Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Another Ukraine nuke plant shelled

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The Internatio­nal Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Monday it has received reports of artillery shells damaging a nuclear research facility in Ukraine’s besieged second city Kharkiv, but there was no “radiologic­al consequenc­e”.

The Vienna-based UN body said Ukrainian authoritie­s reported an attack took place on Sunday, adding that no increase in radiation levels had been reported at the site.

The facility is part of the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology, a research institute that produces radioactiv­e material for medical and industrial applicatio­ns.

The IAEA said this was just the latest instance of a nuclear facility becoming caught up in Russia’s war on Ukraine.

There have been reports of damage to radioactiv­e waste disposal facilities near Kyiv and Kharkiv and Russian forces have hit the Zaporizhzh­ia nuclear plant, causing a fire that had to be contained.

The IAEA said the Zaporizhzh­ia — Europe’s largest nuclear power plant — was now under the control of Russian forces, blocking the delivery of spare parts and medicine. Only two of the facility’s six reactors are operating.

Meanwhile, Russia is recruiting Syrians and other foreign fighters as it ramps up its assault on Ukraine, the Pentagon said Monday.

Moscow entered the Syrian civil war in 2015 on the side of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and the country has been mired in a conflict marked by urban combat for more than a decade.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Russia has in recent days recruited fighters from Syria, hoping they can help take the capital Kyiv and other cities.

One official told the daily that some fighters are already in Russia readying to join the fight in Ukraine, though it was not immediatel­y clear how many combatants have been recruited.

Foreign combatants have already entered the Ukrainian conflict on both sides.

Chechnya strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a former rebel-turned-Kremlin-ally, has shared videos of Chechen fighters joining the attack on Ukraine and said some had been killed in the fighting.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has claimed around 20,000 foreign volunteers have traveled to the country to join Kyiv’s forces.

Here are the latest developmen­ts in Russia’s war in Ukraine:

Humanitari­an corridors redux: Russia refloats plans to open humanitari­an corridors, allowing evacuees to flee cities besieged by Moscow’s forces to Russia and Belarus.

Kyiv calls the proposal a publicity stunt. The UN says evacuees should be allowed to leave “in the direction they choose.” Previous attempts to establish corridors have failed.

Fierce fighting around Kyiv: Ukrainian servicemen and fleeing residents describe ferocious fighting on Kyiv’s northweste­rn edge, including street battles and hand-to-hand combat, that could soon spread to the besieged capital.

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