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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2:47 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.

5:55 a.m. ET, August 11, 2022

Ukraine claims Russia has arrested Tatar activists in Crimea

From CNN's Tim Lister and Oleksandra Ochman

Ukraine's First Deputy Foreign Minister, Emine Dzheppar, says that authorities in Crimea have arrested several Tatar activists after searching their homes.

"The morning of August 11 in #Crimea started with unlawful searches in the houses of Enver Krosh, Seitiai Abbozov, Edem Bekirov, Murat Mustafaiev, Rinat Aliiev, journalist Vilen Temerianov and his mother," Dzheppar tweeted.

She said three of the activists had been detained and posted several photographs showing security forces carrying out the raids.

"#Russian occupational authorities continue pressure and persecution of #CrimeanTatars as they oppose occupation and support territorial integrity of #Ukraine," Dzheppar added.

The wife of Temerianov said in a Facebook video that three men wearing balaclavas were among those that arrested her husband. They had said that the investigation was to do with criminal extremism, and had asked questions about postcards at the house that were to be sent to Crimean activists in prison.

The Russian-backed authorities in Crimea have not made any comment.

Thousands of Crimean Tatar people began to return to the peninsula in the late 1980s. Some 200,000 Crimean Tatars had been forcibly deported by Stalin in 1944 in what the Ukrainian parliament has recognized as an act of genocide.

5:29 a.m. ET, August 11, 2022

UK announces more long-range multiple-launch rocket systems for Ukraine

From CNN's Tim Lister

The United Kingdom will send send further multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to Ukraine, according to Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

"Britain will also give a significant number of precision guided M31A1 missiles which can strike targets up to 80km away, enabling Ukraine to continue to defend itself against Russian heavy artillery," the Ministry of Defense announced.

Wallace said in a statement: “This latest tranche of military support will enable the Armed Forces of Ukraine to continue to defend against Russian aggression and the indiscriminate use of long-range artillery. Britain and the international community remain opposed to this illegal war and will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, providing defensive military aid to Ukraine to help them defend against Putin’s invasion.”

Ukrainian troops have been trained in the UK on how to use the launchers.

The Ministry of Defense said other equipment currently being delivered to Ukraine includes more than 20 155 millimeter self-propelled guns; 105 millimeter artillery guns and ammunition; more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition for Ukraine’s Soviet-era artillery; and at least 1,600 more anti-tank weapons.

The UK and other NATO countries are also committed to training up to 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers in infantry skills.

The announcement came as Wallace co-hosts a conference of northern NATO states to discuss further long-term support for Ukraine on training, equipment, and funding.

The Ministry of Defense said the UK and its allies will begin to establish a plan of action to support Ukraine into 2023 and beyond for as long as necessary.

5:29 a.m. ET, August 11, 2022

Latvia’s Parliament declares Russia "state sponsor of terrorism" due to attacks on civilians in Ukraine

From CNN's Jorge Engels

Latvia’s Parliament has declared Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism,” citing attacks on civilians.

“The Saeima adopted a statement on Russia's targeted military attacks against civilians and public areas in Ukraine, recognizing Russia's violence against civilians as terrorism and Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Latvia’s Parliament said in a statement published Thursday. 

Latvian lawmakers also urged EU countries to immediately halt the issue of tourist and entry visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens.