After another emergency shutdown of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which was occupied by Russian forces, the situation there remains extremely tense. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Moscow that Europe's largest nuclear power plant was "only one step away from a nuclear catastrophe" for the second time because of Russian provocations. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) wants to report today on the results of its fact-finding mission to Zaporizhia.
Today is the 195th day of defense against the Russian invasion for Ukraine. One of Ukraine's most vocal supporters, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, will hand over office to Liz Truss - the new leader of the Conservative Party.
Unsafe situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant
Ukrainian power plant operator Enerhoatom countered fears on Monday evening that control over radiation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant had been lost. It was only because of an internet failure earlier in the day that no measurement data on radiation was transmitted to the responsible authority for a short time.
In the nuclear power plant, which had been endangered by fighting for weeks, the sixth and last reactor was shut down on Monday due to a fire in a high-voltage line. Connection to the electricity grid of Ukraine was lost for the second time since August 25. The IAEA, citing Ukrainian information, announced that the backup power connection to a combined heat and power plant had been shut down to extinguish the fire.
President Zelenskyy attributed the damage to shelling by Russian troops. "Russia is only interested in keeping the situation as bad as possible for as long as possible," he said in his video address that evening. "This can only be corrected by tightening sanctions." For weeks, Russia and Ukraine have held each other responsible for the impact of artillery shells on the nuclear power plant. As a rule, the information you provide can hardly be independently verified.
Because of the great concern of the international community, IAEA experts visited Zaporizhia last week. IAEA Director Rafael Grossi wants to publish the report on the mission today and present it to the Security Council in New York in the evening.
Ongoing Russian attacks in Donbass
According to the General Staff in Kyiv, the Russian army again shelled dozens of places in the Donbass with artillery and aircraft. The evening report by the Ukrainian military leadership also listed eight places in the east where Russian assaults had been repelled. This included the area around the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, where the Russian advance has been stuck for weeks.
According to local authorities, a Russian rocket hit a fuel depot near the industrial city of Kryvyi Rih. The shelling also hit other places in the Dnipropetrovsk region in central Ukraine. A woman was killed and three were injured, it said.
Ukraine hopes for Johnson's successor Truss
Ukraine hopes that close cooperation with Great Britain will continue under future Prime Minister Truss, Zelenskyy said in his video address. "We know her well. She has always been on the bright side of European politics."
Before that he had said goodbye to the outgoing Prime Minister Johnson with emotional words. "They say that there are no friends in politics. But Boris - that's the case where you get along right away." He thanked Johnson on behalf of all Ukrainians for his solidarity. "Boris has been with us since the first minute of Russia's all-out war on Ukraine and Europe."
Under Johnson's leadership, Britain has provided Ukraine with strong military, political and financial support against Russia. Since the beginning of the war on February 24, the prime minister has traveled to Kyiv three times.
Gazprom speaks of design flaws in the German turbine
The Kremlin on Monday blamed the West for the lack of gas supplies and demanded that sanctions against Russia be lifted. The gas giant Gazprom referred to technical reasons that make it impossible to transport gas through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in the Baltic Sea: A Siemens Energy turbine could become dangerous due to a design flaw and should not be operated under Russian law. There is a risk of fire and explosion.
As feared abroad, Gazprom did not resume gas supplies to Europe on Saturday after scheduled turbine maintenance. The company justified this with allegedly leaking oil from the unit. The problem has also been observed in other turbines of this type, Gazprom explained. This suggests that the error was created in the construction.
Siemens Energy rejected the representation. A spokesman said the reported finding was no reason to stop operations. "Such leaks do not normally affect the operation of a turbine and can be sealed on site." The federal government considers the alleged technical problems with Nord Stream 1 to be a Russian pretext.
That's going to be important today
Russian President Vladimir Putin is traveling in his country's Far East. Among other things, he wants to attend a major military maneuver there, in which soldiers from China and India also take part.