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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Aug 18 (Reuters) - Russia said on Thursday it could shut down Europe's largest nuclear power plant after it came under shelling on the front lines in Ukraine, a move Kyiv said would increase the risk of a nuclear catastrophe there.


* Russia's foreign ministry rejected a proposal by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres to demilitarise the area around the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, saying it would make the facility "more vulnerable".

* Three civilians were killed and 17 wounded in a pre-dawn rocket attack on the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, the local emergency service said. The strike followed a Russian attack on Kharkiv on Wednesday, in which the emergencies service said 12 people were killed. Russia denies deliberately targeting civilians.

* Reuters could not confirm battlefield reports independently.


* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said after talks in the western city of Lviv with Guterres that he had agreed the parameters of a possible mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the Zaporizhzhia nulcear plant.

* Russia and Ukraine accused each other of planning a "provocation" at the Zaporizhzhia plant.

* Guterres urged Russia and Ukraine to show a "spirit of compromise" to ensure the continued success of a U.N.-brokered deal that enabled Kyiv to resume grain exports from its Black Sea ports.

* Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan also joined the talks in Lviv with Zelenskiy and Guterres and said they had discussed possible ways of ending the war.

* Russia's foreign ministry said Moscow would only use its nuclear arsenal in "emergency circumstances" and that it has no interest in a direct confrontation with NATO and the United States.

* Russia's defence ministry said three MiG-31E warplanes equipped with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles had been relocated to its Kaliningrad region bordering NATO members Poland and Lithuania, Interfax reported.


* One more ship carrying grain has left Ukraine's Chornomorsk port, Turkey's defence ministry said, bringing the total number of vessels to leave Ukraine's Black Sea ports under the U.N.-brokered grain export deal to 25.


"This deliberate terror on the part of the aggressor can have global catastrophic consequences for the whole world," Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app, referring to the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

(Compiled by Alison Williams and Gareth Jones)

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