Content ID

332860

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

(Adds evacuation plan, attack on Russian-installed official)

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.

NUCLEAR PLANT

* The Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant resumed electricity supplies to Ukraine on Friday after one of its six reactors was reconnected to the Ukrainian grid, state nuclear company Energoatom said.

* More than 18,000 people in 72 settlements in Zaporizhzhia region were without electricity as of Friday due to damage caused to powers lines, the regional administration said, without specifying which lines it was talking about.

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had 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.

FIGHTING

* Ukraine plans to expand the number of districts on the war's front lines where civilian evacuations will be mandatory, as those areas could be occupied and face central heating problems this winter, a deputy prime minister said on Friday.

* The deputy traffic police chief in the occupied Ukrainian city of Berdyansk was killed in a bombing that the town's Russian-installed administration said was carried out by "Ukrainian saboteurs", Russian state news agency TASS reported. Ukraine's Odesa regional administration said the officer was wounded in an explosion carried out by what it called unidentified partisan fighters in Berdyansk.

* 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.

DIPLOMACY

* 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.

QUOTE

* "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, Olzhas Auyezov, Tom Balmforth and Natalia Zinets; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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