What you need to know right now By Reuters

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© Reuters. Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran July 19, 2022. President Website/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

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(Reuters) – Ukraine said a reactor at its Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant complex was shut down by Russian shelling just before a team of U.N. nuclear experts was due to visit the site, while Moscow said it had thwarted a Ukrainian attempt to seize the plant.

SHELLING DELAYS VISIT

* The visit to the nuclear plant by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was delayed for three hours on the Ukraine-held side of the front line, an IAEA spokesperson said.

* One of two operational reactors at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant complex has been shut down due to Russian shelling, operator Energoatom said earlier.

* A Reuters reporter near the plant in Russian-controlled Enerhodar on the Dnipro river said a residential building was struck by shelling, forcing people to take cover in a basement. Soldiers ran about and helicopters flew overhead. It was not possible to establish who had fired.

* Russia’s Defence Ministry said a Ukrainian “sabotage group” had tried to seize the plant and Russian forces were using helicopters to destroy the group.

* Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said Russia was targeting Enerhodar in order to blame Ukraine.

* In the past 24 hours, five civilians in the Donetsk region were killed and 12 were wounded, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram messaging app.

* Ukraine’s operational command South said its forces had destroyed a pontoon bridge near the town of Daryivky in the Kherson region, which had been used by the Russian troops to bring in equipment and ammunition.

* Russia’s defence ministry said on Wednesday that Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the south had failed, with their forces suffering heavy losses of equipment and men.

* Authorities in the southern Russian region of Kursk said Ukrainian forces had shelled the village of Gordeevka, near the Ukrainian border, but that there were no casualties or damage.

Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports.

QUOTE

“The scenario could be a massive incident,” head of the International Committee of the Red Cross Robert Mardini said, when asked about contingency planning for an accident at Europe’s largest nuclear plant.

“There is very little anyone can do to mitigate the dire consequences of this.”

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