• Sun. Nov 27th, 2022

UN nuclear agency launches probe into Russian ‘dirty bomb’ allegation

ByJanice K. Merrill

Nov 1, 2022

Ukrainian forces face Russian attacks in several locations, where heavy shelling and airstrikes damaged infrastructure as Moscow stepped up its offensive, the Ukrainian military said November 3.

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The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine was again disconnected from the power grid after bombings damaged the remaining high-voltage lines, leaving it with only diesel generators, Ukrainian nuclear company Enerhoatom said. .

Enerhoatom said it believed Russia would soon attempt to repair and connect Europe’s largest nuclear power plant to the Russian-occupied regions of Crimea and Donbass.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said in its November 3 briefing that heavy fighting was underway in the east, with Russian troops carrying out offensive operations in the Bakhmut, Avdiyivka and Novopavlivka areas of the region of Donetsk.

Russia launched attacks on 12 settlements in Donetsk and the neighboring Lugansk region. Ukrainian forces repelled the attacks, the military said.

In Luhansk, the Ukrainian army accused Russian forces use civilians as human shields. The allegation could not be independently confirmed.

Russian strikes were also reported in the central area of ​​Kryviy Rih and in the northeast in Sumy and Kharkiv.

“The enemy is trying to keep temporarily captured territories, concentrating its efforts on limiting the actions of the defense forces in certain areas,” the Ukrainian military said.

Russia has targeted Ukraine’s civilian and energy infrastructure in recent weeks, causing power and water outages and civilian casualties.

Russia continues to deny targeting civilians, although the conflict has killed thousands, displaced millions and leveled some Ukrainian towns.

In the south, Ukraine’s counter-offensive has left Russian forces struggling to hold their ground around the city of Kherson on the right bank of the Dnieper.

Moscow-based authorities are urging residents to evacuate, the Ukrainian military said.

Residents of the town of Nova Zburiyvka had been given three days to leave and were told that evacuation would be compulsory from November 5, he added.

Russian authorities have repeatedly said that Ukraine may be preparing to attack the huge Kakhovka dam on the Dnieper and flood the region. Kyiv denies it.

Russia and Ukraine will each hand over 107 fighters captured on Nov. 3 in the latest prisoner exchange between the two sides, Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-based administrator of Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine’s Donetsk region, said in a statement. communicated. Publish on his Telegram channel. He said 65 of those freed by Ukraine would be separatist fighters from Donetsk and Lugansk.

Seven ships carrying agricultural products left Ukrainian Black Sea ports on November 3, a day after the resumption of a grain deal to deliver Ukrainian food to foreign markets, the Infrastructure Ministry said. .

A woman holds her bicycle near a damaged school building in a village outside Mykolaiv on November 1.

A woman holds her bicycle near a damaged school building in a village outside Mykolaiv on November 1.

The ships were loaded with 290,000 tons of food and were heading for European and Asian countries, the ministry said in a statement without further details.

The British ambassador arrived at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow on November 3, Reuters reported, after being summoned to discuss Moscow’s claims that Britain was involved in a Ukrainian drone strike on the Russian fleet. from the Black Sea to Crimea.

WATCH: RFE/RL asked people in Moscow how they thought the war in Ukraine – which Russian President Vladimir Putin claims is a “special military operation” – was going.

The Russian Ministry of Defense said the attack was carried out under the guidance and direction of British naval specialists, a claim Britain dismissed as false.

Meanwhile, two US officials told CBS News Nov. 2 that senior Russian military officials discussed how and when they might use nuclear weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine last month.

President Vladimir Putin did not participate in the talks, they told CBS News.

The White House said it had become “increasingly concerned” about the potential use of nuclear weapons in recent months. But he stressed that Washington saw no signs that Russia was preparing for such use.

In September, Putin stepped up his nuclear and anti-Western rhetoric, saying Russia could use all means at its disposal to protect itself and occupied Ukrainian territories.

With reporting from Reuters and the BBC