As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 172nd day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here are the key events from Sunday, August 14.
- Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the latest round of shelling around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, which is in Russia’s control and has come under fire repeatedly in the past week.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday said any Russian soldier who shoots at the plant or uses it as cover would become a “special target”, repeating accusations that Moscow was using the power station as nuclear “blackmail”.
- Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak accused Russia of “hitting the part of the nuclear power plant where the energy that powers the south of Ukraine is generated”.
- Pro-Moscow officials in the occupied area have blamed the shelling on Ukrainian forces, with Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Moscow-installed administration, saying the Zaporizhzhia plant, and the town where it is located, Energodar, “are again under fire by Zelenskyy’s militants”.
- Western powers have expressed increasing concern over the plant since Russian forces took control of the facility in early March. They have called on Moscow to withdraw its troops from the plant, which is still run by Ukrainian technicians.
- The United Kingdom’s military intelligence said Russia’s priority in the last week has likely been to “reorient units to reinforce southern Ukraine” amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
- The head of the North American department at the Russian foreign ministry has said any possible seizure of Russian assets by the US will completely destroy Moscow’s bilateral relations with Washington, according to the TASS news agency. The US has seized billions of dollars of assets of Russians under sanctions since the invasion began.
- Russia has also told the US that diplomatic ties would be badly damaged and could even be broken off if Washington declares Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism”, TASS cited a top foreign ministry official as saying. Zelenskyy and several US legislators have called for Russia to be designated as such.
- Two more ships left from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports on Saturday, Turkey’s defence ministry said, bringing the total number of ships to depart the country under a United Nations-brokered deal to 16.
- A UN-chartered ship, MV Brave Commander, is set to become the first humanitarian food shipment for Africa to depart from Ukraine since the Russian invasion. A UN official has said the ship will travel in the coming days from the Ukrainian port of Pivdennyi to Ethiopia along the Black Sea corridor brokered by the UN and Turkey. It is set to carry 23,0000 tonnes of wheat.
- Zelenskyy’s chief economic adviser has said securing a new $5bn loan from the IMF would help assure Ukraine’s other creditors that its macroeconomic situation was under control.
- The US has expressed concern that an Indian ship earlier this year used a high-seas transfer to export fuel to New York made from Russian crude, a top Indian central banker said. US sanctions on Russia prohibit imports to the US of Russian-origin energy products, including crude oil, refined fuels, distillates, coal and gas.
- Hungary said Russia has begun to deliver additional gas to the country following a July visit to Moscow by its foreign minister. Hungary has resisted European Union’s efforts to reduce Russian gas consumption.