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• UN chief Antonio Guterres said after talks with the Ukrainian and Turkish presidents in Lviv that he was gravely concerned by the situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, calling for military equipment and personnel to be withdrawn. Russia’s foreign ministry quickly rejected his proposal to demilitarize the area. READ MORE BELOW

• Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the world did not want “another Chernobyl,” warning of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine during his first face-to-face talks with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, echoing pleas from the UN secretary general. Erdogan is reportedly set to discuss the issue with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

• According to Ukraine’s state nuclear company, Russian forces are planning to disconnect the nuclear power plant from the Ukrainian power grid. In a statement, Energoatom said it believed Russia was preparing a “large-scale provocation” there, while Moscow accused Kyiv of preparing a “provocation” at the site on Thursday.

• Guterres is now expected to head to the conflict-scarred southern Ukrainian port of Odessa, from where boats have started shipping Ukrainian grain again after an UN-brokered agreement to lift a blockade on exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports was reached in July.

• At least four more explosions have hit Crimea in an area near the Belbek military airport north of Sevastopol, according to local sources. However, a pro-Moscow official on the peninsula said no damage had been done.

• Seventeen people were killed and 42 wounded in two separate Russian attacks on Kharkiv, the regional governor said on Thursday, while a further five rockets hit the city early on Friday killing at least one person. Britain’s defense ministry said Russia is targeting the city to tie down Ukrainian forces and prevent them from joining counter-attacks in other regions.

• The U.S. is preparing about $800 million of additional military aid to Ukraine and could announce it as soon as Friday, according to Reuters sources.

• Two Russian villages near the Ukraine border were evacuated after a nearby ammunition storage depot caught fire. No one was injured during the incident, an official said.

• The outlook for Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, is gloomy amid sky-rocketing energy price rises, supply chain disruptions, and a record jump in producer prices, according to the country’s finance ministry.

• The Russian ruble has firmed to a near four-week high against the U.S. dollar, supported by month-end tax payments that have boosted demand for the Russian currency.

All stars, no bucks: Staff members in Moscow prepare to launch a new coffee shop following Starbucks’ exit from the Russian market. /Maxim Shemetov/Reuters


UN, Turkish, Ukraine leaders meet in Lviv

The UN chief and the presidents of Türkiye and Ukraine have discussed ways to end the Ukraine conflict and secure Europe’s largest nuclear power station, as Russia and Ukraine continue to trade accusations of new shelling near the plant.

UN Secretary-General Guterres told reporters after talks in Lviv, Ukraine, on Thursday he was deeply concerned about events at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and called for the area’s demilitarization.  

Türkiye’s President Erdogan said he, Guterres and Zelenskyy had discussed building on a recent positive steps on a grain export deal to revive peace talks with Russia that took place in Istanbul in March.

In a deal brokered by the UN and Türkiye, Moscow and Kyiv reached an agreement in July to lift a blockade of Ukrainian grain shipments, with exports resuming at the beginning of August.

Guterres will head to the southern Ukrainian port of Odessa to check in on the shipments, which are helping to alleviate a global food crisis exacerbated by the conflict.

NATO member Türkiye has maintained good relations with Russia, an important trade partner, and sought to mediate in the conflict.

“Personally, I maintain my belief that the war will ultimately end at the negotiating table. Mr Zelenskyy and Mr Guterres have the same opinion in this regard,” Erdogan said.

Published By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka

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