Russia announced on Thursday that it may shut down Europe’s largest nuclear power station after it was shelled on the front lines in Ukraine, a move that Kiev says increases the risk of a nuclear disaster. 

FIGHTING

  • -Russia’s foreign ministry rejected a suggestion by United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to demilitarize the area surrounding the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine on Thursday, saying it would leave the facility “more vulnerable”.
  • -A pre-dawn rocket attack on the northern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Thursday killed three civilians and injured 17, according to the local emergency service. The strike came after a Russian attack on Kharkiv on Wednesday, in which 12 people were murdered, according to the emergency services. Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians.

DIPLOMACY

  • -Efforts to safeguard Zaporizhzhia’s safety were one of the primary topics of discussion during Guterres’ two-day visit to Ukraine, during which he spoke at a university in the western city of Lviv and met President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan.
  • Russia stated on Thursday that there was a risk of a man-made disaster at the Zaporizhzhia facility, accusing Kyiv and the West of plotting a “provocation” there during Guterres’ arrival. A Ukrainian official disregarded what he saw as Moscow’s disingenuous allegation. 
  • -Russia’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that it was in “quiet diplomacy” with the US on a possible prisoner swap involving basketball star Brittney Griner. 
  • -Russia’s foreign ministry stated on Thursday that it would only use its nuclear arsenal in “emergency circumstances” and that it had no desire to engage in direct conflict with NATO or the US. 
  • -According to Interfax, Russia’s defense ministry said on Thursday that three MiG-31E jets equipped with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles had been moved to the Kaliningrad zone.

ECONOMY

  • -According to Turkey’s defense ministry, one more ship carrying grain has left Ukraine’s Chornomorsk port, increasing the total number of vessels leaving Ukraine’s Black Sea ports under the U.N.-brokered grain export pact to 25. 
  • -Denmark aims to invest 40 billion Danish crowns ($5.47 billion) in new warships in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the defense ministry on Thursday.

Source: Reuters

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