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A nuclear plant caught in the midst of intense combating between Ukrainian and Russian troops was quickly disconnected from the facility grid Thursday when fires broken the only real transmission line, Ukraine officers mentioned.

It was the primary time the Zaporizhzhia nuclear energy plant, Europe’s largest, has ever been disconnected. It led to a big blackout throughout the area and elevated issues a few nuclear disaster.

“Russia has put Ukraine and all Europeans one step away from a radiation catastrophe,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned in his nightly video handle.

The harm compelled the 2 reactors nonetheless in use to go offline, however one was shortly restored and electrical energy returned to the world, mentioned Yevgeny Balitsky, the regional governor put in by Russia. Balitsky blamed the incident on an Ukrainian assault.

The UN and worldwide atomic vitality officers have been making an attempt for weeks to achieve entry to the plant, warning that continued combating within the neighborhood might set off a disastrous accident. Russia took management of the power and surrounding space in early March.

Zelenskyy has accused Russia of storing weapons on the plant and launching assaults from round it. Zelenskyy says Russia’s navy actions there quantity to “nuclear blackmail.” Moscow, henceforth, accuses Ukraine of recklessly firing on the power.

‘YOU FIGHT ENDLESSLY’: Ukrainians worldwide grapple with months of struggle

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Newest developments:

Russia and its proxies are working no less than 21 filtration services in Ukraine’s Donetsk province, based on the Yale College Humanitarian Analysis Lab, which mentioned the method is used to register, interrogate and detain Ukrainian civilians, prisoners of struggle and others in areas sympathetic to Russia.

The Moscow Regional Courtroom upheld a responsible verdict and 14-year jail sentence handed down in June for American Marc Fogel, a historical past instructor at a global college when he was arrested at a Moscow airport for possession of hashish he used for spinal ache.

Unable to discover a purchaser, Citigroup will wind down its client banking and business lending operations in Russia.

Russian planes flew about 200 sorties over Ukraine on Wednesday, Ukraine’s Independence Day, the Ukraine air power mentioned. Air raid sirens blared throughout many of the nation.

Yevgeny Roizman, the previous main of Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest metropolis, was launched Thursday after being arrested the day earlier than. However he faces costs for criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and he is barred from attending public occasions and speaking with anybody aside from his legal professionals and shut household.

US nonetheless conducts greater than $1 billion a month in commerce with Russia

Russian vodka, gasoline and diamonds aren’t allowed into the US as results of the penalties imposed on the Kremlin for its struggle on Ukraine.

Plywood, metal and even radioactive supplies? Come on in.

Greater than 3,600 shipments of wooden, metals, rubber and different unsanctioned merchandise from Russia have made it to US ports because the invasion started Feb. 24, The Related Press reported. That is a 60% drop from the identical interval in 2021, when about 6,000 shipments arrived, however nonetheless provides as much as greater than $1 billion value of commerce a month.

“Once we impose sanctions, it might disrupt world commerce,” mentioned Ambassador Jim O’Brien, who heads the State Division’s Workplace of Sanctions Coordination. “So our job is to consider which sanctions ship probably the most affect whereas additionally permitting world commerce to work.”

Russia so as to add 137,000 troopers

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree so as to add 137,000 service members to his navy, a lift of virtually 14% to 1.15 million. The decree didn’t say how the rise could be completed however navy analysts mentioned it figures to be by recruitment as a result of an expanded draft could be broadly unpopular.

Pentagon officers have estimated that about 80,000 Russian troopers have been killed or wounded because the invasion started. The Kremlin has mentioned that solely volunteer contract troopers participate in what it calls the “particular navy operation” in Ukraine, rejecting claims that it was pondering a broad mobilization.

All Russian males ages 18 to 27 should serve one yr within the navy, however a big quantity keep away from the draft for well being causes or deferments granted to school college students. The share of males who keep away from the draft is especially giant in Moscow and different main cities.

Ukraine has declared a objective of forming a 1-million-strong navy.

US nonetheless has greater than $1 billion a month in commerce with Russia

Russian vodka, gasoline and diamonds aren’t allowed into the US as results of the penalties imposed on the Kremlin for its struggle on Ukraine.

Plywood, metal and even radioactive supplies? Come on in.

Greater than 3,600 shipments of wooden, metals, rubber and different unsanctioned merchandise from Russia have made it to US ports because the invasion started Feb. 24, The Related Press reported. That is a 60% drop from the identical interval in 2021, when about 6,000 shipments arrived, however nonetheless provides as much as greater than $1 billion value of commerce a month.

“Once we impose sanctions, it might disrupt world commerce,” mentioned Ambassador Jim O’Brien, who heads the State Division’s Workplace of Sanctions Coordination. “So our job is to consider which sanctions ship probably the most affect whereas additionally permitting world commerce to work.”

Biden, Zelenskyy speak after newest US package deal of safety help

President Joe Biden congratulated his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, on the nation’s Independence Day throughout a cellphone name Thursday and reaffirmed the US authorities’s assist a day after committing practically $3 billion in extra safety help, based on a White Home readout of their dialog.

The brand new help package deal, at bolstering Ukraine’s long-term protection, will embody surface-to-air missile methods, artillery ammunition and drones. Since January, the Biden administration has spent $13.5 billion on navy help to Ukraine.

There aren’t any plans for Biden to go to Kyiv, the White Home has mentioned.

6 months into struggle, Ukrainians around the globe share tales

Half a yr after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, USA TODAY reporters reconnected with Ukrainians throughout the globe who first shared their experiences throughout the early phases of the struggle.

Whereas some are struggling underneath Russian occupation or dwelling amid fierce fight and shelling, others within the US and Europe are adapting to new international locations and a brand new regular. A number of mentioned they fear public consideration to the struggle and its human toll is waning. Listed below are their tales.

Two youngsters amongst lifeless in Russian rocket assault

Two youngsters had been among the many lifeless within the rocket assault that killed 25 folks Wednesday in a practice station and residential zone in Chaplyne, metropolis official Kirill Timoshenko mentioned. He mentioned that 31 folks had been injured and that search and rescue operations have been accomplished. The assault struck Chaplyne, 400 miles east of Kyiv, on Ukraine’s Independence Day. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had warned Ukrainians for days that Moscow would possibly try “one thing notably merciless” this week.

“An 11-year-old boy died underneath the rubble of a home. One other 6-year-old baby died throughout a fireplace in a automobile close to the railway station,” he mentioned.

Russia mentioned it focused a navy practice and claimed to have killed greater than 200 Ukrainian reservists.

A automobile bombing final week exterior Moscow that killed a pro-Putin commentator had put Ukraine on excessive alert for reprisals, although Ukraine authorities denied involvement within the assault.

Zelenskyy mentioned Ukraine will “undoubtedly” make Russia take accountability for struggle crimes and as soon as once more pledged to drive Russian troops out of his nation. “Not a single stain of this evil will stay in our free Ukraine,” he mentioned.

Contributing: The Related Press

This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Ukraine updates: Nuclear plant off grid; Russia so as to add 137K troopers

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