war | Governor in Belgorod: situation is uncertain

Day 465 since the beginning of the war: The Russian region of Belgorod is said to have been attacked again. Wagner boss expresses suspicion about the Kremlin. All information in the news blog.

The most important things at a glance

Russia reports new shelling on Belgorod region

10:55 p.m.: In the Russian border region of Belgorod, two people were killed and six others injured in a new massive shelling from the Ukrainian side, according to the authorities. Heavy projectiles fell on private property in a village near the border town of Valuiki, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said on Friday evening. Two children were among the injured. He also published a photo of a burning property. Gladkow spoke of an unsafe situation in the region due to the shelling that had been going on for days.

IAEA: Zaporizhia nuclear plant has been without an emergency power line for three months

9:57 p.m.: According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Russian-occupied Ukrainian nuclear power plant at Zaporizhia has been without an external emergency power supply for three months. That makes the nuclear power plant extremely vulnerable in the event that the only functioning main power line fails again, according to a statement by the IAEA on Friday.

The IAEA in Vienna is concerned that a failure of the cooling systems could lead to overheating of the fuel rods and nuclear waste, and thus to a nuclear accident. Since the occupation of the largest European nuclear power plant by Russian troops in March 2022, the power supply to the power plant has failed several times. In such cases, cooling is provided by the existing diesel generators. In the most recent such incident, it was said that there would be enough fuel for ten days. According to the IAEA, the power plant had four external power lines available before the war.

The statement went on to say that last week the IAEA team on site reported hearing two landmine explosions right in front of the nuclear power plant site. This again illustrates the tense situation given the intense speculation about imminent military action in the region. For a long time there have been speculations about a Ukrainian counter-offensive in southern Ukraine, which also envisages a recapture of the nuclear power plant.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (archive photo): The IAEA in Vienna is concerned that a failure of the cooling systems could lead to a nuclear accident. (Quelle: Konstantin Mihalchevskiy/imago images)

Booby traps for Wagner fighters? Prigozhin attacks Ministry

9:17 p.m.: According to Russian mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry have planted explosive devices intended to hit his fighters. His men have discovered a dozen locations behind the front lines where officials have hidden various explosive devices – including hundreds of anti-tank mines, he writes on Telegram. When asked, the officials referred to orders from their superiors.

Given the location of the explosive devices, it could be assumed that they were intended for his Wagner mercenaries. “We assume that was an attempt at public punishment.” There was no comment from the Ministry of Defense. Prigozhin has repeatedly clashed with the regular military.

Interview: “Putin wants to ruin the West”

Russian President Putin: Relations between Moscow and Tbilisi are tense.
Vladimir Putin: The Russian President remains committed to his war goals in Ukraine. (Source: IMAGO/Mikhail Klimentyev)

Wagner boss: 99 percent of troops withdrawn from Bachmut

8:31 p.m.: The Russian private army Wagner has almost completed its announced withdrawal from the captured eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, according to its chief Yevgeny Prigozhin. Prigozhin announced on Friday evening that 99 percent of the units had left the city. “All positions have been handed over to the (Russian) Ministry of Defense in the appropriate order.” Everything has been clarified, said Prigozhin, who had announced the withdrawal for early June.

According to earlier information, only two Wagner men are to remain to support the regular Russian army in its control of the city in the Donetsk region. Prigozhin said there were no more “provocations” by the Ukrainian armed forces.


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