A woman drives past destroyed buildings in Borodyanka, Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine on Monday
Photo: GENYA SAVILOV / AFP
What has happened in the past few hours
On Monday, explosions could again be heard around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which was occupied by Russian troops.
Ukraine has accused Russian troops of using the nuclear power plant as a fortress to fire on the small towns of Nikopol and Marhanets across the Dnipro Dam.
Russia, on the other hand, claims that Ukraine is shelling the facility with drones, heavy artillery and rocket launchers.
Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke on the phone about the situation in Ukraine and the conditions for safe operation of the nuclear power plant.
The government in Moscow had accused the UN of having stopped an already agreed visit by experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the last moment.
UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric rejected this on Monday: "The UN Secretariat is not authorized to block or cancel activities of the IAEA." The IAEA acts independently.
Recently there had been disagreements about what a route for the IAEA experts could look like.
Ukraine would not allow a mission solely through Russian-held territory, such as through Crimea or otherwise across the Russian-Ukrainian border.
The UN, in turn, said Ukraine had the logistical and security capabilities to support an IAEA delegation to Zaporizhia from Kyiv.
However, Russia has now said that an IAEA inspection cannot be carried out from the Ukrainian capital.
"Imagine what it means to drive through Kyiv - it means that you get to the nuclear power plant through the front line," the RIA news agency quoted Russian deputy head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Arms Control Igor Vishnevetsky as saying.
This is a great risk because of the "not uniformly deployed" Ukrainian armed forces.
According to the Ukrainian army, it has attacked a base of the notorious Russian mercenary group Wagner in eastern Ukraine.
The base was destroyed in the precision attack, said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serhiy Hajday.
The mercenaries of the Russian Wagner Group are notorious for their brutality, the group is considered Russia's »shadow army«.
The trial of five Europeans who, according to Russian media reports, are said to be mercenaries has begun in Donetsk.
The five accused - a Swede, a Croat and three Brits - reportedly pleaded not guilty.
Under the law of the self-proclaimed pro-Russian People's Republic of Donetsk, Europeans could face the death penalty.
The next court hearing was scheduled for October without giving any reason, Russian media also reported.
According to a report by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, the Swede, the Croat and one of the Britons were captured in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol.
They face execution for attempting to »take power« and »participating in an armed conflict as mercenaries«.
The only charge against another Briton is that of being a mercenary.
The third Briton is being tried for recruiting mercenaries to fight in Ukraine.
The Ministry of Defense in Moscow also said on Monday that it had pushed a British reconnaissance plane out of Russian airspace.
The British plane violated the air border between the Barents Sea and the White Sea.
A Russian fighter jet then drove it out of the airspace.
That says Kyiv
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has again urged Russia to withdraw its soldiers from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
He once again warned of the consequences of a possible nuclear catastrophe.
"Any radioactive incident at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant could also become a blow to the countries of the European Union and Turkey and Georgia and the countries of more distant regions." Everything depends only on the direction and strength of the wind, Zelensky said in his daily video message.
He also reiterated his weekend demands for sanctions against the Russian nuclear company Rosatom and the entire nuclear industry of the "terrorist state".
"If the world doesn't muster the strength and determination now to protect a nuclear facility, it means the world loses," Zelenskyy said.
It is about protection against radioactive contamination.
According to experts, increased radioactivity has not yet been registered.
What is happening today
On the second day of his trip to Scandinavia, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is meeting Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in the Swedish capital of Stockholm today.
The inaugural visit is likely to deal with the planned NATO accession of Sweden and Finland.
A press conference is scheduled for 10 a.m.