A view shows wheat to be harvested in a field in Zaporozhye region, Ukraine. - Sputnik International

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On 24 February, Russia started a special military operation, aiming to stop the eight-year-long war being waged by Ukraine against the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. President Putin stated that Kiev's actions amount to genocide, adding that Ukrainian war criminals should be held accountable.
The Russian army and allied forces of the DPR and LPR are advancing in Donbass and on Ukrainian territory. However, Kiev's retreating troops continue to shell the territory of Donbass as well as areas surrounding Europe's largest nuclear power plant in Zaporozhye.
Since early March, the Zaporozhye NPP has been under the control of the Russian armed forces. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it has intel which shows that Kiev has been planning provocations near the NPP to later accuse Russia of "nuclear terrorism."
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03:32 GMT 26.08.2022
IAEA Director General Says Will Head Mission to Zaporozhye NPP in Next Few Days
The mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will visit the Zaporozhye nucleap power plant (NPP), Director General Rafael Grossi said, adding that he would lead the mission himself.
“Almost every day there is a new incident at or near the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant. We can’t afford to lose any more time. I’m determined to personally lead an IAEA mission to the plant in the next few days to help stabilize the nuclear safety and security situation there,” Grossi said in a statement on Thursday.
The Zaporozhye NPP, located on the left bank of the Dnieper River, is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in terms of the number of units and output. Since March, the plant has been under the control of the Russian military.
Russia and Ukraine are accusing each other of shelling the Zaporozhye NPP.
00:16 GMT 26.08.2022
Italy's Foreign Minister Holds Talks With Zelenskyy, Kuleba in Kiev - Foreign Ministry
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Thursday visited Kiev to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and Internal Affairs Minister Denys Monastyrskiy, the Italian foreign ministry said.
"The minister confirmed to the other party Italy's firm support for Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence, and freedom, as well as the strong support for its European path and its future reconstruction," the ministry said on the website.
Di Maio and the Ukrainian leadership discussed the political, financial, and humanitarian assistance provided by Rome to Kiev, as well as the sheltering of Ukrainian refugees in Italy.
Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24 in response to calls by the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk for protection from Ukrainian troops. Western countries have since been supplying arms to Ukraine and have rolled out comprehensive sanctions against Russia.
21:17 GMT 25.08.2022
Joint Coordination Center Announces New Route Under Black Sea Initiative to Export Grain
A new route to export grain under the Black Sea Initiative has been established from three Ukrainian ports, the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul announced in a statement on Thursday.
"The Joint Coordination Center (JCC) announced today a new route for merchant vessels going in and departing from the three Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi/Yuzhny under the Black Sea Grain Initiative," the statement said.
The new route is 320 nautical miles long and connects the three Ukrainian ports with the inspection areas inside Turkish territorial waters," the statement said.
The route is expected to be more efficient for the vessels to export the grain and will come into effect on August 26, the statement added.
17:55 GMT 25.08.2022
White House Says No Plans for Any Face-to-Face Biden Meeting With Zelensky
White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday that there are no plans at present for holding an in-person meeting between US President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky.
"I don't have any visit or any announcement of a face-to-face," Jean-Pierre said in a press briefing following the phone conversation between the two leaders earlier in the day.
17:27 GMT 25.08.2022
Biden in a Phone Call With Zelensky Discussed US Support for Ukraine, Recent Military Assistance: White House
US President Joe Biden discussed by telephone with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy Washington's support for Kiev, including the latest military aid package in the amount of nearly $3 billion, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday.
"The President reiterated the United States support for Ukraine as they defend themselves from Russian aggression, including yesterday's announcement of nearly $3 billion in weapons and equipment," Jean-Pierre said.
With respect to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the United States believes that the area where the facility is located should never be an active war zone, Jean-Pierre said.
"And so, we have said Russia should agree to demilitarize the zone around the plant and agree to allow an international Atomic Energy Agency visit as soon as possible to check on the safety and security of the Systems. This is something that that did come up in the conversation," Jean-Pierre added.
16:29 GMT 25.08.2022
US Eager to Maintain Anti-Corruption Cooperation With Ukraine
The United States is committed to continue to work closely with Ukraine and fight corruption in that country, US State Department Global Anti-Corruption Coordinator Richard Nephew said on Tuesday.
"We intend to continue working very closely with Ukraine and support its anti-corruption activities," Nephew said during a press briefing.
Nephew welcomed Kiev’s commitment to address the issue of corruption in Ukraine, noting that this is one of the central topics of cooperation between the two countries.
"The Ukrainians themselves demonstrate this by the appointment of the Special Prosecutor’s office and by the efforts that they have made trying to maintain enforcement of anti-corruption legislation authorities," Nephew said.
16:13 GMT 25.08.2022
UK, Ukraine Sign Deal to Rebuild Transport Infrastructure
Transport ministers from the United Kingdom and Ukraine signed a joint action plan on Thursday that will encourage UK businesses to help Ukraine rebuild its damaged transport network.
"Experts will offer knowledge in airport, runway and port reconstruction, and will work with the Ministry of Infrastructure to identify training opportunities for airport staff, air traffic controllers and aviation security," the UK Department for Transport said.
The UK will also donate railway repair equipment and 120 shipping containers worth nearly $12 million as it looks to restore routes crucial for the exportation of Ukrainian grain.
Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov thanked UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps for his country’s support, estimated at a total of $118 million. This is on top of more than $4 billion in multilateral loan guarantees, the Department for Transport said.
14:22 GMT 25.08.2022
US Continues to Stress Need to Create Demilitarized Zone Around Zaporozhye NPP, State Dept Says
he United States continues to stress the need to create demilitarized zones around Ukrainian nuclear power facilities such as the one at Zaporozhye, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins said on Thursday.
“Of course, creating a demilitarized zone around these nuclear power plants is something that we are continuing to stress,” Jenkins said during a press briefing.
Jenkins also reiterated the Biden administration’s calls for Russia to return control of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant to Ukraine and cease military activity around nuclear sites. A radiological release from a plant would impact both nearby countries and the wider international community, Jenkins said.
14:14 GMT 25.08.2022
Two Power Units of Zaporozhye NPP Disconnected From Network, One Unit Still Operation, Head of Regional Administration Says
"Today, as a result of a strike by the armed units of Ukraine on power lines in the area of the Zaporozhye NPP, the territory of the security zone … caught fire … The relay emergency protection of ZNPP activated, two power units were turned off, after which the Zaporozhye region was left without power supply," Yevgeny Balitsky, the head of the Zaporozhye regional administration, wrote on his Telegram channel.
12:26 GMT 25.08.2022
Citi Announces Wind Down of Consumer & Local Commercial Banking in Russia
12:22 GMT 25.08.2022
Ukrainian Ambassador Says Kiev Dissatisfied With Military Assistance From Madrid
Kiev is not satisfied with the military support provided by Madrid given that the last batch of weapons was sent back in May, Ukrainian Ambassador to Spain Sergii Pogoreltsev said on Thursday.

"I cannot say that we are satisfied, and that we are getting everything that Spain could provide," the ambassador was quoted as saying by Spanish newspaper Mundo.

Pogoreltsev added that he understood the complexity of the process, while noting that Ukraine needs "everything to be done much faster."
Mundo previously reported that the Ukrainian Defense Ministry was "surprised" and "disappointed" by Spain's military support to Kiev. According to the newspaper, after the visit of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to Kiev in April, when Spain confirmed its readiness to help Ukraine "to the best of its ability," the only ammunition that reached Kiev was a batch of light defensive means, an armored ambulance, anti-tank weapons and a machine gun.
Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles later assured that Ukraine was "very grateful" for Spain's humanitarian assistance and its supply of equipment.
12:02 GMT 25.08.2022
Number of Russian Military Personnel to Increase by 137,000, Reach 1.15 Million
A soldier at the Russian Army Festival in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.08.2022
Russia
Number of Russian Military Personnel to Increase by 137,000, Reach 1.15 Million
11:53 GMT 25.08.2022
Number of Russian Military Personnel to Increase by 137,000, Reach 1.15 Million
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree to increase the number of military personnel by 137,000 to 1,150,628.
The corresponding decree is published on the official Internet portal of legal information.

"Establish the number of the armed forces of the Russian Federation in the amount of 2,039,758, including 1,150,628 military personnel," the decree read.

10:39 GMT 25.08.2022
IAEA Mission to ZNPP to Include Experts in Monitoring Safety of Enriched Uranium Stocks, Security Experts to Assess Shelling, Reports Say
10:37 GMT 25.08.2022
IAEA Head Says Agreement on ZNPP Mission Close, Moscow And Kiev Agree Is Necessary
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi said on Thursday that an agreement to send the agency’s mission to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is close, adding that Moscow and Kiev agree that it is necessary.

Grossi met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Thursday to discuss issues related to the Zaporozhye NPP.

The IAEA chief told the France 24 broadcaster that the agreement on the mission is "very close" and experts should depart in the near future.
10:37 GMT 25.08.2022
Germany's 'Absolute Deficit' in Weapon Reserves Impedes Supplies to Ukraine, FM Baerbock Says
Ukrainian servicemen walk in front of armoured cars at Kiev airport on March 25, 2015 during a welcoming ceremony of the first US plane delivery of non-lethal aid, including 10 Humvee vehicles. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.08.2022
Germany's 'Absolute Deficit' in Weapon Reserves Impedes Supplies to Ukraine, FM Baerbock Says
10:22 GMT 25.08.2022
MoD: Russian Iskander Missile Hits Railway Station, Eliminating 200 Ukrainian Troops
In this handout video grab released by the Russian Defence Ministry, Iskander short-range ballistic missile system is used in the course of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, at the unknown location - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.08.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
MoD: Russian Iskander Missile Hits Railway Station, Eliminating 200 Ukrainian Troops
09:59 GMT 25.08.2022
Three Grain Cargo Ships Leave Ukraine Under Grain Deal, Turkish MoD Says

"As part of grain shipments, as of this morning, two vessels left the port of Odessa and one left the port of Yuzhne. Apart from that, one ship coming from Ukraine and five ships heading to the country will be inspected today," the ministry's statement read.

09:27 GMT 25.08.2022
Moscow: Russian and French Defense Ministers Discuss Situation Around Zaporozhye NPP in Phone Talks

"On August 25, 2022, at the initiative of the French side, the first telephone conversation took place between the Russian defense minister ... and the French defense minister ... We discussed the situation around the Zaporozhye NPP", the ministry said in a statement.

08:16 GMT 25.08.2022
Russia's FSB Foils Terror Attack in Kaliningrad Planned by Supporter of Azov Neo-Nazis - Video
A bulletproof vest and a walkie-talkie of an FSB agent - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.08.2022
Russia
Russia's FSB Foils Terror Attack in Kaliningrad Planned by Supporter of Azov Neo-Nazis - Video
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