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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

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The U.N. nuclear watchdog is due to issue a report on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine on Tuesday, a day after shelling cut its electricity supplies for the second time in two weeks and raised fears of catastrophe.

ENERGY

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* International Atomic Energy Agency said Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has enough electricity to operate safely, will be reconnected to the grid once backup power restored. IAEA to issue a report on Ukraine, including the plant, on Tuesday and brief the U.N. Security Council.

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* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned of a near “radiation catastrophe” and said the shelling showed Russia “does not care what the IAEA will say.”

* European gas prices soared on Monday as Russia kept its main gas pipeline to Germany shut, bringing fears of a bleak winter for consumers and businesses across the continent.

* The Kremlin blamed Western sanctions for the pipeline outages, saying they were “causing chaos” in maintenance work. It also warned it would retaliate if the West followed through with the Group of Seven proposal to impose a cap on the price of Russian oil.

* EU energy ministers will meet on Sept. 9 to discuss urgent measures to tackle soaring energy prices including gas price caps and emergency credit lines for energy market participants, a document seen by Reuters showed.

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* Germany will use income from windfall taxes to lower end-consumer prices of gas, oil and coal, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Sunday.

BATTLEFIELD REPORTS

* Ukraine made its boldest claim yet of success on the battlefield in its week-old counter-offensive against Russian forces in the south. Ukrainian officials posted an image online of three soldiers raising Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag on a rooftop purportedly in Vysokopyllya, in the north of Kherson.

* Ukraine’s southern command said on Tuesday that four Russian ammunition depots had been destroyed in three districts of Kherson region in the previous 24 hours.

* In a rare acknowledgment of the Ukrainian counter-offensive, TASS news agency on Monday quoted a Moscow-installed official in the Kherson region as saying plans for a referendum on joining Russia had been put on hold due to the security situation.

* U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday said Russia should not be designated a state sponsor of terrorism, a label Ukraine has pushed for but which Moscow has warned would rupture U.S.-Russian ties.

(Compiled by Michael Perry)



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