Ukraine. For security reasons, the German government would not comment on the route by which the tanks were delivered.

Kyiv, which had a limited numbers of tanks from the Soviet or post-Soviet era, has said it urgently needs heavier armour for its defence against Russia’s invasion, with the German-made Kampfpanzer Leopard 2 at the top of its list.

Read the full story here:

German Leopard 2 tanks now in Ukraine, Berlin confirmsRead more

2d ago07.21EDT

One evening in late December, as Muscovites strolled along their city’s brightly lit streets in anticipation of the end-of-year celebrations, a group of old friends gathered for dinner at the flat of a senior state official.

Some of the guests present, which included members of Russia’s cultural and political elite, toasted a new year in which they expressed hope for peace and a return to normality.

As the night went on, a man who needed little introduction stood up for a toast, holding his glass.

“I am guessing you are expecting me to say something,” said Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s longtime spokesperson, according to one of the two people who separately recounted the evening to the Guardian under conditions of anonymity.

“Things will get much harder. This will take a very, very long time,” Peskov continued.

Russia-Ukraine war: UN warns of ‘very dangerous’ situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – as it happened (5)

His toast darkened the mood of the evening among the guests, many of whom have said in private that they oppose the war in Ukraine. One guest said:

It was uncomfortable to hear his speech. It was clear that he was warning that the war will stay with us and we should prepare for the long haul.

Read the full story by my colleagues Pjotr Sauer and Andrew Roth:

Putin prepares Russia for ‘forever war’ with west as Ukraine invasion stallsRead more
(Video) UN official warns major Ukraine nuclear plant is ‘out of control’ l GMA

2d ago07.05EDT

Nearly 4,400 Ukrainian orphans and children are held “deprived of parental care” in Russia and Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk.

Vereshchuk accused Russia of concealing information about the children, and said Kyiv had deployed a wide range of government agencies to supply evidence to the international criminal court (ICC), which has issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin and his children’s rights commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, for the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children.

She added:

There’s already enough evidence. We hope our efforts and pressure from the international community will speed up the process of returning our children.

2d ago06.38EDT

The UK and Poland will build two temporary villages in western and central Ukraine to provide housing for people who have been forced from their homes by Russia’s invasion, the UK government has said.

The villages in Lviv and Poltava will offer accommodation for more than 700 Ukrainians, a fraction of the millions either displaced in Ukraine or who have fled the country since the war began more than a year ago.

The UK has announced up to £10m in funding to support the partnership, which will deliver temporary shelters, energy supplies and assistance to those who have fled heavy fighting on the frontlines or lost their homes because of Russian shelling.

In a statement, the UK foreign secretary, James Cleverly, said:

For the past year, Putin has continued to target civilian homes and infrastructure, with the Ukrainian people paying a heavy price. This new UK-Poland partnership will help bring light, heat and homes to those most in need.

The international community is resolute in our shared determination to support the Ukrainian people and see them prevail with a just peace on Ukrainian terms.

2d ago06.18EDT

Here are some of the latest images we have received from the news wires of the aftermath of recent shelling in the Russian-controlled parts of the Donetsk region.

Russia-Ukraine war: UN warns of ‘very dangerous’ situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – as it happened (6)
Russia-Ukraine war: UN warns of ‘very dangerous’ situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – as it happened (7)
(Video) UN warns of disaster at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant


1. How dangerous is the situation at Zaporizhzhia? | Ukraine latest
(DW News)
2. Zaporizhzhia : How dangerous is the situation at the nuclear plant ? • FRANCE 24 English
(FRANCE 24 English)
3. UN warns of ‘extremely dangerous’ situation at Europe's largest nuclear plant l ABCNL
(ABC News)
4. Worker at Zaporizhia nuclear plant discusses nuclear disaster dangers
(CBS Mornings)
5. Ukraine, Russia Trade Charges Over Zaporizhzhia Attack | What Are The Chances Of A Nuclear Disaster?
6. Power cut to Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after wave of Russian missiles hit Ukraine - BBC News
(BBC News)
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