Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest of its kind in Europe, was seized by Russian forces on Friday, after an attack that started a fire close to one of its six reactors. No release of radiation was reported, but Ukrainian officials said workers had not been able to check all the safety infrastructure in the wake of the attack.
An emergency of the UN security council was summoned following the attack on the Zaporizhzhia NPP. The US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the world narrowly averted a “nuclear catastrophe” and condemned Russia’s actions as “reckless” and “dangerous”.
Seven people were killed, including two children, after a Russian air strike hit a rural residential area in the Kyiv region on Friday, Ukrainian police said. Police said the strike hit the village of Markhalivka, around 6 miles from the southwestern outskirts of the Ukrainian capital.
The Ukrainian city of Mariupol has no water, heat or electricity and is running out of food after coming under attack by Russian forces for the past five days, its mayor said in a televised appeal. He called for a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from the south-eastern port city.
Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg warned the days to come are “likely to be worse”, calling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “the worst military aggression in Europe for decades”. But he stressed Nato was a “defensive alliance” and not seeking a war with Russia.
Nato foreign ministers discussed a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine but agreed that Nato planes should not operate over Ukrainian airspace, Stoltenberg said. He also said Nato had evidence Russia was using cluster bombs.
Russia’s parliament passed a law imposing a jail term of up to 15 years for spreading intentionally “fake” information about the armed forces. Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper said it will remove material on Russia’s military actions in Ukraine from its website.
The BBC is temporarily suspending the work of all its journalists and staff in Russia. BBC director general Tim Davie said the new legislation appeared to “criminalise the process of independent journalism”.
Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor said it had decided to block access to the Facebook network in Russia. It added that there had been 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media by Facebook since October 2020.
More than 1.2m people have fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries since Russia launched its full-scale invasion on 24 February, the UN said, including about half a million children.
The UN human rights council overwhelmingly voted to create a top-level investigation into violations committed following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with 32 members of the 47-seat council in favour and only Russia and Eritrea voting against.