Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

·2 min read

(Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shelling Europe's biggest nuclear power plant and the U.N. chief proposed a demilitarised zone at Zaporizhzhia in southern Ukraine amid fears of a catastrophe.

FIGHTING

* The scale of damage from explosions at an air base in Russian-annexed Crimea on Tuesday and apparent precision of an attack suggested a new capability with potential implications for the course of the war, Western military experts said. Moscow said the explosions were detonations of stored ammunition.

* Ukrainian President Zelenskiy told government officials to stop talking to reporters about Kyiv's military tactics against Russia, saying such remarks were "frankly irresponsible". He was reacting to newspaper reports citing unidentified officials as saying Ukrainian forces were responsible for the explosions in Crimea.

* Russia has doubled the number of air strikes on Ukraine's military positions and civilian infrastructure compared with the previous week, a Ukrainian Brigadier General said.

Reuters was unable to verify battlefield reports.

* Western countries committed more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.55 billion) in cash, equipment and training to boost Ukraine's military capabilities.

* Ukraine aims to evacuate two thirds of residents from areas it controls in the eastern battleground region of Donetsk before winter. * Russian officials trained in Iran in recent weeks as part of a drone deal, Washinton said. U.S. officials previously said Iran would provide up to several hundred drones, including some that are weapons capable, to Russia. The claim raised concerns that Iran was supporting Russia in its war in Ukraine.

ECONOMY

* Ukraine's overseas creditors backed its request for a two-year freeze on payments on almost $20 billion in international bonds, helping it avoid a default.

* Ukraine expects a ship to arrive on Friday to load grain for delivery to Ethiopia under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

QUOTES

"Of course, it's difficult to even imagine the scale of the tragedy which could come into effect if Russians continue their actions there" at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, said Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky.

* Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the world was being pushed "to the brink of nuclear catastrophe, comparable in scale with Chornobyl" at Zaporizhzhia.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports from either side about circumstances at the plant.

(Editing by Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman)

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