(Reuters) – Ukraine and Russia accused each other on Friday of risking disaster by shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, occupied by Russian forces in a region expected to become one of the next big front lines of the war.
* Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said for the war to end his country would seek the return of Crimea and the punishment of the Russian leaders who ordered the invasion in February, saying on Twitter: “Russia started war against Ukraine in 2014 with Crimea seizure. Obviously, it must end with Crimea liberation and legal punishment of ‘special military operation’ initiators”.
* Any possible seizure of Russian assets by the United States will completely destroy Moscow’s bilateral relations with Washington, TASS quoted the head of the North American Department at the Russian foreign ministry as saying.
* Russia has told the United States that diplomatic ties would be badly damaged and could even be broken off if Russia is declared a “state sponsor of terrorism” by the U.S. Senate, TASS cited a top foreign ministry official as saying on Friday.
* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy renewed his call on Friday for European Union states to ban visas for Russian nationals to keep the bloc from becoming a “supermarket” open to anyone with the means to enter.
* Two more ships left from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, Turkey’s defence ministry said, bringing the total number of ships to depart the country under a U.N.-brokered deal to 16.
* Securing a new $5 billion loan from the IMF would help assure Ukraine’s other creditors that its macroeconomic situation was under control, Zelenskiy’s chief economic adviser said on Friday.
* Global rating agencies S&P and Fitch lowered Ukraine’s foreign currency ratings on Friday to selective default and restricted default as they consider its debt restructuring as distressed.
* The two primary road bridges giving access to the pocket of Russian-occupied territory on the west bank of the Dnipro River in Kherson region are now probably out of use for the purposes of substantial military resupply, British military intelligence said.
* Ukraine’s military said its artillery hit a Russian ammunition depot near a key bridge in the south on Friday and added it now had the ability to strike nearly all of Moscow’s supply lines in the occupied region. The military said the attack killed 11 Russian soldiers in the depot in the village of Vesele, about 80 miles (130 km) down the vast Dnipro river from the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
* Kharkiv region governor Oleh Synehubov said on a national television news broadcast that two Russian missilies hit the city of Kharkiv overnight. He said there were no casualties, but that one missile damaged a technical college, while the other landed in a residential area.
* Ukraine’s southern military command said late on Friday its airforce had struck five Russian strongholds of weapons and equipment in the Bashtanskyi district in Mykolaiv region and in Beryslavskyi and Kherson districts in the Kherson region.
* Pavlo Kyrylenko, governor of the Donetsk region, said on Telegram: Russian forces shelling had killed five civilians and wounded 35 in the last 24 hours.
* Reuters could not confirm battlefield reports independently.
(Compiled by Michael Perry and Frances Kerry)