September 7, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Andrew Raine, Hannah Strange, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 0145 GMT (0945 HKT) September 8, 2022
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8:26 a.m. ET, September 7, 2022

 Putin says Russia has "lost nothing" during its "special military operation" in Ukraine 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 7.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a plenary session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, on September 7. (Sergei Bobylev/TASS/AP)

Russia has “lost nothing” in its “special military operation” in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin claimed in his speech to open the Plenary Session at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Wednesday.

“We have lost nothing and are not going to lose anything. Our main gain is the strengthening of our sovereignty. We didn't start anything, in terms of military action, but are only trying to finish it,” Putin told the audience.

Based on downgraded intelligence, the US believes that Russia is facing "severe" shortages of military personnel in Ukraine and is seeking new ways to reinforce its troop levels, two US officials told CNN last week. 

In a statement Monday, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said that it is now estimated that “over 25,000 Russian soldiers have lost their lives” since the start of the war. 

In late August, President Putin ordered Russia’s military to increase the number of troops in Ukraine by 137,000, though it remains unclear how the Defense Ministry intends to reach that target.

2:58 a.m. ET, September 7, 2022

Xi and Putin to meet face-to-face next week, Russian envoy says

From CNN's Simone McCarthy

Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next week.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping is expected to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin next week.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet on the sidelines of a summit in Uzbekistan next week, Russia's envoy to Beijing Andrey Denisov told reporters on Wednesday, according to Russian state news agency Tass.

The expected meeting at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit would be the first face-to-face between the two leaders, who have established a close relationship, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

It would also be the first overseas trip for Xi since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

The SCO summit will be held on September 15 to 16 in Samarkand.

2:56 a.m. ET, September 7, 2022

Myanmar is purchasing Russian oil products and will pay in rubles: Russian state media

From CNN's Josh Pennington and Hannah Ritchie

Myanmar has started purchasing Russian oil products and will pay for them in rubles, the nation’s military junta leader General Min Aung Hlaing confirmed in a meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, Russian state media RIA Novosti reported.

The first shipments of diesel fuel from Russia to Myanmar will arrive in the next few days, according to RIA.

In terms of the payment – whatever currency the Russian side accepts, that's the currency we will pay in. This greatly simplifies our task, because there are many restrictions on receiving and transferring in other currencies,” Min Aung Hlaing told RIA when asked about paying for oil in rubles.

Myanmar state media is yet to report any of the details of the oil purchases.

CNN has reached out to the junta for comment but has yet to hear back.

For months, the Kremlin has been pressuring countries to pay for Russian oil and gas in rubles to reduce its reliance on the US dollar, euro and other currencies impacted by western sanctions.

2:55 a.m. ET, September 7, 2022

China's number three leader to meet Putin in most senior face-to-face since invasion

From CNN's Simone McCarthy

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center in the Moscow region on August 15, 2022.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center in the Moscow region on August 15, 2022.

China's number three leader is expected to meet in person with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday, in what will be the most senior-level, face-to-face meeting between the two countries since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Li Zhanshu, a member of the Chinese Communist Party's Politburo Standing Committee and the country's top legislator, will meet Putin during the Eastern Economic Forum, Russian state news agency Tass reported.

Li is expected to attend the forum as part of a 10-day overseas tour with stops in Russia, South Korea, Mongolia and Nepal starting Wednesday, Chinese state media reported this week. That trip also makes Li the most senior Chinese official to leave the country since the start of the pandemic, which has seen China close borders and limit in-person diplomacy.

The expected meeting underlines the importance of the Russian relationship for China, even in the face of international blow back against Moscow after its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

It also comes weeks before a critical five-yearly political meeting in Beijing, where Xi Jinping is expected to break with tradition and assume a third term in power, cementing his role as China's most powerful leader in decades.

Moscow and Beijing have emerged as closer partners in recent years as both face tensions with the West, with Xi and Putin declaring the two countries had a "no limit" partnership weeks before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Beijing has since refused to condemn the aggression, instead repeatedly laying blame for the conflict on NATO and the United States. 

8:27 a.m. ET, September 7, 2022

Ukraine ambassador to UN says IAEA report backs claim that Russia is using nuclear plant as a shield

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia and Richard Roth

Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya attends a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine at the United Nations Headquarters on September 6.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations Sergiy Kyslytsya attends a U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine at the United Nations Headquarters on September 6. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations said his country's claims that the Russians are using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as a shield for its personnel and military hardware have “been verified by the IAEA.”

“Against a background of increased security threats following the occupation of (the power plant) Ukraine has clearly demonstrated its readiness to explore every option to neutralize a nuclear risk,” Sergiy Kyslytsya said.

The preparation of the visit and ensuing developments have revealed that the occupying power is willing to further engage in nuclear terrorism and spare no effort to misuse the IAEA for manipulative purposes.”

His comments follow an IAEA report on Tuesday that said the nuclear watchdog was "gravely concerned" by the situation at the plant.

Kyslytsya said “armed provocations (by Russia) continue.”

He refuted Russian claims that Ukraine is responsible for shelling in the area. “We confirm, that under no circumstances has Ukraine ever resorted to forceful military actions in relation to the (power plant) which would endanger not only our own state but also millions of lives in he neighboring countries.”

“The only way to ultimately remove the nuclear threats stemming from the illegal Russian presence at the plant, is the withdrawal of the Russian weaponry and troops and the return of the station to the legitimate full control of Ukraine.”

He said the country shares the recommendations of the report, and is ready to consult with the IAEA on its continued presence at the facility. 

8:26 a.m. ET, September 7, 2022

It's mid-morning in Kyiv. Here's what you need to know

From CNN staff

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency, is calling for a safety zone around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine to prevent a nuclear disaster, stating in a report released Tuesday that it remained "gravely concerned" about the situation following its mission to the site last week. 

Here are the latest developments:

Putin and Xi to meet: Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are expected to meet on the sidelines of a summit in Uzbekistan next week, in what will be the first face-to-face between the two leaders since the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. It would also be the first overseas trip for Xi since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, China's number three leader is expected to meet Putin on the sidelines of an economic forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday.

IAEA report says safety principles were violated at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and calls for safety zone: The agency emphasized the urgent need for interim measures "to prevent a nuclear accident arising from physical damage caused by military means." To achieve this, the IAEA called for the establishment of "a nuclear safety and security protection zone.” The report added, “The IAEA is ready to start immediately the consultations leading to the urgent establishment of such a nuclear safety and security protection zone at the (power plant).” The agency says its team saw first-hand the damage shelling has caused to the facility and “noted with concern that the shelling could have impacted safety related structures, systems and components, and could have caused safety significant impacts, loss of lives and personnel injuries.”

UN nuclear watchdog saw military vehicles and equipment inside Zaporizhzhia plant, according to report: The International Atomic Energy Agency saw Russian military equipment and personnel inside the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during its visit of the facility, Director General Rafael Grossi said in a report published on Tuesday. “The team observed the presence of Russian military personnel, vehicles and equipment at various places at the ZNPP, including several military trucks on the ground floor of the Unit 1 and Unit 2 turbine halls and military vehicles stationed under the overpass connecting the reactor units,” according to the report. The IAEA said the presence of military personnel and equipment creates “very challenging circumstances” for staff trying to maintain normal operations at the plant.

IAEA warns of potential interference after team saw unit of Russian nuclear agency at Zaporizhzhia plant: The IAEA said the team it sent to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine saw a unit of Russia's nuclear agency at the facility. The IAEA inspectors “observe[d] the presence of an expert group from Rosenergoatom,” which is a unit of Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, according to a report published on Tuesday. “It was explained to the team by the Ukrainian plant staff and managers that the role of this expert group was to provide advice on nuclear safety, security, and operations to the management of the (power plant),” the IAEA said. But “the presence of Rosatom senior technical staff could lead to interference with the normal lines of operational command or authority and create potential frictions when it comes to decision-making,” according to the United Nations' nuclear watchdog.

Zelensky called for the demilitarization of the nuclear plant: The Ukrainian President said in his nightly address Tuesday, “The [IAEA] mission, which had visited the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, has presented a documentary summary of its work."

“The report notes the presence of Russian military equipment on the territory of the NPP, emphasizes pressure on our nuclear workers, and makes clear references to the Russian military occupation. That's good,” he said. Zelensky added, “As for IAEA Director General Grossi's proposal to create a protection zone at the plant, we need to we need to look into the specific sense of such tool: what exactly can be considered protection? If the sense of this proposal is to demilitarize the territory of the nuclear power plant – and this is logical, because it was the Russian military presence that put the Zaporizhzhia station on the brink of a radiation disaster – then we can support such a demilitarized protection zone."