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Russia-Ukraine war latest: what we know on day 174 of the invasion

  • Explosions have rocked an ammunition depot in Crimea, severely disrupting railway services, Reuters reports. Moscow’s senior representative in the region, Sergei Aksyonov, said two people were wounded, railway traffic was halted and about 2,000 people were evacuated from a village near the military depot – but he skirted talk of a cause. Ukraine hinted at involvement but has not explicitly claimed responsibility. It comes after another reported explosion at a substation in Crimea.

  • The Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, has said Russia has no need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine. During a speech at the Moscow international security conference, he alleged that Ukrainian military operations were being planned by the US and Britain, and that Nato had increased its troop deployment in eastern and central Europe “several times over”, Reuters reports. Shoigu added that the Aukus bloc of Australia, the UK and US had the potential to develop into “a political-military alliance”.

  • Russia’s Black Sea fleet is struggling to exercise effective sea control, with patrols generally limited to the waters within sight of the Crimean coast, according to the latest British intelligence report. The Black Sea fleet continues to use long-range cruise missiles to support ground offensives but is keeping a defensive posture, the British Ministry of Defence said in its daily intelligence bulletin.

  • Vladimir Putin has said western countries are seeking to extend a “Nato-like system” into the Asia-Pacific region, Reuters reports. Delivering the welcome address at the Moscow international security conference, Putin said the US was trying to “drag out” the conflict in Ukraine. He said the visit to Taiwan this month by the US House of Representatives speaker, Nancy Pelosi, had been “a thoroughly planned provocation”.

  • Ukraine has received six more M109 howitzers from Latvia, its minister of defence, Oleksii Reznikov, announced.

  • Ukrainian and Russian officials reported shelling near the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, on Monday with both sides blaming each other. One Russian-installed regional official said 25 heavy artillery strikes from US-made M777 howitzers had hit near the plant and residential areas. Ukraine said it was Russian forces that had shelled the city to try to make it appear that Ukraine was attacking it.

  • Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, called for action at the plant, saying the world should not “lose to terrorism” or “give in to nuclear blackmail”. “If now the world does not show strength and decisiveness to defend one nuclear power station, it will mean that the world has lost,” he said in his nightly address. “If Russia’s actions cause a catastrophe, the consequences may also hit those who remain silent so far.”

  • Russia’s defence minister and the UN chief, António Guterres, discussed the security situation at the plant by phone on Monday, the Russian defence ministry announced. Russia earlier said it would facilitate an IAEA mission to the plant amid warnings from the UN’s nuclear agency of a nuclear disaster unless fighting stops.

  • However, a senior Russian diplomat said any such IAEA mission could not pass through the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and through the frontline as it was too dangerous, according to Russian news agencies. The UN says it has the logistics and security capacity to support a visit by experts.

  • Five Europeans face trial on mercenary charges in separatist-controlled Donetsk. Mathias Gustafsson of Sweden, Vjekoslav Prebeg of Croatia, and Britons John Harding, Andrew Hill and Dylan Healy all pleaded not guilty to charges of being mercenaries and “undergoing training to seize power by force”, according to Russian media reports. They could face the death penalty under the laws of the self-proclaimed, unrecognised Donetsk People’s Republic.

  • Three civilians were killed and two wounded by an explosive device while swimming in the Black Sea in the Ukrainian southern region of Odesa, local police said. People working on a construction site reportedly ignored barriers and warning signs on a beach in the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district and went swimming in the sea. Three men aged 25, 32 and 53 were killed and another man and a woman were wounded, police said.

  • The British military is training 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in marksmanship, battlefield first aid and urban warfare. British trainers aim to turn raw recruits into battle-ready soldiers in a matter of weeks. The first batch arrived last month and have already been sent back to replenish depleted Ukrainian units. Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Nordic nations are also providing training.

  • The Moscow-appointed administration in Ukraine’s Kherson region plans to hold a referendum on 11 September, according to Kremlin sources. Referendums are also planned in three other Ukrainian regions – Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia – where Moscow aims to annex the territories and declare them to be a new region of Russia.

  • Ukraine’s parliament has extended martial law for a further three months.

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