Ukraine targets Russian soldiers accused of threatening nuclear plant
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeleskiy warned Russian soldiers not to fire at Europe's biggest nuclear power station, or use it as a base for shooting as they would be a "special target" of Ukrainian forces.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for the creation of a demilitarized zone at Zaporizhzhia's Zaporizhia plant in south Ukraine. This is in response to fears of a nuclear disaster arising from renewed shelling over the past days. Russia and Ukraine are both responsible.
Zelenskiy did not provide any further details but reiterated his belief that Russia was using the plant it took early in wartime, but which is still being managed by Ukrainians as nuclear blackmail.
He stated that every Russian soldier who shoots at the plant or uses the plant as cover must be aware that he is a special target of our intelligence agents for our special services for our army.
The Zaporizhzhia Plant dominates the Dnipro River's south bank. The Russian-held side has been pounding the Ukrainian-held cities and towns on the other bank.
Mykhailo Podolyak, the Ukrainian presidential adviser, accused Russia of "hitting a part of the nuclear power plant where the energy which powers the south of Ukraine can be generated".
Twitter user Podolyak stated that the goal was to "disconnect us from the (plant), and then blame the Ukrainian army".
According to Energoatom, a foreman at the plant was killed by Russian shelling on Sunday while walking his dog in Enerhodar.
Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official, wrote on Telegram that Ukrainian forces had attacked the city and were responsible to the death of the man.
The International Atomic Energy Agency is inspecting the plant and has warned that there will be a nuclear catastrophe if fighting does not stop. Experts in nuclear technology fear that fighting could cause damage to the reactors or spent fuel pools of the plant.
As fighting continued, more ships carrying Ukrainian grain departed or were prepared to leave as part of a late-July deal that sought to ease a global food shortage.
Sources said that an Ethiopian-bound cargo was about to depart in the next few days. Meanwhile, sources claimed that the first U.N.-negotiated grain ship was approaching Syria.
"The food of Ukraine is essential for the survival of the world." Marianne Ward, deputy country director for World Food Programme, said that this is the beginning of normal operations for the hungry people around the world. Last year, the relief agency purchased more than 800,000.00 tonnes of grain from Ukraine.
Kyiv has been stating for weeks that it plans a counteroffensive in order to recapture Zaporizhzhia, as well as neighboring Kherson provinces. These are the largest parts of territory Russia seized following its February 24 invasion. They remain in Russian hands.
According to British military intelligence, Russia's priority in the last week was likely to reorient units for its campaign against southern Ukraine.
According to the British Defence Ministry's daily intelligence bulletin, Twitter, Russian-backed forces from the eastern region of Donbas of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic continued attacks on the north of Donetsk.
The Ukrainian military command stated that Russian soldiers continued to attack Ukrainian positions near Avdiivka on Sunday. This has since become one of the outposts for Ukrainian forces in Donetsk.
In a daily briefing Russia stated that it had taken control over Udy in eastern Kharkiv, a village under constant shelling by Russian forces.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the battlefield accounts.
Russia describes its invasion of Ukraine as a "special military operations" to demilitarize and "denazify" Ukraine. Moscow and Washington have fallen to a low ebb, and Russia has warned it could cut ties.