Ukraine says it has retaken more than 3000 km2 of territory from Russian forces | War in Ukraine

Ukraine says it has retaken over 3000 km2 of territory from Russian forces | War in Ukraine

The Ukrainian army says it has seen abandoned Russian tanks during its counter-offensive in the northeast of the country.

Ukrainian forces are in the process of retaking control of cities and villages around the strategic city of Izium in their counter-offensive against Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, kyiv announced on Sunday.

The liberation of parts of the territory in the Kupyansk and Izium districts of the Kharkiv region is underway, the Ukrainian General Staff announced on the 200th day of the conflict. kyiv had earlier announced that its troops had entered Kupyansk.

In early September, the Ukrainian army first announced a counter-offensive in the south, before to carry out during the past week a surprise and lightning breakthrough of the Russian lines in the North-East, in the Kharkiv region.

After announcing the liberation of some 30 localities on Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that the Ukrainian army had recaptured some 2,000 kilometers of territory in September.

In its point on Sunday, the army clarified that it was about 3000 square kilometers of territory, retaken from Russian forces in recent days.

Russia announced on Saturday that it had withdrawn its forces present in the regions of Balakliïa and Izium, in order to reinforce its presence around Donetsk, further south, one of the capitals of the pro-Russian separatists.

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Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspected the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukraine announced on Sunday the shutdown of the sixth and last operating reactor of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe and occupied by Russian forces.

“Today, September 11, 2022, overnight at 3:41 a.m., unit number 6 [of the power plant] was disconnected from the power grid”

— Energoatom

According to a statement from the Ukrainian operator, preparations are underway for its cooling.

According to Energoatom, a Cold shutdown is the safest state for the reactor, which for three days had been the only one producing the electricity needed to cool the nuclear fuel and ensure site safety.

The decision to shut it down was taken when the off-site power supply was restored last night with one of the transmission lines.

In the event of further damage to the transmission lines connecting the site to the electrical system – the risk of which remains high – the internal needs [of the site] will have to be provided by generators running on diesel, warns Energoatom.

In its press release, Energoatom reiterates its call for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the plant, the only way according to the operator to ensure its security.

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Ukraine and its allies have expressed growing concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhia power plant. For weeks, confusion has reigned around the site of the power plant, hit by multiple strikes for which kyiv and Moscow accuse each other.

On Friday, the International Agency of Atomic Energy (IAEA) had reported a complete blackout of water and electricity in the Ukrainian city of Energodar, where the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is located, a situation that compromises the safety of operations.

This is totally unacceptable. This cannot continue, said in a press release the director general of this UN agency, Rafael Grossi, calling for an immediate end to the bombardments in the area.

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