US apparently planning another arms package for Ukraine
9:35 p.m.: According to insiders, the United States wants to support Ukraine with another military aid program that should be worth a billion dollars. The package is believed to include ammunition for long-range weapons and armored ambulances, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
According to previous plans, it contains ammunition for the Himar and Nasam missile systems. The official announcement is scheduled for Monday. US President Joe Biden has yet to sign off on the draft.
Himars multiple rocket launchers in Ukraine (file image): The United States is likely planning new munitions deliveries. (Source: cover images/imago images)
Nuclear power plant in Ukraine reportedly bombed
9:30 p.m .: Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of having bombed the Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia, occupied by Russia. In parts of the city of Enerhodar, where the power plant is located, the electricity and water supply has broken down, the Russian Defense Ministry announced in the evening. In addition, a block of the nuclear power plant had to be partially closed. A fire in the factory premises could be extinguished. The information could not be independently verified. The Ukrainian side, on the other hand, said that the Russians had shelled the area themselves.
As a result of the Russian attacks, a high-voltage line leading to the nearby thermal power plant was damaged, according to Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear company Enerhoatom. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has appealed to the international community for the Russians to return control of the nuclear power plant to the Ukrainians. If a reactor is hit while it is in operation, the possible consequences are “equivalent to the use of a nuclear bomb”, Kyiv authorities have warned.
The British secret service has also recently come to the conclusion that the actions of the Russian armed forces are very likely to endanger the security of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
Zaporizhia nuclear power plant: Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of having bombed the plant. (Source: Uncredited/AP/dpa./dpa)
Russia speculates on grain export cuts
3:25 p.m .: Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, may want to reduce its grain exports. The Ministry of Agriculture announced on Friday that if the harvest target for the 2022/23 season of 130 million tonnes is not met, the previously planned exports of 50 million tonnes will be reduced. The harvest is currently below expectations due to the cold spring, rains and lack of spare parts for agricultural equipment.
“All of this put together presents risks in terms of reaching the grain harvest of 130 million tonnes,” said Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev – the amount was set as a target by President Vladimir Putin in May. For comparison: according to Russian information, the previous record harvest was harvested in 2020 and amounted to 133.5 million tonnes of grain.