All the major developments in the Ukrainian war which you might have missed (Photo: Getty)
Russian invasion of Ukraine has just entered its sixth month – and it does not look like it’s going to end any time soon.
Here’s everything that’s happened recently which you might have missed.
1. Ukrainian nuclear plant is “out of control”
A huge nuclear plant currently controlled by Russian armed forces in its invasion of Ukraine is “completely out of control”, according to the head of the UN’s nuclear agency Rafael Grossi.
He said Zaporizhzhia, which was seized by the Russians in early March, needs an inspection and repairs now. He said he was “pleading” with the fighting nations to allow experts to stabilise the complex, so a nuclear accident could be avoided.
He told Associated Press on Wednesday: “Every principle of nuclear safety has been violated. What is at stake is extremely serious and extremely grave and dangerous.”
The plant is still being run by its Ukrainian staff, despite being controlled by Russia – meaning there has been some moments of conflict.
There are also fears that, if the largest one of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors is damaged, it could trigger a crisis like the 1986 Chernobyl accident – the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
Grossi said the UN nuclear agency need to visit the site as soon as possible to “prevent a nuclear accident from happening”.
2. First vessel with Ukrainian grain makes a safe arrival
The UK’s ministry of defence confirmed on Thursday that the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain leaving the port of Odesa safely arrived at the Bosphorus Strait, in north west Turkey.
This is a significant moment for the war, considering Russia has been blockading Ukrainian ports since the invasion began. As Ukraine is regarded as the world’s “bread basket” due to the amount of grain it exports, this has triggered a food crisis in countries across the world.
The ministry of defence said: “It is almost certain the success of this transit will result in more frequent transits in both directions.”
However, it added: “Clearing the backlog caused by the blockade that has been in place since February 2022 will remain a logistical challenge.”
3. Russia feels a “threat” from Western-supplied systems
UK officials also claimed that Russia’s response to certain military tactics shows it is feeling the pressure from Ukraine’s Western supplies.
In its Thursday update, the ministry of defence said: “Russian forces have almost certainly positioned pyramidal radar reflectors in the water near the recently damaged Antonivskiu Bridge and the recently damaged nearby rail bridge, both of which cross over the Dnipro River in Kherson, southern Ukraine.
“The radar reflectors are likely being used to hide the bridge from synthetic aperture radar imagery and possible missile targeting equipment.
“This highlights the threat Russia feels from the increased range and precision of Western-supplied systems.”
Latest Defence Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine - 4 August 2022
Find out more about the UK government's response: https://t.co/LBIdEpruIS
🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/h2evLmcLBq
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) August 4, 2022
4. Battle appears to move south
According to the Kyiv Independent – a Ukrainian newspaper – Russia is now looking to employ almost all of its conventional military power against Ukraine, but “with only limited results to show for it”.
The news outlet also said the country is looking to focus its efforts on the south of Ukraine, triggering the “third phase” for the war – the first being it’s unsuccessful attempts to take the capital of Kyiv, and the second being the drawn-out friction in the Donbas.
It’s thought Moscow is moving further down to the south of the country because Russia has been bombarding the residential areas of Mykolaiv, Ukraine’s major shipbuilding city which is near the Black Sea.
The newspaper claims: “The third phase could determine the rest of the war. If successful, it could lead to a fourth phase in which Ukraine defeats Russia.”
5. Zelensky weighs in on China-Taiwan frictions
The South China Morning Post reported that Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, was looking for “direct talks” with his Chinese counterpart, president Xi Jinping, in a bid to help end the war.
He said that China should use its influence over Russia to bring an end to the brutal war, and that the country has officially been asking for a conversation since the invasion began.
However, tensions have resurfaced after senior US politician Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, the territory which has been claiming independence from China – without Beijing approval – visited. It is the first time anyone of her rank has made the trip for 25 years.
Russia was quick to side with China over the visit, with its foreign minister Sergei Lavrov saying the US was deliberately trying to irritate Beijing.
Following fears that China could stop being neutral and officially side with Russia in the Ukraine war after Pelosi’s visit, Zelenskyy said this week: “I’m confident, I’m sure that without the Chinese market for the Russian Federation, Russia would be feeling complete economic isolation.”
On Wednesday, Zelenskyy also told students at the Australian National University: “I would like China to join the unified world position on the tyranny of Russia against Ukraine.
“As for now, China is balancing and indeed has neutrality. I will be honest: this neutrality is better than if China would join Russia.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.