Ukraine Says Fire at Biggest Nuclear Plant Extinguished
Ukrainian authorities said Friday that a fire at Europe’s biggest nuclear plant ignited by Russian shelling has been extinguished, and that Russian forces have taken control of the site.
The regional military administration said in a statement that the fire at the Zaporizhzhia plant in Enerhodar was extinguished, and that there is damage to the compartment of reactor No. 1 but it does not affect the safety of the power unit.
No information was immediately available about casualties.
The military administration said Russian forces took control of the site and that operational personnel are ensuring its safe operation.
Earlier plant officials had said that shelling hit an administrative building and reactor No. 1.
The town mayor and state emergency service also said the fire was extinguished.
China Asked Russia to Postpone Ukraine Invasion Until After Olympics: Report
Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials allegedly knew of Russia’s plans to invade Ukraine in advance, and requested that the war be postponed until after the Beijing Olympics had concluded, according to Western intelligence obtained by the New York Times (NYT).
The NYT report said that the information, which was collected by Western intelligence agencies, was classified but that Senior Biden administration officials and one European official confirmed their authenticity on the condition of anonymity.
The information was allegedly collected and studied in the lead up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but those involved did not agree on how far up knowledge of the impending invasion spread among CCP officials.
As such, the intelligence does not directly implicate Russian President Vladimir Putin and CCP General Secretary Xi personally. The NYT report said that it was likely officials from both nations briefed their higher-ups, however.
If the report is credible, it could vindicate earlier warnings that China and Russia are working closely with one another to undermine the rules-based international order and to facilitate one another’s plans for Taiwan and Ukraine, respectively, behind the scenes.
Macron Says Putin ‘Refuses’ to Halt Attacks
French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday that he has again asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to halt attacks on Ukraine, but that Putin won’t do it.
“At this point, he refuses,” Macron wrote in Twitter post.
He confirmed that he had spoken to Putin on the phone earlier on Thursday and said he will continue the dialogue to prevent “more human tragedy.”
“We must prevent the worst from happening,” Macron also said in his post. Dialogue has to continue to “protect the (civilian) population, to obtain good will gestures … to put an end to this war,” Macron said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.