- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.
Zaporozhye NPP cooling pools. - Sputnik International

LIVE UPDATES: Ukrainian Forces Shelling Zaporozhye NPP Again, Local Authorities Say

Russia began its special military operation "to demiltiarize and de-Nazify" Ukraine on February 24 in response to calls by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) for protection from Ukrainian troops.
Russian armed forces along with Donbass Republics forces continue advancing amid the special operation in Ukraine, having liberated the territory of the Lugansk People's Republic from Kiev's troops last month. At the same time, Ukrainian forces continue to carry out attacks against civilians in Donbass.
Earlier this month, the head of Zaporozhye Region signed a decree on holding a referendum on joining Russia.
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Table of contents
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01:34 GMT 12.08.2022
Ukraine's Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Station (file photo) - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.08.2022
Russia Awaits UN Chief to Clarify Proposal on Demilitarizing Zaporozhye Plant - Nebenzia
20:42 GMT 11.08.2022
Russia Stands Ready to Help Organize IAEA Mission to Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant - Nebenzia
Russia is prepared to help resolve all organizational issues to facilitate a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and hopes such a visit will possibly take place before the end of the month, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said on Thursday.

"For our part, we stand ready to provide all possible assistance to resolving all organizational matters," Nebenzia said during a UN Security Council meeting. "We believe it is justified for the IAEA representatives to go to the Zaporozhye Nuclear power plant as quickly as possible and possibly even before the end of August."
18:30 GMT 11.08.2022
A man walks in front of a tower of the Kremlin and the Russian Foreign Ministry building in central Moscow on September 10, 2020. - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.08.2022
Moscow: Latvia Designating Russia as 'State Sponsor of Terrorism' Goes Against International Law
18:06 GMT 11.08.2022
France Working With EU Partners on Issue of Schengen Visas for Russians
PARIS (Sputnik) - France is coordinating its actions with European partners on the matter of Schengen visas for Russian nationals, a representative of the country's Foreign Ministry said at a briefing on Thursday.
"The common Schengen visa policy falls within the competence of the European Union. France is closely coordinating its actions with its European partners," the representative said at a briefing in response to a question about France's reaction to the proposal to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians.
The German government earlier submitted a proposal to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens as part of the seventh sanctions package.
Moscow considers the proposals to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens a manifestation of chauvinism, Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department Ivan Nechaev said, adding that such statements by European politicians would have consequences and "they should be held accountable for."
As stressed by Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev, the proposal to deprive Russians of the right to get Schengen visas contradicts the EU's obligations in the field of human rights and the regulations of the Union itself.
The Estonian authorities have made a decision to ban Russian citizens with Estonia-issued Schengen visas from entering its territory, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said on Thursday.
The European Commission said last week that the 26-nation borderless Schengen area cannot completely stop issuing visas to Russians. It suggested that EU member states could decide for themselves whether to consider each application for a short-term tourist visa on an individual basis.
17:47 GMT 11.08.2022
Ex-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Visits Donbass, Meets With DPR, LPR Heads
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council and former president Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that he visited Donbass to meet with the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik.

"On Thursday, I visited the Lugansk People's Republic, where I met with the heads of LPR and DPR, Leonid Pasechnik and the DPR Denis Pushilin. On behalf of the president of the Russian Federation [Vladimir Putin], I chaired a meeting on priority measures to ensure the security of the Donbass republics," Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel.
17:14 GMT 11.08.2022
IAEA Mission to Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant Postponed Due to Safety Concerns
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations believes the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant was postponed because of safety concerns and also due to other issues that need to be worked out, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday.
"The devil is in the details," Dujarric said. "You are organizing a mission of international civil servants into a conflict zone where the front lines are often murky. So there is the issue of safety."
Dujartic also said there are "all sorts of other issues" that must be worked out before the IAEA is sent and doing so takes time.
17:13 GMT 11.08.2022
UN Stands Against Discrimination Regarding Estonia PM’s Call to Deny Russians Visas
13:53 GMT 11.08.2022
Nuclear Arms Use in Ukraine Would Be Unacceptable, Cause 'Severe Consequences' - STRATCOM
Any use of nuclear weapons in the Ukraine conflict would be unacceptable and lead to severe consequences, US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) chief Adm. Charles Richard said on Thursday.

"Make no mistake today, we're ready. And as our president said, any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict at any scale, would be completely unacceptable to us, as well as the rest of the world and would entail severe consequences," Richard said. "And every day at STRATCOM, our forces in the field remain ready to do whatever the president orders us to do, while continuously reassessing the situation and adjusting as necessary."
13:34 GMT 11.08.2022
Ukrainian Forces Shell Zaporozhye NPP, There Were No Casualties, Local Authorities Say
11:49 GMT 11.08.2022
Guterres Urges Deal on Safe Perimeter of Demilitarization at Zaporozhye NPP
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for agreement on a safe perimeter of demilitarization to ensure the safety of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

"I urge the parties to withdraw any military personnel and equipment from the plant and refrain from any further deployment of forces or equipment to the site. The facility must not be used as part of any military operation. Instead, urgent agreement is needed at a technical level on a safe perimeter of demilitarization to ensure the safety of the area," he said.

The UN continues to support the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and its efforts to ensure the operations of the power plant, Guterres added.

"We must be clear that any potential damage to Zaporozhye or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, or anywhere else, could lead to catastrophic consequences not only for the immediate vicinity, but for the region and beyond. This is wholly unacceptable," he warned.
11:34 GMT 11.08.2022
Idea to Ban Visas for Russians is Unlikely to Receive Unanimous Support in EU, Reports Say
The proposal to ban the issuance of Schengen visas to Russian citizens is unlikely to receive unanimous support at the pan-European level, the Spanish newspaper Mundo writes.
"A complete restriction on the entry of Russian citizens is still far from Europe's capabilities, at least in the near future. It is unlikely that this idea will achieve universal support," the message says.
10:44 GMT 11.08.2022
Estonia to Close Border for Russian Citizens With Schengen Visas Issued By Republic: Foreign Ministry
Estonia will close its border for Russian citizens with Schengen visas issued by the republic, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said on Thursday.

"A week later, a sanction will be applied to Schengen visas issued to Russian citizens by Estonia. The sanction means that visas will remain valid. However, visa holders will be sanctioned when entering Estonia, that is, they will be banned from entering Estonia," the foreign minister said at a government press conference.

At the same time, there will be several exceptions to this rule, according to Reinsalu.

"The sanction will not be applied to employees of diplomatic missions in Estonia and members of their families. Persons engaged in international transport of goods or passengers. Persons entitled to free movement under EU law. Persons who need to enter Estonia for humanitarian reasons, and close relatives of persons who have Estonian citizenship or a permanent residence permit in Estonia," the minister explained.

Moreover, the ban will apply only to visas issued by Estonia, it will not affect visas issued by other Schengen countries, Reinsalu said.

"The government intends to discuss ways to prevent all Russian citizens with Schengen visas from entering Estonia next week," the Estonian foreign minister added.
09:54 GMT 11.08.2022
Russian Air Defense Intercepted 4 MLRS Shells Near Lisichansk, Destroyed 7 Drones in Kharkov Region - MoD
09:52 GMT 11.08.2022
Russian Air Defense Has Shot Down Seven Ukrainian Drones in 24 Hours - MoD
09:52 GMT 11.08.2022
Russian Fighter Shoots Down Ukrainian Mi-24 Helicopter - Russian MoD
09:37 GMT 11.08.2022
A Painful Response is Likely for Latvia, Which Has Declared that Russia ‘Supports Terrorism’, Russian Senator Says
Moscow, in response to Latvia's decision to recognize Russia as a country which supports terrorism, may take retaliatory measures which are painful for Riga, which are primarily economic in nature, Senator Sergei Tsekov said.
09:33 GMT 11.08.2022
Hungarian Ministry of Technology and Industry Says Oil is Flowing Back Into Country Via Druzhba Pipeline
Oil supplies from Russia to Hungary through the Druzhba pipeline have resumed, the Hungarian Ministry of Technology and Industry said on Thursday.

"Since night hours, oil has been continuously flowing from Russia through Ukraine to Hungary via the Druzhba pipeline," the ministry said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Transneft said that Ukrtransnafta had stopped pumping Russian oil through the southern branch of the Druzhba oil pipeline system to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, since the Russian side could not make a payment for transit due to EU sanctions. Hungary’s MOL and Slovakia’s Slovnaft have decided to pay for the transit themselves to solve the issue.
09:11 GMT 11.08.2022
Latvian Foreign Minister Says Legislation Will Be Amended, Residents of Latvia Will Not Be Given Residence Permit After Obtaining Russian Citizenship
Latvia's legislation will be amended, so that inhabitants of the country will be deprived of a residence permit and will have to leave the state in the event of obtaining Russian citizenship, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Thursday.

"Russia is going to consider the possibility of simplifying the granting of citizenship to Russians living in the Baltic countries... In this case, newly minted citizens of Russia will not be granted a residence permit [in Latvia] and they will have to leave Latvia. It will be necessary to make appropriate clarifications in the national legislation," Rinkevics wrote on social networks.
09:06 GMT 11.08.2022
Switzerland Has Lost Its Neutral Status and Cannot Represent Kiev's Interests in Russia - Moscow
09:03 GMT 11.08.2022
Latvian Parliament Declares Russia a State Sponsor of Terrorism
The Latvian parliament on Thursday decided to designate Russia as a "state that supports terrorism."

The parliament adopted a motion, in which "Russia is recognized as a state that supports terrorism," while Moscow's actions against the population of Ukraine are designated as "terrorism."
In response to the US mulling the possibility of designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, Moscow has said that it may sever diplomatic relations with Washington.
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