Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Hundreds of rockets have hit a town located near the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the Ukraine presidency said Tuesday, killing at least three civilians and injuring dozens more. Follow FRANCE 24's live coverage of the crisis. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

1:10pm: Fresh shelling hits town near Russian-held nuclear plant

At least three Ukrainian civilians were killed and 23 others were wounded by Russian shelling in 24 hours, including an attack not far from a Russian-occupied nuclear power plant, the office of Ukraine's president said Tuesday.

The Russians fired over 120 rockets from Grad multiple rocket launchers at the southern town of Nikopol, which is across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Dnipropetrovsk Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko said. Several apartment buildings and industrial facilities were damaged, he said.

Ukraine and Russia have in recent days accused each other of shelling the nuclear plant, which is the largest one in Europe, and increasing the risks of a nuclear accident.

1:06pm: More than 10.5 million people have fled Ukraine, UNHCR says

More than 10.5 million people have crossed the border from Ukraine since Russia's invasion on February 24, the United Nations Refugee agency UNHCR said on its website on Tuesday.

12:46pm: Russians under sanctions fail to declare assets in Germany

None of the Russians targeted by European Union sanctions have declared their assets to German authorities as they are required to do under Germany's sanctions law, the German government said, prompting a call for the transparency regime to be tightened.

Some 4.28 billion euros in assets belonging to sanctioned oligarchs have been frozen in Germany since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including 2.3 billion euros in deposits at German banks, according to the economy ministry.

Under Germany's sanctions law, targets of EU sanctions have a duty to declare their assets immediately, under penalty of a fine or up to a year in prison. But in a letter to Left party legislator Christian Goerke, the ministry said that none had yet done so.

Goerke said the failure of the transparency regime showed that the rules needed to be tightened. "The duty of transparency should be extended to people who do business with oligarchs, like notaries, brokers, used car dealers, art dealers and banks," Goerke said in a statement. "It's not enough to put the names of oligarchs on sanctions lists."

12:40pm: France bans Russians from chateau over Ukraine war

The French military has banned Russian nationals from visiting the Chateau de Vincennes, a mediaeval fortress and tourist attraction on the edge of Paris, due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, officials told AFP.

Once the residence of French kings and among Europe's best-preserved monuments of its kind, the castle is for the most part open to the public, including for tours, concerts, theatre plays and other events. It also houses part of the French armed forces' historical archives, to which access is restricted.

Contacted by AFP, the defence ministry confirmed that it had, indeed, "restricted access to military installations to Russian nationals" because of the invasion.

Some 150,000 people visit the chateau every year.

12:36pm: Russia says it has destroyed HIMARS ammunition depot in Ukraine

Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday that Russian forces had destroyed an ammunition depot near the central Ukrainian city of Uman storing US-made HIMARS missiles and M777 howitzers.

In its daily briefing, the ministry said it had destroyed more than 300 rockets in the strike.

Kyiv has hailed the arrival of the advanced, long-range HIMARS from the United States as a possible gamechanger, while Moscow has accused the West of "dragging out" the conflict by arming Ukraine.

10:04am: Anti-aircraft defence to be beefed up around Zaporizhzhia plant

Anti-aircraft defences around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant will be strengthened following days of reported shelling on the site, the RIA Novosti news agency quoted a Russian-installed separatist official as saying on Monday.

Yevgeny Balitsky, head of the Russian-backed administration in Ukraine's southern Zaporizhzhia region also said the nuclear station, Europe's largest, was working normally and damaged power lines have been restored.

Both Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other for attacks on the power station, located in Russian-controlled territory, over recent days.

08:36am: Russia launches Iranian satellite from Kazakhstan

A Russia-launched Iranian satellite blasted off from Kazakhstan Tuesday, according to a live feed from Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Footage showed the Soyuz-2.1b rocket carrying the Khayyam satellite blasting off from the Russia-controlled Baikonur cosmodrome at the scheduled time of 0552 GMT.

Iran has sought to deflect suspicions that Moscow could use Khayyam to improve its surveillance of military targets in Ukraine.

Last week, US daily The Washington Post quoted anonymous Western intelligence officials as saying that Russia "plans to use the satellite for several months or longer" to assist its war efforts before allowing Iran to take control.

08:11am: Russia starts stripping jetliners for parts as sanctions bite

Russian airlines, including state-controlled Aeroflot, are stripping jetliners to secure spare parts they can no longer buy abroad because of Western sanctions, four industry sources told Reuters.

The steps are in line with advice Russia's government provided in June for airlines to use some aircraft for parts to ensure the remainder of foreign-built planes can continue flying at least through 2025.

Sanctions imposed on Russia after it sent its troops into Ukraine in late February have prevented its airlines from obtaining spare parts or undergoing maintenance in the West.

Most of Russia's fleet of aircraft consists of Western passenger jets.

08:07am: Two more grain ships sail from Ukraine

Two more grain-carrying ships sailed from Ukraine's Chornomorsk port on Tuesday, Turkey's defence ministry said, as part of a deal to unblock Ukrainian sea exports.

The Ocean Lion, which departed for South Korea, is carrying 64,720 tonnes of corn, it said, while the Rahmi Yagci is carrying 5,300 tonnes of sunflower meal to Istanbul.

5:15am: Ukraine reports heavy Russian shelling near eastern city of Donetsk

Ukraine reported heavy Russian shelling in frontline towns near the eastern city of Donetsk, where Ukrainian officials said Russian troops were launching waves of attacks as they try to seize control of the industrialised Donbas region.

"The situation in the region is tense - shelling is constant throughout the front line ... The enemy is also using air strikes a great deal," Donetsk regional Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko told Ukrainian television.

"The enemy is having no success. Donetsk region is holding."

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

Originally published on France24

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