Day 174 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Shoigu and Guterres discussed the Security Situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP

World » UKRAINE | August 16, 2022, Tuesday // 09:27
Bulgaria: Day 174 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Shoigu and Guterres discussed the Security Situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

Shoigu and Guterres discussed the security situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres discussed the security situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. Meanwhile, Kyiv called for new sanctions against Russia and highlighted the possible consequences of a disaster at Europe's largest nuclear power plant.

Mutual accusations of strikes against the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia continue. The Russian forces occupying it are offering a temporary ceasefire.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres spoke with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about conditions for safe operations in Zaporizhzhia, the UN and Russia said. Moscow said it would do "everything necessary" to allow specialists from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the facility, but warned that a mission via Kyiv would be too dangerous.

The world body's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN could provide logistics and security support if Russia and Ukraine agreed.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has again called on Russian forces to withdraw "without any conditions" from the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. In his traditional video address, Zelensky accused Moscow of not stopping the provocations and the shelling of the territory of the headquarters continues.

"Under the guise of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, the occupiers are shelling nearby cities and towns. Russian troops are hiding ammunition and equipment right in the plant's facilities - de facto the plant is mined."

"Any possible radiation incident at the Zaporizhzhia NPP could be a blow to the EU countries, and to Turkey, and to Georgia, and to countries from more distant regions," Zelensky warned, stressing that the issue has already been brought to the highest high international level, referring to the United Nations (UN) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Zelensky called on the international community to accept new tough sanctions against Russia and not to give in to nuclear blackmail.

"The world has been fighting for many decades for proper control of all activities with nuclear materials and radiation safety. If the world does not now show strength and determination to protect a nuclear plant, it will mean that the world has lost. It will lose to terrorism. And will succumb to nuclear blackmail. There is still a chance to avert this defeat."

Earlier, Ukrainian authorities said they had struck a base used by Russia's Wagner paramilitary group, as well as a bridge in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol. The Ukrainian army has launched a counter-offensive in the south of the country and has already regained control of dozens of villages, while the Russian army is about to be pushed to the other side of the Dnieper River.

Zelensky again called on Russian forces to withdraw from the occupied headquarters. In his video address that night, Zelensky accused Moscow of not stopping the provocations and the shelling of the territory of the plant continues.

The DPR has accused foreign PoWs of being mercenaries, three face the death penalty

A court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) today accused five foreigners caught fighting for Ukrainian forces of being mercenaries and said three of them could receive the death penalty, world agencies and BTA reported.

The British John Harding, the Croatian Vekoslav Prebeg and the Swede Matias Gustafsson, caught in the port area of ​​the city of Mariupol, can be sentenced to death under the laws of the DPR. The death penalty can be imposed on them on charges of attempting to seize power by force and for participating in an armed conflict as mercenaries.

Two other Brits, Dylan Healy and Andrew Hill, were also charged but do not face execution. None of the five defendants pleaded guilty. The court said the trial would continue in early October. The first of them is accused only of being a mercenary, and the second of arranging mercenaries for Ukraine.

The Croatian Foreign Ministry stated in response to the accusations against Prebeg that "Croatia rejects the accusation and does not consider it justified and legal because it contradicts international law and international conventions on the treatment of detained civilians and prisoners of war."

Donetsk authorities in June sentenced to death two British citizens and a Moroccan caught fighting on the side of Ukrainian forces against Russia, on charges of attempted seizure of power and mercenaries.

Russia has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1997, but things are not like that in the two separatist territories in eastern Ukraine.

Russia offers weapons to its allies and is ready to train foreign fighters

Russia is ready to supply military equipment to allied countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and Moscow is open to training foreign fighters, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the opening ceremony of “Armiya 2022” on Monday, as quoted by CNN.

"Russia sincerely values the historically strong, friendly, genuine ties of trust with the countries of Latin America, Asia and Africa. We are ready to offer our allies the most advanced types of weapons, from small arms to armored vehicles and artillery to combat aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles," Putin said in his opening remarks.

"We highly value the fact that our country has many allies, partners, like-minded people on different continents," he added.

The Russian president also emphasized the advantages of training foreign soldiers in Russia and said that Russia invites its allies to conduct joint military exercises.

"We also see great prospects in the training of foreign military personnel and the improvement of their qualifications. Thousands of military professionals from around the world are proud graduates of our country's military universities and academies," Putin said.

Russia will continue to work vigorously in this important area, he said.

A cargo ship with Ukrainian grain is missing

The cargo ship Razoni, carrying grain from Ukraine under the flag of Sierra Leone, has not transmitted any location data for the past three days, its current whereabouts are unclear. Such a message was published by the German newspaper Welt, quoted by Nova.

Two weeks after leaving the port of Ukraine and the failed grain delivery, the current whereabouts of the ship is unknown. There is also no information in which port the cargo ship with 26,000 tons of corn on board wants to debark. Razoni, according to Welt, has not given any information about his location for the past three days.

The vessel appears to have been off the east coast of Cyprus at the time of the latest shipment, the paper concluded.

On August 14, the ship dropped anchor near the Syrian port of Tartus. Razoni became the first ship with Ukrainian grain to leave Odesa along the maritime humanitarian corridor after the conclusion of the "food deal" between Russia, the United Nations, Turkey and Ukraine on July 22 in Istanbul.

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