An accident at Ukraine's Zaporizhia nuclear power plant during hostilities could lead to an unprecedented nuclear accident, according to a Ukrainian diplomat. "What would then happen within a radius of 40 or 50 kilometers around the power plant would be absolutely incomparable with Chernobyl and Fukushima," said Kiev's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yevheniy Tsimbaliuk, on Monday in Vienna. Not only Ukraine, but all of Europe will suffer serious consequences.
Zaporizhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The facility, occupied by Russian units, has been fired upon several times in the past few days. Kyiv and Moscow blame each other. No radioactivity escaped.
In 1986, a devastating meltdown occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. In 2011, an earthquake and tsunami triggered another nuclear disaster at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant. According to nuclear experts, Zaporizhia is better protected than the two nuclear power plants involved in the accident thanks to a separate cooling circuit and a special protective layer. However, Zaporizhia would probably not withstand a targeted military attack.
Zymbalyuk not only called again for the deployment of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to Zaporizhia, but also suggested sending unarmed international military observers there. In any case, the IAEA should be on site by the end of the month, he said. According to the IAEA, their deployment would require the support of Moscow and Kiev.
The Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yevgeny Tzymbalyuk, is quickly calling for an international inspection of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in the south-east of the country, which is occupied by Russian troops. “We need this inspection as soon as possible, by the end of this month at the latest. That is our goal,” says Zymbaljuk in Vienna.
He warned that if Europe's largest nuclear power plant were to be damaged, the consequences would be huge, and not just for Ukraine. The preparations for such an inspection mission were already underway. Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of shelling the nuclear power plant site.
The concern of a super meltdown is still great. "Any attack on a nuclear power plant is suicidal," UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned during a visit to Japan on Monday.
For the first time since the start of the Russian war of aggression, a ship carrying Ukrainian grain exports has reached its destination port. The Turkish freighter "Polarnet" with 12,000 tons of corn on board has arrived in Turkey, the Ukrainian Ministry of Infrastructure announced in Kyiv. An exact destination was not named, according to the tracking website vesselfinder.com the ship docked in Derince.
"This first successful experience allows us to look to the future with optimism," said the responsible Ukrainian minister, Oleksandr Kubrakov.
In its counter-offensive in southern Ukraine, the Ukrainian army says it has again bombed a strategically important bridge in the Russian-controlled region of Cherson. A spokeswoman for Ukraine's Southern Army Command said a second bridge in the region had also been hit.
The Russian government has again accused the Ukrainian armed forces of shelling the site of the Zaporizhia nuclear plant. The Defense Ministry in Moscow announced that a Ukrainian attack the day before had triggered an emergency shutdown of the power plant. The shelling came from Marhanets on the opposite bank of the Dnieper.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the Ukrainian attack caused an increase in electricity and smoke at the substation. Firefighters extinguished the fire and employees reduced the power of reactors 5 and 6 to 500 megawatts.
The turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline serviced by Siemens-Energy is still in Germany. There are still pending discussions as to whether it can be shipped, said Energy boss Christian Bruch on Monday when presenting his company's quarterly figures.
He also emphasized that the maintenance of the turbines at the Nord Stream 1 compressor station could in principle continue - if desired. This is separate from the current withdrawal from business in Russia. In principle, the service cycle goes until 2024. However, it is dependent on the customer reporting and saying that something should be done.
Regarding the dispute over the turbine and the possible financial consequences, Bruch said that he saw no contractual risks. You can clearly show "that we have done everything so that we can deliver".
Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder can remain in the SPD. This was decided by the SPD sub-district of the Hanover region, as the sub-district's arbitration commission announced. "The arbitration commission of the SPD sub-district of the Hanover region has determined that the respondent Gerhard Schröder is not guilty of violating the party order, since he cannot be proven to have violated it," the statement said. According to the office of the arbitration commission of the SPD sub-district Hannover region, an objection can now be lodged with the district Hannover within two weeks.
According to government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit, Olaf Scholz sees no signs of a change of mind among the population regarding the sanctions against Russia. Scholz sees “no lack of or dwindling support for these measures,” said Hebestreit in Berlin. It is clear that the cut in gas supplies "poses challenges for all of us", he added, referring to the various measures that have been put in place for the autumn and winter.
The European gas emergency plan to prepare for a possible stop in Russian gas supplies comes into force on Tuesday. The new law was published in the Official Journal of the EU. The plan calls for all EU countries to voluntarily reduce their gas consumption by 15 percent from early August to March next year, compared to the average consumption over the past five years over that period. Against the background of the war in Ukraine, Russia has already drastically reduced its supplies to the EU.
According to figures from the EU Commission, a total of 45 billion cubic meters of gas must be saved. Germany would have to use about 10 billion cubic meters less gas to reach the 15 percent target.
The Kremlin blames the leadership in Kyiv for the escalation surrounding the Ukrainian Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and is demanding that the West put pressure on Volodymyr Zelensky. "We expect that the countries that have absolute influence over the Ukrainian leadership will use this to prevent further shelling," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow, according to the Interfax agency. The power plant, located in the southern Ukrainian city of Enerhodar and occupied by Russian troops, had been shelled several times in the past few days. Both sides blame each other.
Five nuclear power plants in France are allowed to continue pumping warmer-than-usual water into rivers. The regulatory authority for nuclear energy extended the corresponding exemption due to the ongoing heat wave to ensure the power supply in the country, as the authority announced.
"The Government believes it is a public imperative to maintain production from these five power plants until September 11, despite the exceptional weather conditions." Further heat the water in the rivers that the operator EDF uses to cool reactors.
Despite the war against Ukraine, which has been going on for almost six months, the Kremlin has so far refrained from openly mobilizing the army - in the provinces, on the other hand, the authorities are forming regional volunteer battalions. "According to our calculations, more than 40 such units have already been set up in at least 20 regions of Russia," the daily newspaper Kommersant reported on Monday. Regional authorities and veterans' organizations have been promoting it for months.
According to Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD), the German security authorities have registered a significant increase in cyber attacks on local networks since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. Significantly more activities have been observed since February 24, said Faeser during a visit to the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). However, the authorities have also significantly increased their protective measures.
For example, Germany was indirectly affected by the Russian attack on a Ukrainian satellite, which is also used to control a local wind farm, said Faeser. This shows that borders no longer play a role in cyber attacks. In addition, since the Russian attack, it has increasingly been observed that weak points in German networks are being “scanned”. "It is important for us that the security of the networks is guaranteed," said the interior minister. Secure state communications have also gained in importance as a result of the war.
According to Ukraine, it has received the first three "Gepard" anti-aircraft tanks from Germany. They would be used to defend important infrastructure facilities, the southern military command said. The weapon system is operated by a team of three and can reach targets up to four kilometers away.
Russia accuses Ukraine of shelling the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant on Sunday. According to the Ministry of Defense, power lines were damaged. Therefore, the production of the plant had to be throttled. Ukraine rejects claims that it is targeting the nuclear power plant. Rather, the state atomic energy agency Energoatom said on Sunday that a worker had been injured when the Russian shelled the power plant on Saturday evening.
The assets of the Russian sovereign wealth fund have decreased. On August 1, it totaled $198.3 billion, or 9.1 percent of this year's expected gross domestic product, the Ministry of Finance announced in Moscow on Monday.
On July 1, it was $210.6 billion. The sovereign wealth fund is fed primarily from income from oil and gas exports. Although it is actually intended to finance large infrastructure projects, the government plans to tap it this year to cover its budget deficit.
The Russian economy is under pressure from Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it will fall by six percent this year – less than the minus 8.5 percent forecast in April. Economists surveyed by Reuters also expect high inflation: the average rate of inflation is likely to be 13.4 percent this year, after 8.4 percent in 2021.
Russia is urging the West to persuade Ukraine to refrain from shelling the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. At the same time, the spokesman for the Office of the President in Moscow, Dmitry Peskov, emphasizes that there is currently no basis for Vladimir Putin to meet with the Ukrainian head of state Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Ukraine, on the other hand, blames Russia for the attacks on the power plant.
As part of the international grain agreement, a cargo ship has docked in the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyj for the first time since the beginning of the war. The "Sacura" is now on its way to Italy, the Ukrainian government announced on Facebook on Monday.
The ship is traveling in a caravan with the freighter "Arizona", which is traveling from the port of Chornomorsk towards the Netherlands. A total of 60,000 tons of agricultural products are on board the ships.
According to Russian information, the operation of the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia, which has been shelled several times, is running normally. The military and representatives of the Russian nuclear supervisory authority are on site and are monitoring the situation, the Interfax news agency quotes the head of the local provincial administration appointed by Russia as saying. "We have the information from them that everything works in normal mode."
The plant is controlled by Russian authorities. The nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe. The facility had come under fire several times since Friday. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for this. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, warned of the risk of a nuclear catastrophe.
For the first time since the conclusion of the international grain agreement, a freighter with corn from the Ukraine has reached its destination in Turkey. The Turkish-flagged ship "Polarnet" arrived in Kocaeli on the Marmara Sea on Monday, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, ten grain ships have left Ukrainian ports so far. The freighter "Razoni" was the first to leave on Monday last week with the destination Lebanon. His arrival, however, was further delayed.
Previously, agricultural exports via Ukraine's Black Sea ports had been blocked since the end of February because of the Russian war of aggression against the neighboring country. On July 22, the wartime opponents signed an agreement with Turkey separately, with UN mediation, to allow grain exports from Ukraine from three ports. Inspections are intended to ensure that the ships are not transporting weapons.
According to British intelligence services, Russia is most likely using highly dangerous anti-personnel mines in Ukraine. Moscow probably wants to defend its front lines in the Ukrainian Donbass region, the British Ministry of Defense said in a tweet on Monday. The mines are extremely dangerous for both troops and local civilians.
The mines of the type PFM-1 - also called butterfly mine - are "deeply controversial", it said. They would have had terrible effects in the Afghan war, children would have mistaken them for toys. It is also likely that Russia is using its Soviet-era inventory, which has become ailing over the years and is now even more unpredictable, the British statement said. This represents a significant risk for special forces who demin the areas.
According to a report by the Interfax news agency, Ukrainian troops have again shelled a strategically important bridge in the Russian-controlled city of Kherson. Construction machinery was damaged, which is delaying the reopening of the bridge, the agency reports, citing an official.
The bridge is one of only two crossings giving Russian forces access to an area they have occupied on the west bank of the Dnipro River in southern Ukraine. Over the past few weeks, Ukrainian troops have tried to destroy the bridge with high-precision missiles supplied by the United States - possibly in preparation for a counteroffensive.
Grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, which resumed after a month-long blockade by Russia, are continuing, according to Turkish sources. Two other ships loaded with grain ran out on Monday, according to the Defense Ministry in Ankara. The "Sacura" left Jusni with 11,000 tons of soybeans on board, the destination is Italy. The "Arizona" in turn transports 48,458 tons of corn from Chernomorsk to southern Turkey.
Like Russia, the Ukraine has been one of the world's largest grain exporters. Because of the war, however, deliveries came to an almost complete standstill, as Russian forces blocked Ukrainian ports for months.
After an agreement was reached between the warring parties mediated by Turkey and the United Nations (UN), the first grain ships were able to cast off again last week. The agreement is one of the few diplomatic breakthroughs achieved since the war began in late February.
The energy technology group Siemens Energy, which recently came into the limelight because of a turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, is struggling with losses. In the third quarter of the 2022 financial year, there was a deficit after taxes of 533 million euros, the company announced on Monday.
This was caused by burdens from the restructuring of business in Russia and renewed losses at the Spanish wind energy subsidiary Siemens Gamesa. In the same period last year, there was a loss of 307 million euros in the books.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned any attack on nuclear facilities as "suicidal". He hopes attacks on Ukraine's Zaporizhia nuclear power plant will stop and that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be granted access to the plant, Guterres said in Tokyo on Monday after visiting Hiroshima over the weekend, where he was attending a commemoration ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing on which Japanese city had participated in World War II.
IAEA Secretary General Rafael Grossi warned at the weekend of a "very real danger of a nuclear catastrophe" after the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant was shelled. According to the operator Energoatom, parts of the nuclear plant were "severely damaged" in the attack, and one reactor was shut down. Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the shelling.
The power plant in southern Ukraine is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. It has been occupied since early March by Russian troops, who took control of it days after they began invading Ukraine.
Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya anticipates strong opposition to her country's possible full participation in Russia's war against Ukraine. “Our partisan movement will sabotage that. Orders are refused. Or the Belarusian soldiers will surrender there immediately," said the politician of the German Press Agency.
Two years after the presidential elections in Belarus, which were considered fraudulent, she said that Russia, with its support for ruler Alexander Lukashenko, probably already had the ex-Soviet republic in mind as a “bridgehead” for an attack.
In the election on August 9, 2020, the authoritarian ruler Lukashenko was again proclaimed the winner of the election, triggering unprecedented protests in Belarus. Many see Tichanovskaya as the winner of the election. Due to massive state repression, there are now almost no more major demonstrations in the ex-Soviet republic.
“Lukashenko is a collaborator. He dragged Belarus into this war and now he's doing whatever is asked of him to keep Russia in power," Tikhanovskaya said ahead of the second anniversary of the disputed presidential election. Today it is clear that the Kremlin probably already had war plans back then and therefore left Lukashenko in power. In her exile in Vilnius, the politician criticized that he was leaving Belarusian territory so that Russian forces could attack Ukraine from there.