+++ News in the Ukraine war +++: Nuclear power plant boss kidnapped in Ukraine

The head of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia has been kidnapped, according to Ukrainian sources. Ukrainian soldiers have surrounded thousands of Russian soldiers at Lyman.

The Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia is occupied by Russian troops Photo: dpa/XinHua

Operator: Chief of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant kidnapped by the Russians

The head of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is occupied by Russian troops, Ihor Murashov, has been kidnapped by Moscow troops, according to Ukrainian sources. This was announced by the President of the operating company Enerhoatom, Petro Kotin, on Saturday. The general director of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant was stopped the day before by a Russian patrol at the Enerhodar nuclear power plant site, dragged out of the car and taken to an unknown location, blindfolded. There was initially no explanation from the Russian side. Russia has occupied the nuclear power plant since early March.

“There is no information about his fate,” Kotin said on the Telegram news channel. He accused Russia of nuclear terrorism against the management and employees of the power plant. Murashov, who bears the main responsibility for the safe functioning and nuclear safety of the plant, must be released immediately. Kotin also called on the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, to campaign for Murashov’s release.

The IAEA announced on Saturday morning that it had contacted the Russian authorities and requested clarification.

The nuclear power plant had been repeatedly shot at. Both the Russian occupying forces and the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly warned of a possible nuclear incident with massive repercussions for the whole of Europe. The IAEA is committed to rapid further talks about a ceasefire zone around the nuclear power plant. According to its management, the state-owned Russian nuclear company Rosatom, which controls the power plant together with Russian units, is ready to talk about the technical aspects of a protection zone. (dpa)

Thousands of Russian soldiers encircled at Lyman

Ukraine says it has surrounded thousands of Russian soldiers in the strategically important city of Lyman in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region. Some soldiers tried to escape the encirclement, says a spokesman for the Ukrainian military. There are dead and wounded. Russia has stationed up to 5,500 soldiers there, but the number actually still present there is unclear. Russia took Lyman, where 20,000 people lived before the war broke out, in May.

Since then, Russia has expanded it into a military logistics and transport center. Should Lyman fall back to Ukraine, the way would be open deep into the remaining parts of Donetsk, which together with Luhansk forms the Donbass. Parts of the areas have been controlled by pro-Russian separatists since 2014. (rtr)

More aid for Ukraine

The World Bank announces further aid in the volume of 530 million dollars for Ukraine. This increases the total amount of aid provided to $ 13 billion, it said. Eleven billion dollars have already been called up. The World Bank recently said that well over $100 billion would be needed to rebuild Ukraine within three years. In addition to the World Bank, Ukraine is also supported by other international institutions. (rtr)

Warning: Risk of use of nuclear weapons increasing

Foreign policy adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Mykhailo Podolyak, warns against the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. “In view of the internal panic in the Russian Federation and the increasing military defeats, the risk of using nuclear weapons is increasing,” says Podolyak of the “Bild” newspaper according to a preliminary report.

The outgoing ambassador of Ukraine in Germany, Andriy Melnyk, also sees this danger. “Right now Germany – in solidarity with all Western allies – should finally act preventively and give the Kremlin tyrant a very clear ultimatum,” he told the newspaper. It is not too late to prevent this catastrophic scenario. (rtr)

Lambrecht: Don’t let Putin’s nuclear threats paralyze you

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht warned that the West would be paralyzed by Russian threats to use nuclear weapons and called for continued support for Ukraine. The threats are being taken seriously by the federal government and are being observed with great concern, said the SPD politician on Saturday in Chisinau, Moldova, after meeting her counterpart Anatolie Nosatii. At the same time, Lambrecht Moldova promised further support in equipping and training the country’s army. Among other things, it is about the procurement of drones.

Regarding the nuclear threats from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Lambrecht said: “You have to be very careful. But it is also important not to be paralyzed by such threats.” She added: “This must not lead to careless support for Ukraine.” It is now important “to be vigilant, very prudent react and also to ensure that there is no further escalation”. Ukraine must continue to receive consistent support. (dpa)

US interim budget with billions for Ukraine in force

On Friday, the United States passed an interim budget with additional billions in aid for Ukraine. President Joe Biden signed the budget approved by the House of Representatives a few hours earlier. The interim budget, scheduled to run until mid-December, provides for military and economic support for Ukraine in the amount of around 12.3 billion dollars (12.5 billion euros).

The budget also averts another so-called shutdown – the throttling of government spending, which occurs again and again in the USA when Democrats and Republicans cannot agree on a budget in time. The deadline would have expired at midnight local time, but funding is now secured until December 16th.

The Senate approved the interim budget on Thursday, and the House of Representatives approved it on Friday by a majority of 230 to 201 votes. (dpa)

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