It is 7.27am in Ukraine as Russia’s war on its neighbour enters its ninth day. Here is where the crisis stands:
- A fire broke out in a training building outside a nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia in the early hours of Friday, after being shelled by Russian forces, Ukrainian authorities said. An employee at the plant said Russian forces had fired on the facility and there was “a real threat of nuclear danger at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe”.
- After burning for at least four hours amid reports Russian troops had prevented emergency teams from attending to the blaze, Ukrainian emergency services confirmed the blaze was extinguished at 6.20am local time. Fighting at the plant has also reportedly stopped, according to the mayor of Enerhodar, a town located south-east of the plant.
- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) earlier said it had put its Incident and Emergency Centre in “full 24/7 response mode” due to the “serious situation” unfolding at Zaporizhzhia.
- However, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm provided reassurance surrounding the Zaporizhzhia power plant reactors, saying there was no elevated radiation readings near the facility and the plant’s reactors are “protected by robust containment structures and reactors are being safely shut down.”
- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy made another appeal to Europe for help following the attack on the nuclear plant. He said: We warn everyone that not a single nation ever shelled nuclear power stations. For the first time in the history of humankind, the terrorist state commits nuclear terrorism.
- British prime minister Boris Johnson called Russian president Vladimir Putin’s “reckless actions” a danger to the safety of Europe.
- Russian forces continue to control both local and regional government buildings in the strategically important Black Sea port of Kherson, local authorities said. Russian forces appeared to be moving to cut Ukraine off from the sea via its key southern ports, claiming the capture of Kherson and tightening the siege of Mariupol.
- Concern is mounting over the movements of a huge column of Russian military vehicles outside Kyiv. While a US defence official suggested it appeared to have “stalled”, there was also speculation that an estimated 15,000 troops attached to it may be regrouping and waiting for logistical supplies before an assault on Kyiv.
- In a televised speech shortly after his 90-minute call with Macron, Putin claimed Russian military operations in Ukraine were going according to plan. The president went on to accuse Ukrainian forces of using civilians as “human shields” while providing no evidence.