No breakthrough appears to have come out of Thursday’s meeting between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as the conflict with Russia nears six months with no end in sight .
There was some hope that their summit in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv would bring progress on war-related issues, but not major steps that would lead to an end to the conflict. Even lesser agreements would require the assent of Vladimir Putin, who did not participate. Erdogan, who has tried to mediate in the dispute, said he would consult with the Russian president.
The three participants discussed on Thursday expanding prisoner-of-war exchanges and visiting UN atomic energy experts to help secure Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, which is in the middle of fierce fighting that raises fears of a catastrophe.
“The area must be demilitarized, and we must tell it like it is: any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia is suicide,” said António Guterres.
Meanwhile, Russian missile strikes that began Wednesday evening continued Thursday morning in and around the northeastern city of Kharkiv, killing at least 17 and injuring 42, Ukrainian authorities said. . Zelenskyy called the attack “despicable and cynical”.
►In the latest in a series of incidents on Russian soil near the border with Ukraine, an ammunition depot caught fire in the Belgorod region, the regional governor said. No casualties were reported.
►In the tense international climate created by the war, Russia has deployed fighter jets carrying advanced hypersonic missiles to its Kaliningrad region, which is surrounded by two NATO countries, Poland and Lithuania.
►Mariupol’s education minister and four school principals are suspected of treason, Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office said. They are accused of cooperating with Russian occupation authorities in Mariupol and leading “a pseudo-organization that organizes the educational process in the city”, the office said.
►Russian and Ukrainian officials admitted on Tuesday that an ammunition depot had exploded in northern Crimea, the British Ministry of Defense said. The Russian Defense Ministry called Tuesday’s explosions “sabotage”. A senior Ukrainian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The New York Times that an elite unit was responsible. Kyiv said the blasts destroyed nine Russian planes.
Zelenskyy and the UN reached an agreement on the visit of experts to the nuclear power plant; Russia may object
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and UN chief Antonio Guterres agreed Thursday on terms for an International Atomic Energy Agency trip to the beleaguered Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the site reported. Presidential internet.
However, the factory has been under Russian control since the start of the war, and it is uncertain whether the Kremlin will accept the visit. A Russian Foreign Ministry official rejected the idea of withdrawing the troops, saying it would leave the plant “vulnerable”.
The belligerents accuse each other of risking a nuclear calamity by bombing near the plant and, on Thursday, of plotting to attack the site and then blame the other side.
Russian Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov said his country could cease operations at the plant “if the situation with the Ukrainian shelling continues to develop negatively”.
The facility, the largest of its kind in Europe, produced 20% of Ukraine’s electricity before the war.
Starbucks’ successor in Russia has a similar aroma
The Russian successor to McDonald’s has chosen a new look and a name that bears no resemblance to that of its predecessor.
The coffee franchise replacing Starbucks in Russia has taken the opposite approach. In fact, other than the abbreviated name — Stars — it’s hard to tell the difference.
Using the same lettering and similar logo as Starbucks’ siren, Stars Coffee had its soft-opening in Moscow on Thursday with a menu that would look familiar to the legions of customers who frequent the Seattle-based chain’s ubiquitous outlets. .
Starbucks was among the most visible of hundreds of foreign companies that pulled out of Russia or suspended operations in response to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
McDonald’s, whose arrival in Moscow in 1990 was seen as a momentous occasion, was one of them, selling its approximately 850 locations to Alexander Govor. The local franchise owner opted for the Russian name Vkusno i Tochka, which roughly translates to “Tasty – and that’s it.”
Non-profit seeks to help Ukraine’s deaf community survive Russian attacks
Off-The-Grid Missions, a US-based non-profit organization, provides thousands of deaf and hard of hearing Ukrainians living in the midst of war with survival tools, including solar-powered lamps, cell phone chargers and filters for drinking water.
“When a hearing person says to people, ‘Come on, come on, come on,’ Deaf people are missing that little window of opportunity to run away,” Off-The-Grid founder Angela Maria Nardolillo told USA TODAY. by email. “The deaf are the first to be cut off from vital information and the last to get help.”
It likely happened Wednesday night when Russian missile strikes in a residential area of Kharkiv destroyed a dormitory for the deaf, among other buildings. Officials said at least 17 people were killed and 42 injured in the attack which continued on Thursday.
Off-The-Grid’s presence in Ukraine reflects a growing understanding among those tasked with responding to disasters that the unique needs of people with disabilities must be factored into preparedness plans.
Grain cargo ships continue to leave Ukraine’s unblocked ports
The 25th cargo ship carrying grain left Ukraine as part of a deal with Russia brokered by Turkey and the United Nations to unblock Ukrainian ports, according to Agence France-Presse. The ship I Maria, loaded with 33,000 tons of corn, left the port of Chornomorsk, the Ukrainian port authority said in a statement. He was to reach Egypt in a few days.
Last month, 600,000 tons of Ukrainian agricultural products were shipped to Istanbul through a corridor agreed by Moscow and Kyiv, according to the port authority. “So far, 25 ships carrying Ukrainian products (have) left the ports of Odessa, Pivdennyi and Chornomorsk for the Bosphorus Strait,” the authority said.
Russia and Ukraine are two of the largest grain exporting countries in the world. Russia won assurances that its food and fertilizer would not be sanctioned under the deal, which lifted a blockade and allowed cargo ships to start leaving Black Sea ports on August 1.
Contributor: The Associated Press