Our live coverage of Russia's war in Ukraine has moved here.
Mikhail Gorbachev, the last president of the Soviet Union before its dissolution, has died in Moscow at the age of 91, according to official statements.
Gorbachev, whose tumultuous rule was associated with the terms of perestroika and glasnost — reform and openness — died after a long illness, according to official Russian news agencies.
“Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev died this evening after a severe and prolonged illness,” the Central Clinical Hospital reported, according to RIA/Novosti Tuesday.
Russian President Vladmir Putin expressed his deepest condolences over Gorbachev's death, Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told RIA Novosti.
Putin will send a message tomorrow to Gorbachev’s family and friends, the Russian new agency added.
Here's a look back at the life and times of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev:
As the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delegation arrives in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said their mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is important "and we're doing everything we can to make it happen safely and at full capacity."
"Unfortunately, Russia does not stop provocations precisely in those directions from which the mission is supposed to arrive at the station. But I hope that the IAEA mission will be able to start its work," he claimed.
Both Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of daily attacks using rockets and artillery in the vicinity of the plant.
"The situation at the ZNPP and in Enerhodar [the adjacent city] , in the surrounding areas, remains extremely threatening," Zelensky said.
Some context: Zelensky met with the IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi on Tuesday, according to a press officer with Zelensky’s office. The delegation plans on visiting the power plant later this week.
Zelensky urged the IAEA to do more than inspect the plant, saying that strategic decisions were required “regarding the urgent demilitarization of the station, the withdrawal of all, any, military personnel of the Russian Federation with explosives, with any kind of weapon.”
The president insisted that the area should become a demilitarized zone and that there should be a transition of the plant to full control of the Ukrainian state.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has spoken of the military's efforts to take the battle to Russian forces and says the occupiers "can do only two things: run away or surrender."
In his daily video message, Zelensky said the armed forces and security services were doing "everything possible and impossible so that every Russian serviceman will necessarily feel the Ukrainian response to this terrible terror that Russia has brought to our land."
He was speaking as a Ukrainian offensive in the south got underway. Few details have emerged about its goals and timeline, nor about Ukrainian advances in the Kherson region.
Zelensky promised that "Throughout the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, from Crimea to the Kharkiv region, the Russian army does not have and will not have a single safe base, a single quiet place. Our defenders will destroy all warehouses, headquarters of the occupiers, and their equipment, no matter where they are located."
"This is Ukrainian land, and the occupiers can do only two things: run away or surrender. We leave them no other options," he said.
Zelensky also addressed the people of Crimea, saying, "Please stay as far as possible from Russian military facilities. Do not be near Russian bases and military airfields, report to the special services of Ukraine all the information you know about the occupiers so that the liberation of Crimea can happen faster."
State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel confirmed that the US believes Russia has received unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Iran and “intends to use these Iranian UAVs, which can conduct air to surface attacks, electronic warfare, and targeting on the battlefield in Ukraine.”
“The Russian military is suffering from major supply shortages in Ukraine in part because of sanctions and export controls, forcing Russia to rely on unreliable countries like Iran for supplies and equipment,” Patel said during a phone briefing Tuesday. “We'll continue to vigorously enforce all US sanctions on both the Russian and Iranian arms trade and we will stand with our partners throughout the region against the Iranian threat.”
CNN’s Natasha Bertrand reported Monday evening that the US assessed that Russia was in possession of the UAVs.
A top Kremlin official is leading Russia’s efforts to stage sham referenda in occupied parts of Ukraine, US State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said Tuesday.
“Preparations for the sham referenda are being led by the first deputy head of Russia's presidential administration, Sergey Kiriyenko,” Patel said during a phone briefing.
“Kiriyenko is responsible for overseeing the Russia-held territories in advance of their attempted incorporation into Russia, which would be illegal if completed,” he said.
Kiriyenko was sanctioned in March 2021 and sanctioned again in February 2022 — two days before the Russian war in Ukraine began — in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to recognize the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics as “independent.”
Patel reiterated that the US assesses that Russia could hold sham referenda in Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, and parts of Kharkiv. They “could take place in the coming weeks,” he said.
“We expect Russia to manipulate the results of these referenda in order to falsely claim that the Ukrainian people want to join Russia,” he said.
“As part of the sham referenda, Russia will undoubtedly employ propaganda and disinformation campaigns, falsify voter turnout and exaggerate the percentage of those who supposedly voted in favor of joining Russia," he said. “We want to be clear any claim by the Kremlin that the Ukrainian people somehow want to join Russia is a lie. Polling shows that just 3% of Ukrainians say that they would like Ukraine to be a member of the Russia-led Eurasian Customs Union.”
European countries bordering the Baltic Sea agreed on Tuesday to ramp up offshore wind energy seven-fold by 2030, as Europe seeks to wean itself off Russian gas supplies.
The agreement was signed at the Baltic Sea Summit in Copenhagen, which was hosted by Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and government heads from Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. Organizers said the summit's aim was to strengthen the EU’s independence from Russian gas, improve energy security and boost the Baltic Sea’s offshore energy potential.
“Our dependency on Russian fossil fuels will only be over if we invest massively into renewable energy. And that is why we are here today. So we need clean, we need cheaper and we need home-grown power. We need it big and we need it fast,” von der Leyen said during her opening remarks.
More on the agreement: Initial projects announced include a hybrid offshore wind park between Estonia and Latvia, a cross-border district heating grid between Germany and Poland and a project to produce renewable electricity in Italy, Spain and Germany for conversion, transport and use of green hydrogen in the Netherlands and Germany, according to a news release issued by the European Commission.
During a news conference following the summit, the European Commission president also addressed concerns over rising energy prices across Europe.
“The real driver for the increase of electricity prices is somewhere else, that is gas, and mainly Russian gas that has been manipulated by Putin. Putin who uses gas as a weapon and you can see that in the figures,” she said, adding the electricity market is no longer functioning because of Putin “who is systematically trying to destroy it and to manipulate it.”
These are some of the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:
Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi ahead of a planned visit this week by a delegation of the IAEA, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog.
As Ukraine and Russia continue to accuse each other of shelling the area around the plant, the European Union is donating 5.5 million potassium iodide tablets to Ukraine to safeguard people from potential radiation exposure in what the EU Commission called a “preventative safety measure.”
Ukrainian southern counteroffensive: US President Joe Biden's administration has been helping the Ukrainian military prepare for its now-ongoing counteroffensive for the last couple of months by fulfilling specific arms requests leading up to the launch this week, according to an administration official.
Ukrainian officials also said that the damage to bridges across the Dnipro river in the Kherson region means that Russian forces are unable to cross the river to assist units on the front lines further north.
Kharkiv strikes: At least four people were killed and nine others wounded in shelling of central Kharkiv — Ukraine's second-largest city — on Tuesday, according to Oleh Synehubov, the head of the regional military administration.
Rssian gas supplies: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, while saying that Russia is using gas as a strategy in the war against Ukraine, assured Germans that "we can deal quite well with the threats that are coming our way" in terms of the gas supply for the coming winter months. On Aug. 19, Gazprom announced unscheduled maintenance orders onNord Stream 1 from Aug. 31-Sept. 2, which will suspend gas flow. Meanwhile, French industrial energy group Engie said that Russian gas company Gazprom will reduce its supply of gas to France, effective today.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky met with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Grossi on Tuesday, according to a press officer with Zelensky’s office.
The meeting came as Ukraine and Russia continue to accuse each other of shelling the area around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant ahead of a planned visit by a delegation of the IAEA, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, later in the week.
Zelensky told Grossi that the IAEA's mission in Ukraine is "urgent" and that Ukraine wants its team to do more than carry out an inspection at the plant.
Zelensky said that he hoped the delegation would "find an opportunity, thanks to our special services, thanks to the security corridors, to get to the station, and do the best to avoid all those threats on a global scale."
"Probably, today this is one of the most [high] priority issues regarding the security of Ukraine and the world," Zelensky said.
He blamed the Russian military for the "creation of great risks, regarding explosions, regarding the failure to work of the nuclear reactors, regarding the risks of disconnecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant units from our network, and regarding the risks of the heating season for our citizens."
Zelensky urged the IAEA to do more than inspect the plant, saying that strategic decisions were required "regarding the urgent demilitarization of the station, the withdrawal of all, any, military personnel of the Russian Federation with explosives, with any kind of weapon."
Zelensky insisted that the area should become a demilitarized zone and that there should be a transition of the plant to full control of the Ukrainian state.