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News > World

LIVE: Russia Accuses Ukraine of Attacking Chernobyl Power Grid

  • View of the Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear plant.

    View of the Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear plant. | Photo: Twitter/ @AndyVermaut

Published 9 March 2022

“I must note with great regret that the Ukrainian nationalists committed another provocation, an extremely dangerous provocation," the Russian Deputy Defense Minister said.

Although the rounds of talks between Russia and Ukraine have failed to stop the conflict, both parties have committed to facilitating the exit of people from Ukraine through humanitarian corridors. Below are the main developments of this conflict as they happen.


Russia: Ukraine Stands in the Way of Evacuation



Russia accuses Ukrainian soldiers of power outages in Chernobyl. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov accused the Ukrainian troops of attacking the electrical network that supplies the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. He also indicated that the Russian technicians acted immediately to restore the electrical energy through reserve diesel generators.

“I must note with great regret that the Ukrainian nationalists committed another provocation, an extremely dangerous provocation. They attacked the substation and power lines that feed the Chernobyl nuclear power plant," Pankov emphasized, adding that the Ukrainians try to prevent "any repair and restoration work in every possible way."

On Wednesday morning, however, the Ukrenergo Power Company argued that the Chernobyl plant had lost power due to attacks by Russian troops. 

The U.S. will send anti-aircraft batteries to Poland. European Command spokesman Adam Miller announced that the United States will deploy two batteries of Patriot anti-missile systems to Poland. Taken in response to a request made by the Polish military authorities, this decision is part of preventive measures to deal with "any possible threat" to the US, allied forces, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Patriot missiles are weapons designed to counter and destroy incoming short-range ballistic missiles, advanced aircraft, and cruise-type missiles.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will arrive on Wednesday in Poland, a country that has become a staging area for Western weapons and equipment being shipped to Ukraine. Her visit comes after the Pentagon rejected a Polish offer to hand over all of its MiG-29 fighter jets to the United States for shipment to Ukraine.

The Czech Republic will send 650 soldiers to the NATO battle group in Slovakia. On Wednesday, the Parliament approved the participation of a battalion of 650 Czech soldiers in a multinational combat group that NATO will deploy in Slovakia.

"We want to help our Slovak partners as soon as possible to build a combat group, whose leadership we would assume," Defense Minister Jana Cernochova said, adding that the battalion will strengthen NATO's eastern flank.

In Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, NATO also plans to increase the presence of other multinational combat groups, which would be made up of Czech, German, Polish, Slovenian, American, and Dutch soldiers.

Egyptian, Russian presidents hold phone talk over Ukraine situation. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi stressed dialogue and diplomatic efforts to solve the Russia-Ukraine crisis in a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

According to a statement released by the Kremlin, Putin explained the reasons and goals of the Russian military operation in Ukraine and briefed the Egyptian president about the Moscow-Kiev peace talks. Sisi thanked the Russian side for the ongoing efforts to evacuate Egyptian citizens from the conflict zone.

Turkey receives foreign affairs ministers from Russia and Ukraine. Sergey Lavrov and Dmytro Kuleba will be received by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Antalya.

"Turkey can talk to both Ukraine and Russia... We are working to prevent the crisis from turning into a tragedy," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has tried to mediate the conflict since Feb. 24.

The power cut in Chernobyl implies "no critical" risks. On Wednesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) explained that the Chernobyl power outage does not have "a critical impact" on the safety of the nuclear plant.

This organization explained that the thermal load of the spent fuel storage pool and the volume of cooling water are sufficient to guarantee efficient heat removal without electricity.

The Brazilian company Embraer looks for new titanium suppliers. As a result of the sanctions against Russia, the aeronautical company Embraer, the third largest aircraft manufacturer in the world, will seek new titanium suppliers.

Currently, Russia is a major producer and exporter of this mineral, which is essential for the construction of modern civil or military aircraft.

The Brazilian company also suspended the sale of parts and its technical support services to its customers in Russia and Belarus.

UK will supply anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. During an appearance in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Defense Minister Ben Wallace announced that the United Kingdom is analyzing the possibility of supplying Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine.

These high-speed missiles, which were requested by President Volodymyr Zelensky's regime, are considered by the British as "defensive weapons" that will allow the Ukrainian Army to "better protect its skies."

Wallance acknowledged that the UK has sent 3,615 NLAW anti-tank missiles, small arms, and ammunition. The British government will also send Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Russia will restrict the import and export of certain products. On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to "ensure Russia's security" by establishing special measures on foreign economic activities.

The decree prohibits until the end of 2022 the international trade of certain products with a group of countries that will be defined in the coming days. These restrictions will not cover the products or raw materials that citizens transport to satisfy their personal needs.

A new humanitarian truce comes into force in Ukraine for the evacuation of civilians. Russian Defense Ministry Spokesperson Igor Konashenkov reported that a new humanitarian truce came into effect this Wednesday in Ukraine to allow the evacuation of civilians.

"A regime of silence is declared and humanitarian corridors are established for the safe evacuation of civilians from Kiev, Chernigov, Sumi, Kharkov, and Mariupol."

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk confirmed a 12-hour ceasefire to enable these humanitarian corridors. The ceasefire declared by Russia began to work from 10:00 Moscow time. Russia proposed to Ukraine to establish continuous communication mechanisms to exchange timely information on the progress of the evacuation process of the civilian population.

Turkey rejects "a witch-hunt" against the Russians. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that his country does not approve of actions that appear to be "a witch-hunt" against Russian scientists, academics, athletes, musicians, or artists.

"Just as we would not leave Ukraine, we also do not accept actions similar to a witch hunt against the Russian people, literature, students or artists," he said, as reported by the AA agency.

The Turkish president affirmed that these forms of rejection of the Russian special military operation resemble "fascist practices" that feed a "climate of hatred and resentment and sow new grievances."

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