A Russian soldier at the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in southern Ukraine, August 4, 2022 (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Saturday’s Coverage: Russia Cuts Off Gas to Europe

Source: Institute for the Study of War


Ukrainian forces have reportedly taken the town of Vysokopillia in their counter-offensive in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

Yuriy Sobolevskyi, first deputy head of the Kherson regional council, announced, “Vysokopillia is Ukraine”. Troops reportedly raised the Ukrainian flag over a hospital in the town.


Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal has met German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin.

Shmyhal thanked Germany for its support to resist the Russian invasion, while requesting more military assistance.

The Prime Minister and Scholz also discussed the situation at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin in October.

The Prime Minister is the highest-ranking Ukrainian official to visit Berlin since before the invasion.

In April, Kyiv rejected a visit by Steinmeier because of his past advocacy of German-Russian ties, even though the President said his approach to Moscow had been mistaken.


Thirteen ships, with a total of more than 280,000 tons of grains and agricultural products, left ports in Odesa in southern Ukraine on Sunday.

The fleet is the largest to depart Ukraine since a July 22 deal to lift the Russian blockade in the Black Sea.

Since then, 86 ships have left Ukraine with exports to 19 countries.


In a phone call, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has asked European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to prepare new sanctions on Russia.

Zelenskiy and von der Leyen also discussed European Union financial aid to Ukraine, and steps to limit Russian profits from exports of oil and gas.


A video documents Russia forces firing a multiple-launched rocket system, near a power unit, from the site of the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The Insider says the footage is from overnight on September 2-3, as a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency was inspecting the plant.


UK military intelligence assesses that Russian forces are suffering from “morale and discipline issues”, combat fatigue, and high casualties.

The analysts cite “outright corruption” and an “inefficient military bureaucracy”:

The Russian military has consistently failed to provide basic entitlements to troops deployed in Ukraine, including appropriate uniform, arms and rations as well as pay. This has almost certainly contributed to the continued fragile morale of much of the force.

The case of Rinat Sadykov is an illustration — he volunteered for Vladimir Putin’s invasion after his son was killed in action.

Sadykov returned home to Siberia. Grief over the loss of his son was compounded by disillusionment with the state of the Russian military.

What is happening there? Why are our guys thrown there so carelessly?

Well, now I’ve seen. Putin, [Defense Minister Sergey] Shoygu, what were they thinking?


Russian shelling of the Mykolaiv region in southern Ukraine has killed an eight-year-old child.

Three other children were among the injured in the cities of Mykolaiv and Bereznehuvate.

Governor Vitaliy Kim said homes, three hospitals, two education facilities, a hotel, and a museum were damaged.

In northeast Ukraine, a 45-year-old woman was killed and a man and a woman injured in the Kharkiv region.

The latest Russian attacks across the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have killed four civilians and injured two.

Two people were slain in Velyka Novosilka and one each in Siversk and Vodyane.


In its latest pretext to cut off gas to Europe, Russia’s Gazprom says there is nowhere available for Siemens Energy to repair the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

On Friday evening, Gazprom extended the three-day shutdown of the pipeline to Germany for “maintenance”, claiming a “leak”. The Russian State company gave no timeframe for a reopening.

The announcement came hours after foreign ministers G7 countries — France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the US, Canada, and Japan — agreed imposition of a price cap on imports of Russian oil.

Siemens said that Gazprom’s blame of oil leaks is “not a technical reason for stopping operation”, as the leakages do not usually affect the operation of a turbine and can be sealed on site.

European Union economic commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said, “We are not afraid of Putin’s decisions. We ask them to respect their contracts but if they don’t, we are ready to react.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly address to the nation:

Gas pumping through the Nord Stream pipeline has completely stopped. Why do they do this? Russia wants to destroy the normal life of every European – in all countries of our continent. It wants to weaken and intimidate all of Europe, every state. Where Russia cannot do it by force of conventional weapons, it does so by force of energy weapons. It is trying to attack with poverty and political chaos where it cannot yet attack with missiles.

And to protect against this, we all in Europe need even more unity, even more coordination, even more help to each other.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: The Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine — Europe’s largest complex — is again relying on reserve power, amid shelling in the area.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which finally was granted access to the plant by the Russians on Thursday, said in a statement on Saturday, “Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) has once again lost the connection to its last remaining main external power line, but the facility is continuing to supply electricity to the grid through a reserve line.”

Three of the plant’s power lines were lost as the Russians established a military base at the plant. The fourth was knocked out briefly last week, detaching the site from Ukraine’s electricity grid.

The plant is also relying on a back-up diesel generator to ensure cooling of the reactors, only one of six is operational at the moment.

The Russians are continuing to shell Ukrainian-held territory across the Dnipro River, relying on the cover of the six reactors to avoid retaliation.

After weeks of delays, mainly because of Russian maneuvers and the shelling, the six-member IAEA team arrived to assess physical damage to the plant, operation of safety and security systems, and staff conditions, and to carry out urgent safeguards activities.

However, the Russians limited the visit by ensuring that the mission did not meet any of the military occupiers. Grossi is hoping to post two inspectors at the plant permanently, but it is unclear if Russia will permit this.

Without ascribing blame, the IAEA head said, “It is clear that those who have these military aims know very well that the way to cripple or to do more damage is not to look into the reactors which are enormously sturdy and robust.”