In a nightly address Zelensky said Russia has held the power plant hostage for more than year and continues to use it for “radiation blackmail of the world.” The longer the Russian occupation of the plant continues, “the greater will be the threat to the security of Ukraine, the whole of Europe and the world,” he said.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- “Russia’s plans certainly cannot be affected by such a reaction,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Monday when asked about the Western reaction to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement over the weekend on moving nuclear weapons to Belarus.
- Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Russian Security Council, said Monday that Russia has “advanced unique weapons to eliminate any adversary,” and he accused NATO nations of providing Kyiv with weapons and intelligence. Patrushev said in an interview with state-run Rossiyskaya Gazeta that it was “dangerous” and “shortsighted foolishness” for American officials to believe that, in case of direct conflict with Russia, the United States “can deliver a preemptive missile strike” and that “Russia won’t be able to retaliate.”
- The European Union’s foreign policy chief said the bloc “stands ready to respond with further sanctions”if Belarus hosts Russian tactical nuclear arms. Josep Borrell called the plan a “threat to European security,” though European and U.S. officials played down any immediate risk. “Belarus can still stop it; it is their choice,” Borrell said.
- Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry called for an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council to counter what it described as “the Kremlin’s nuclear blackmail.”
- NATO called Russia’s nuclear rhetoric “dangerous and irresponsible” and said it was “closely monitoring the situation.”
- Grossi plans to visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant this week for the second time since the IAEA installed a permanent crew there in September, according to a statementissued Saturday. “The situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant is still precarious,” Grossi said in the statement.
- Germany delivered 18 Leopard tanks to Ukraine on Monday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmedduring a news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Rotterdam. Der Spiegel reported earlier that the Leopard tanks and “around 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, with which Germany is supporting Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invaders, have also arrived in the war zone.” The German Defense Ministry declined The Washington Post’s request for comment Monday.
- Ukraine received its first British main battle tanks, along with other Western-made armored vehicles. Ukraine Oleksii Reznikov said Monday they had received Strykers (armored vehicles) and Cougars (mine-resistant ambush-protected and infantry mobility vehicle) from the United States and Challengers (main battle tanks) from Britain-as well as Marders (infantry fighting vehicle) from Germany. “Even a year ago, no one could have thought that the support of partners would be so powerful,” he said in a Facebook post.
- Zelensky visited troops in the contested Zaporizhzhia region, according to his Telegram page. “I am honored to be here today, next to our military,” the Ukrainian leader wrote under a video that showed him awarding medals to soldiers in the southern region. Zelensky has visited several spots on the front lines recently, including some areas of fierce fighting such as Bakhmut. He also on Monday visited the southern city of Nikopol, in the Dnipropetrovsk region, which is under constantly being shelled by Russian forces, according to his office.
- Defending Bakhmut is a “military necessity,” Ukraine’s ground forces commander, Col. Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, said in a Telegram post Monday after visiting the embattled city. While it is unclear when Syrsky’s visit took place, the commander said troops were facing “the most intense phase” of the lengthy fight for the eastern city. Russia continued to attack the embattled city as a Ukrainian counteroffensive loomed. Ukraine’s military said Monday that its forces still hold the eastern city.
- Russia’s continued attacks on Bakhmut are not only “pointless, but actually harmful” to Moscow as it prepares for an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive in the coming weeks, according to analysts from the Institute for the Study of War think tank. Ukraine’s military said in an operational update Monday that Russia “continues to storm” the city but that Ukrainian troops were holding it…..
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