Russia accuses Crimean arms depot of ‘sabotage’

The UN says it has the logistical and security capabilities to support any IAEA mission to the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant from kyiv as the conflict enters 174 days away.

Huge balls of fire erupted Tuesday morning at the Crimea site where munitions were temporarily stored and clouds of black smoke billowed into the air, footage posted on social media showed. (Reuters)

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Russia accuses Crimean arms depot of ‘sabotage’

The Russian Defense Ministry said a fire that triggered explosions at an ammunition depot in Crimea annexed to Moscow was caused by an act of “sabotage”.

“On the morning of August 16, as a result of an act of sabotage, a military warehouse near the village of Djankoi was damaged,” the ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

“Damage was caused to a number of civilian facilities, including power lines, a power station, a railway line as well as a number of residential buildings. There were no serious injuries,” he said. he added.

On appeal with Macron, Zelenskyy condemns ‘Russia’s nuclear terrorism’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he discussed “Russian nuclear terrorism” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine during a call with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Zelenskyy, writing on Twitter, did not elaborate on their talks about the plant, which Russia seized in March after Moscow’s attacks on Ukraine began on February 24.

“I thanked him for France’s tangible defense assistance. I discussed macro-financial assistance to Ukraine and food security issues. We need to increase sanctions against Russia,” he said. said Zelenskyy.

“Continued dialogue with French President @EmmanuelMacron. Briefed on the situation at the front, from Russian nuclear terrorism to the ZNPP (Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant)”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Twitter.

Russia fines veteran rock star for criticizing Ukraine conflict

A Russian court has found Soviet rock legend and Kremlin critic Yuri Shevchuk guilty of “discrediting” the Russian military after condemning Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine.

He received the maximum fine of 815 dollars, the press service of a court in the central city of Ufa said on the Telegram messenger.

The court said Shevchuk gave a speech at his concert that contained “public calls to prevent the use of Russian armed forces,” the statement added.

Finland to drastically reduce Russian tourist visas

Finland will limit Russian tourist visas to 10% of current volumes from September 1 due to growing dissatisfaction with Russian tourism amid the conflict in Ukraine, the government has announced.

“Tourist visas will not stop completely, but their number will be significantly reduced,” Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters in Helsinki.

Currently, Finland processes around 1,000 Russian visa applications a day, Haavisto told public broadcaster Yle separately.

Turkish, Ukrainian defense chiefs discuss grain exports

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksii Reznikov discussed the latest situation in Ukraine and grain exports as part of a historic deal brokered by Türkiye to unblock Ukrainian grain exports.

During the phone call, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry, Akar told Reznikov that Turkey will continue to play its role for peace and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Akar also expressed his satisfaction with the progress made in the shipment of grain and the work carried out in cooperation with the Joint Coordination Center, which was established to oversee Ukrainian grain exports, consisting of representatives from Turkey, the UN, Russia and Ukraine.

Former UN chief Ban urges world to remember Bucha victims

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on the world to honor the civilians who were killed when Russian ground forces attacked the Ukrainian capital and eventually withdrew from the vicinity of kyiv.

Ban, a former South Korean diplomat who served as general secretary between 2007 and 2016, traveled to Bucha, a town northwest of the Ukrainian capital where hundreds of civilians were found dead after the Russian withdrawal in late March .

“All those killed here without any reason should be fully honored and commemorated in human history,” Ban said. Authorities said 116 bodies were found in a mass grave near the church after Russian soldiers withdrew.

Russian Defense Minister Says Unipolar World Is Over

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu has claimed that the unipolar world is over, saying Moscow’s “special military operation” marked the era of transition to the multipolar structure.

Speaking at the 2022 Moscow Conference on International Security, Shoygu said Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine had ended Western hegemony in the world. It will take time for a multipolar order to adjust but it is already a reality, he noted.

“A multipolar world is the reality of today. The transition from the domination of a world leader to several poles of attraction is not easy, but it creates real conditions for the development of sovereign states”, Shoygu said.

Russia sanctions streaming site Twitch for ‘fake’ 31-second video

A Russian court has fined streaming service Twitch $33,000 for hosting a short video containing what it calls “false” information about activities in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, Russian news agencies have reported. .

The court accused Twitch, a US-based live streaming service popular with video gamers, of failing to remove a 31-second clip of a Bucha town girl, Kommersant newspaper reported.

A transformer station catches fire, an ammunition depot explodes in Crimea

An ammunition depot exploded in northern Crimea, Russian news agency TASS reported, citing the Mayskoye village administration.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said no “serious” casualties occurred in the blast, state news agency RIA reported. Earlier on Tuesday, RIA also reported a fire at a transformer station near the town of Dzhankoi in Crimea, 20 kilometers away.

Ukraine has not officially confirmed or denied responsibility for the explosions reported in Crimea in recent days.

UN ship loaded with grain for Africa leaves Ukraine: ministry

A UN-chartered vessel loaded with grain has left Ukraine for Africa following a deal to ease a global food crisis, the shipping ministry said. The government has said it hopes there will soon be two or three similar expeditions.

The MV Brave Commander departed from the Black Sea port of Pivdennyi and will travel to Djibouti “for delivery to Ethiopia”, the infrastructure ministry said on Telegram.

The ship, loaded with 23,000 tons of wheat, is the first ship chartered by the United Nations World Food Program to leave Ukraine since the start of the Russian assault on its neighbor in February.

Russia warns IAEA against visiting Zaporizhzhia via Kyiv

Any mission undertaken by the UN nuclear agency to inspect Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant cannot pass through kyiv because it is too dangerous, a senior Russian diplomat was quoted by news agencies as saying.

“This is a huge risk, given that the Ukrainian armed forces are not all made up in the same way,” said Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy head of the Foreign Ministry’s nuclear proliferation and arms control department.

However, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in New York on Monday that the UN secretary had assessed he had the logistical and security capacity to be able to support any IAEA mission from Kyiv. .

Vishnevetsky was quoted as saying that such a mission had no mandate to deal with the “demilitarization” of the plant as it could only deal with “compliance with IAEA safeguards”.

Zaporizhzhia “disaster” threatens all of Europe

A “disaster” at Russia’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine would threaten the whole of Europe, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned.

“Under cover of the factory, the occupiers bombard nearby towns and communities,” Zelenskky said. “Any radiological incident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant can affect European Union countries, Turkey, Georgia and countries in more distant regions. It all depends only on the direction and speed of the wind,” he said. -he declares.

The plant, Europe’s largest nuclear facility, was captured by Russian troops in early March, shortly after Moscow launched its incursion into Ukraine.

For live updates from Monday, August 15, click here

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

Martin E. Berry