August 11, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Heather Chen, Jack Guy, Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 3:11 a.m. ET, August 12, 2022
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2:17 p.m. ET, August 11, 2022

Defense secretary: UK is committed to train more Ukrainian troops than initially planned 

From CNN’s Benjamin Brown in London and Xiaofei Xu in Paris 

British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace speaks during a press statement on August 11 in Copenhagen.
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace speaks during a press statement on August 11 in Copenhagen. (Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images)

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Thursday that Britain is on track to train more Ukrainian troops than it first planned. 

When asked whether the UK could train more Ukrainian troops than the 10,000 by October as initially outlined, he said: "I think we're committed now to really going beyond that. We are going to train more and for longer." 

Speaking at a news conference in Copenhagen after an international donor conference to provide aid to Ukraine to help boost its military capabilities to fight against Russia, Wallace highlighted some of the achievements of the conference. 

“What we've got today is a confirmation [that more states will support UK training efforts], and in the lead-up to this we have Sweden putting in a significant number of troops, Norway announced at the event today they will put some in, we've got obviously Denmark sending 130. We've got Finland sending. We've got an awful lot of Vikings now in England. It didn't bode well a few hundred years ago when that happened. It's sort of repeat now. Most of the training mission seems to be Nordic,” he said. 

Wallace also said that the actions of the international community to help Ukraine “are still on an upward trajectory.”

“There is no fatigue on the actions. We started off with basic handheld weapons and debates about whether or not training people would be provocative. Six months later, we're into discussions about how many helicopters the international community has provided, how many fixed-wing aircraft the international community has provided, how many GMLRS and HIMARS. If you judge us by our actions, the international community, the appetite is still upwards not downwards,” he said. 

Speaking at the same press conference, Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov noted that it’s important to make continued support to Ukraine “sustainable” because the warehouses or storage “is not endless in every country.”

“That’s why we need to communicate ... We need to invest money to production, for example, in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia or Lithuania to extend their capacity,” he said. 

12:42 p.m. ET, August 11, 2022

Radiation levels at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant are normal, according to Ukrainian agency

From Yulia Kesaieva

Radiation levels at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant are within the normal range despite renewed shelling on the site, Ukraine’s nuclear agency Energoatom said on Thursday. 

“As of 17:00 (10aET), the radiation background at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is 11-12 μR/h, which corresponds to natural norms,” according to Energoatom. 

Energoatom said there was currently no fire at the Russian-occupied plant but accused Moscow of firing on it earlier in the day. 

At least 10 shells landed in the area around the nuclear complex, five near the station commander’s office and five near the fire department, the agency said.

“As a result of shelling at the station, it was not possible to carry out a shift handover in time. For the safety of nuclear workers, the buses with the personnel of the next shift were turned back to Enerhodar,” Energoatom said. “Until the situation finally normalizes, the workers of the previous shift will continue to work.”

“The situation at the station is currently under control,” it said. 

2:44 p.m. ET, August 11, 2022

Donors pledge more than $1.55 billion in aid for Ukraine, Danish defense minister says 

From CNN’s Benjamin Brown in London and Xiaofei Xu in Paris 

Danish Defense Minister Morten Bødskov attends a press conference on the support for Ukraine in Copenhagen, on August 10.
Danish Defense Minister Morten Bødskov attends a press conference on the support for Ukraine in Copenhagen, on August 10. (Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP/Getty Images)

A group of 26 countries pledged more than $1.55 billion (1.5 billion euros) in aid to Ukraine, Danish Defense Minister Morten Bødskov said after hosting ministers from allied countries in Copenhagen for a conference to discuss long-term support for Ukraine, including military training and weapon supplies. 

"Participants today have committed more than 1.5 billion euros to the table for Ukraine. The United Kingdom is setting up a fund in order to gather financing for increased production of weapons,” he said at a press conference, speaking alongside his British and Ukrainian counterparts, Ben Wallace and Oleksii Reznikov. 

Reznikov said he was “satisfied with the results” of the donor conference.  

“I’m glad that we all have common sense, that there is no time for fatigue, that it’s a marathon. For marathon you need energy and frankly speaking the main energy in this case is money. Our partners know that we need funding and they articulated readiness to support us financially,” the Ukrainian minister added.  

2:47 p.m. ET, August 11, 2022

Russia is "maximizing" risk of nuclear disaster at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Zelensky says

From CNN's Tim Lister

A view of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on August 4.
A view of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant on August 4. (Alexander Ermochenko)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of maximizing the risk of a nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which was taken over by Russian forces in early March.

Addressing a meeting of allies from across northern Europe, Zelensky recalled the Chernobyl disaster.

"If the Soviet authorities tried to hide the Chernobyl disaster and its full consequences, then the Russian authorities are much more cynical and dangerous. They themselves do everything to maximize the risk of a nuclear disaster and lie to the whole world that someone else is allegedly to blame," he said.

Zelensky accused Russia of turning the nuclear power plant into a "battlefield."

"The Russian occupation army is using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant for terror and armed provocations," he added.

The Ukrainian president also reiterated his demand that Russia be declared a terrorist state and also urged tougher sanctions.

Russia "simply would not have a combat-ready army in modern conditions if it were not for imported parts. Electronics, optics and many other parts of foreign production are used in the creation of missiles, drones, means of communication, armored vehicles, etc. This flow of technical assistance to Russian terror must be completely stopped," he said.

Ukraine also needs continued supply of weapons in order to force Russia to "finally think about finding a peaceful solution," Zelensky said, adding an appeal for financial support.

Ukraine's monthly deficit of is about $5 billion dollars, he told the Allied conference. "Ukraine needs reconstruction. Now. We need to carry out demining. And, of course, we need to prepare defenses for winter conditions," he said. "Financial support for our state, for the budget and for fast recovery is as vital as weapons and ammunition for our army and sanctions against Russia."

8:07 a.m. ET, August 11, 2022

Germany will launch tax relief package to help ease impacts of energy crisis

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

Germany will launch a new package of measures to help ease the impacts of the energy crisis on citizens as Russia's war in Ukraine continues.

This includes a tax relief for low-income families and for people who have problems paying their energy bills, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday. 

"Citizens can count on us not to abandon them," Scholz told journalists at a news conference in Berlin. 

On Wednesday, Germany's finance ministry revealed a proposal to ease income taxes in response to rising living costs. Finance Minister Christian Lindner said he expects about 48 million Germans would benefit from the tax changes.

The proposal follows an announcement from Chancellor Scholz in July that German households would have to pay for higher gas prices in the fall as a result of a gas standoff with Russia.

On Thursday, Scholz also said that Germany is determined to tackle an energy crisis in the coming winter in solidarity with its European partners.

"I believe that as the biggest country with the greatest economy and the largest population at the center of Europe, we have a special task," Scholz said. "We are the ones that have to do their share so that progress and sustainability come to pass in Europe. This is something that I commit to."

6:44 p.m. ET, August 11, 2022

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

From CNN staff

At least two people were killed by Russian shelling in central Ukraine overnight, and pro-Russian forces say they have entered two towns in the eastern Donetsk region. Various European leaders have also pledged more military support for Ukraine, including rocket systems promised by the United Kingdom.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Pro-Russian forces claim progress in Donetsk: Pro-Russian separatist forces say they have entered the Donetsk towns of Soledar and Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. DPR forces also claim to have surrounded Avdiivka and were in control of most of Pisky and Marinka.
  • Ukraine strikes Russian targets in south: Ukraine's military said it carried out six airstrikes against Russian targets in southern Ukraine on Wednesday. Russian forces were hit in the Beryslav district of Kherson and ammunition depots were destroyed in Bashtanka and Barvinka, officials said.
  • Two killed by Russian shelling: At least two people were killed and nine others injured, including a 13-year-old girl, after Russian forces shelled Ukraine's central Dnipropetrovsk region overnight, according to Ukrainian officials.

  • Belarus air base fire caused by equipment: An overnight blaze at a Belarusian air base near the Ukrainian border was caused by a piece of equipment catching fire, the Belarus Defense Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. The statement was issued in response to reports of flashes and detonations at Zyabrovka Air Base near the southeastern city of Gomel.
  • More military support for Ukraine: The United Kingdom will send further multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukraine, and Denmark will give another 110 million euros ($113.7 million) in financial aid to Ukraine for "weapons, equipment and training." In addition, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany will provide Ukraine with arms deliveries "in the near future."
  • Russia targets Tatar activists: Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister, Emine Dzheppar, said that authorities in Crimea have arrested several Tatar activists after searching their homes. Three of the activists were detained.
12:42 p.m. ET, August 11, 2022

UN chief urges parties to withdraw military personnel and equipment from Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

The United Nations Secretary General said he is “gravely concerned” about the situation at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine,

Reports of "further deeply worrying incidents” in the past few days could “lead to disaster," António Guterres said.

He called for the involved parties to withdraw any military personnel and equipment from the plant “and refrain from any further deployment of forces or equipment to the site.”

“We must be clear that any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, or anywhere else, could lead to catastrophic consequences not only for the immediate vicinity, but for the region and beyond,” he added. “This is wholly unacceptable.”

8:11 a.m. ET, August 11, 2022

German Chancellor pledges further arms deliveries to Ukraine in "near future"

From CNN's Nadine Schmidt in Berlin

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a press conference in Berlin on August 11.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaks during a press conference in Berlin on August 11. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Thursday that Germany will continue to provide Ukraine with arms deliveries for its fight against Russia.

"Germany has broken with its tradition and supplied weapons to a war zone," Scholz told journalists at a press conference in Berlin.

"We will continue to do so in the near future," Scholz said, without giving specific details. 

In July, the German government released a list of lethal and non-lethal military aid provided to Ukraine. 

The military equipment sent by Germany to Ukraine to date includes 14,900 anti-tank mines; 500 stinger anti-aircraft missiles; 10 Panzerhaubitze 2000 self-propelled howitzers; and 2,700 Strela man-portable air defense systems; as well as anti-drone devices, artillery ammunition, and handguns. 

6:28 a.m. ET, August 11, 2022

Denmark to give additional 110 million euros to Ukraine for weapons, equipment and training

From CNN's Sarah Diab

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced on Thursday that Denmark will give another 110 million euros ($113.7 million) in financial aid to Ukraine for "weapons, equipment and training."

"I hope that we here today can agree on even more contributions. And of course, Denmark is ready to do our part," Frederiksen said at an international donor conference in Copenhagen.

UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov were present at the conference in Denmark's capital.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also made a virtual appearance to thank the participants.