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Kyiv and Moscow accused each other on Friday of striking near Ukraine’s nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, Europe’s largest, on a day when three new grain shipments critical to world food security left Ukrainian ports.

At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Sochi in southwestern Russia, on the shores of the Black Sea, where they decided to “strengthen trade exchanges” between their countries. mutual expectations in the economy and energy sector”, according to the Kremlin.

Mr. Erdogan’s efforts Mr. Putin thanked.

For its part, the NGO Amnesty International accused the Ukrainian military of endangering civilian lives in its war with Russia, while local officials said a Russian attack on Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine injured 22 people.

Work stoppage near nuclear power plant

The situation at the Zaporijjia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian occupation since early March, was confused on Friday evening, with Kyiv and Moscow denying responsibility for “three strikes” near one of its reactors.

“Despite provocations by the Russians, the plant continues to operate and supplies electricity to Ukraine’s energy system. Based on their capacity, it was decided to decommission one of the reactors,” Ukrainian state-owned Energoatom said. .

However, “there are risks of hydrogen leakage and sprinkling of radioactive materials. The risk of fire is high,” he warned.

The Russian military, for its part, condemned “acts of nuclear terrorism” in a press release about “artillery fire” by “Ukrainian armed forces” “against the Zaporizhia power station and the city of Enerkodar”.

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday that the situation at the Zaporizhia power plant was “volatile” and becoming “more and more dangerous by the day”.

When the plant was taken over, the Russian military opened fire on buildings on the site, posing a major nuclear accident risk.

Convoys in the Black Sea

At the same time, five days after the first cargo ship expected in Lebanon left Odesa (southern Ukraine) on Sunday, carrying Ukrainian grain since the start of the Russian offensive, three more shipments, including corn, left Ukraine. In a statement, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.

Regular cycles must continue to supply agricultural markets.

The three ships will serve Ireland, the UK and Turkey, the Turkish ministry said. At the same time, he pointed out, a building to load grain and towards the port of Chernomorsk (southern Ukraine), which should reach on Saturday, said Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.

Russia and Ukraine have signed two separate agreements, verified by Turkey and the United Nations, that allow exports of conflict-immobilized Ukrainian grain and Russian agricultural products despite Western sanctions. They are expected to help ease a global food crisis that has seen prices rise in some poor countries due to blockades of Ukrainian ports.

However, food prices fell sharply in July, driven by prices of cereals and vegetable oils, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported on Friday.

Amnesty accepts its conclusions

Infuriating Ukraine, Amnesty International, in a report released Thursday after a four-month investigation, accused the Ukrainian military of setting up bases in schools and hospitals and launching attacks from residential areas. This violated “international humanitarian law,” the NGO said.

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In response President Volodymyr Zelensky accused him of “attempting to grant amnesty to the Russian state of terror” and “shifting responsibility from the aggressor to the victim”.

On Friday, Amnesty International confirmed its “findings” in full, “based on evidence obtained in a wide range of investigations subject to the same rigorous standards and vetting process” as all its usual work.

However, the NGO stressed in its statement that Ukrainian tactics “in no way justify the indiscriminate Russian attacks that have affected the population”.

Another strike on Mykolaiv

On the ground, the Russians again bombed the town of Mykolaiv, far to the south, on Friday.

The result: 22 people were injured, including a 13-year-old boy, and several houses were damaged, according to its mayor Oleksandr Senkevich.

The region’s governor, Vitaly Kim, said a curfew had been introduced in the city until Monday morning to neutralize Russian “collaborators”.

Ukrainian forces are currently conducting a counteroffensive in the south, where they claim to have retaken more than 50 villages that fell from Russian forces.

This article was published automatically. Sources: ats / afp

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