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Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

(Adds Russian account of shelling, latest on reactors, quote)

Aug 26 (Reuters) - The world narrowly escaped a radiation disaster when electricity to Europe's largest nuclear power plant was cut for hours, Ukraine's president said, urging international bodies to act faster to force Russian troops to vacate the site.


* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russian shelling had sparked fires on Thursday in the ash pits of a nearby coal power station that disconnected the reactor complex from the power grid. Russia's defence ministry blamed Ukraine, saying its forces had destroyed the Ukrainian gun responsible.

* Back-up diesel generators ensured power supply that is vital for cooling and safety systems at the plant, Zelenskiy said late on Thursday.

* State nuclear company Energoatom said on Friday that electricity for the plant's own needs was being supplied through a power line from Ukraine's electricity system, and work to resume the operations of the plant's two functioning reactors was ongoing, with one now operating at 10% capacity.


* The Ukraine military said its forces had repulsed Russian assaults on the towns of Bakhmut and Soledar in the eastern Donetsk region and struck ammunition depots and enemy personnel in the southern Kherson region.

* Ukrainian forces used a U.S.-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launcher to fire about 10 rockets at the town of Stakhanov in the eastern Donbas region before dawn on Friday, according to pro-Moscow breakaway officials in Luhansk quoted by Russia's TASS news agency.

Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports of either side.


* In Washington, the White House said on Thursday that Russia should agree to a demilitarized zone around the nuclear plant and allow the world nuclear body, the International Atomic Energy Agency, to visit as soon as possible to check on the safety and security of the system. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy earlier spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden by phone.


* "The situation is still very, very dangerous," a German foreign ministry spokesperson said, referring to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. "We strongly condemn the occupation of the nuclear power plant by Russian troops."

(Reporting by Max Hunder and Olzhas Auyezov; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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