September 5, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Amy Woodyatt, Simone McCarthy, Tara Subramaniam and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 2259 GMT (0659 HKT) September 5, 2022
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1:59 p.m. ET, September 5, 2022

Russia has yet to achieve any of its strategic objectives in Ukraine's invasion, UK defense secretary says 

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London  

UK Defence secretary Ben Wallace on February 28.
UK Defence secretary Ben Wallace on February 28. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images/File)

More than six months into its war in Ukraine, Russia "has yet to achieve any of its strategic objectives" in its invasion, UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Monday.

Russia "continues to lose significant equipment and personnel" in the war, he added, saying that the losses will have a lasting impact on Moscow's future combat effectiveness.

"It is estimated to date that over 25,000 Russian soldiers have lost their lives. If you include killed, casualties, captured or the now reported tens of thousands of deserters — over 80,000 dead or injured and the other categories," Wallace said during a statement to lawmakers in the House of Commons. 

The Defense Secretary accused Putin of "weaponizing" energy and urged his fellow Members of Parliament to communicate the state of affairs to their voters.

"It is important, I think, we communicate to our constituents that some of the deeply uncomfortable times are facing us all are driven by effectively a totalitarian and a regime in Russia that is deliberately setting out to harm us and trying to test us about whether we will sacrifice our values for our energy costs," he said, 

Wallace also urged unity across Europe over the winter. 

“If we don’t stand together, we don’t deal with it now, these threats won’t go away on their own," he said. "We shouldn’t forget that this is – sadly – but it is an opportunity to diversify our supply, and it will be better for the long run for everyone as well."

1:32 p.m. ET, September 5, 2022

Ukraine claims it struck FSB base in Zaporizhzhia

From CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Yulia Kesaieva

Ukraine says it has struck a base used by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in Kamianka-Dniprovska of the Zaporizhzhia region, the Ukraine's Defense Intelligence division said on Monday.

Russian forces were also using one of the buildings to store ballots for an eventual referendum, according to the Defense Intelligence.

“The place where the ballots were stored for the pseudo-referendum was destroyed. The warehouse was blown up by an explosion from inside the premises. All existing printed materials have been destroyed,” the statement read. “The headquarters of the Russian FSB unit, which guarded the ballot warehouse, was destroyed as well.”
“The exact number of killed and wounded is being clarified. Survivors and wounded are urgently evacuated in the direction of occupied Crimea,” the statement also said. 

Open-source intelligence suggests an explosion did happen in Kamianka-Dniprovska, but CNN cannot independently verify Ukrainian claims that the site was used as an FSB base or that ballots for a referendum were indeed stored on location. 

Russia has not commented on the incident.

1:32 p.m. ET, September 5, 2022

Ukraine says it repelled Russian offensives in multiple areas and claims successes near Kramatorsk

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva

A Ukrainian BTR being driven out of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, on September 5.
A Ukrainian BTR being driven out of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region, on September 5. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

The Ukrainian military says it repelled multiple Russian offensives throughout the day and was able to push Moscow’s armies back near Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine, its General Staff said in a situational update on Monday evening.

“Our defenders successfully repelled enemy offensive attempts in the areas of the settlements of Bilohorivka, Hryhorivka, Pokrovske, Bakhmutske, Lozove, Spartak, Soledar, Zaitseve and Semihiria,” the General Staff said. “In the Kramatorsk direction, they had tactical success and knocked the enemy out of the positions he had previously occupied.”

“The defense forces of Ukraine continue to conduct a defensive operation, maintain the defined boundaries and prevent the invaders from advancing deep into the territory of Ukraine,” it added.

According to the General Staff, the Russian military carried out 40 attacks using multiple launch rocket systems and 25 airstrikes. 

The Ukrainian military went on to claim success in specific strikes using long-range artillery in Kherson and Kharkiv.

“As a result of a successful fire attack in the area of ​​Kupiansk settlement of Kharkiv region, the occupiers lost more than 100 servicemen killed and wounded, two combat vehicles were destroyed,” the military said. “In the city of Kherson, more than 30 servicemen and 3 enemy tanks were hit; and an anti-aircraft missile complex and six enemy trucks were destroyed in the area of ​​the Antonivskyi bridge and crossing.” 

“The successful actions of the Defense Forces led to the disabling of crossings in the Kherson area and once again nullified the aggressor's attempts to resume the transfer of troops across the Dnipro River,” the General Staff added.

1:05 p.m. ET, September 5, 2022

EU outlines plans for a price cap on Russian gas

From CNN's Gayle Harrington

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, speaks during a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels on July 10, 2021.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, speaks during a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels on July 10, 2021. (François Walshaerts/Pool/AFP/Getty Images/File)

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, says the European Union is preparing plans for a cap on Russian pipeline gas. In a tweet, she also stated that the EU Commission is preparing proposals to help vulnerable households and businesses to cope with high energy prices.

Energy Ministers from EU countries are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels on Friday, September 9 to discuss a response to the rising gas prices. 

Earlier on Monday, Russia blamed the disruption to gas supplies in Europe through Nord Stream 1 on Western sanctions saying they would resume if those sanctions were lifted. 

Von der Leyen accused Russian President Putin of "using energy as a weapon by cutting supply and manipulating our energy markets."

11:44 a.m. ET, September 5, 2022

Ukrainian nuclear agency: Zaporizhzhia's last operating reactor disconnected from grid after Russian shelling

From CNN's Yulia Kesaieva, Olga Voitovych and Vasco Cotovio

The last operating reactor at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been disconnected from the Ukrainian grid, the country’s nuclear agency Energoatom said on Monday, saying it was the result of a fire caused by Russian shelling. 

“As a result, power unit No. 6 was unloaded and disconnected from the grid, which currently supplies the ZNPP's own needs," the agency said in its statement.

Energoatom is working on restoring the connection, a spokesperson told CNN on Monday. 

“There is a chance to restore the power transmission to the Ukrainian grid,” the spokesperson added, saying he could not detail timings as the situation remained tense. 

The spokesperson noted that the situation was not considered an emergency. 

“The power unit No.6 is still working and cooling all the rest of nuclear reactors. So basically it maintains the power of the plant itself,” the spokesperson explained. “When the generators turn on, usually automatically, this situation would be considered emergency. For now, it is not.”

The Russian controlled military-civilian administration of the city of Enerhodar, where the power plant is located, would not say whether the power plant had been disconnected from the Ukrainian grid, but said the situation at the plant was normal.

The Energoatom spokesperson also said disconnecting the plant from the Ukrainian grid would not make connecting the plant to the Russian grid any easier, due to the damage to transmission lines.

10:20 a.m. ET, September 5, 2022

Russian court sentences former journalist to 22 years in jail for treason

From CNN's Anna Chernova

Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and adviser to the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos accused of state treason, stands inside a defendants' cage as he attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia September 5.
Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and adviser to the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos accused of state treason, stands inside a defendants' cage as he attends a court hearing in Moscow, Russia September 5. (Press Service of Moscow City Court/Handout/Reuters)

In the most high-profile case of treason in recent years, the Moscow City Court on Monday sentenced Ivan Safronov, a former journalist and adviser to the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, to 22 years in prison, according to an RIA Novosti correspondent reporting from the courtroom.

"[The court rules out] to sentence Safronov to a term of 22 years to be served in a high security jail," the judicial board announced the decision. In addition, he was sentenced to two years of restriction of freedom after his release and a fine of 500,000 rubles.

The defense has 10 days to appeal this decision, it has not yet entered into force, according to RIA 

More background: Safronov was detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) in July 2020 after he was accused of collecting state confidential data about Russia's military and technical developments, as well as defense and security, and handing it over to NATO.

As a journalist, Safronov specialized in reporting on military and space topics for the Vedomosti and Kommersant newspapers before moving on to work as an adviser to the former head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin.

Details of the case were not officially released, as the case was handled behind closed doors due to the severity of the charges. Lawyers for Safronov said last week the prosecutor offered the journalist a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence of 12 years, which he declined.

A few Russia’s remaining independent media outlets, including Meduza, Novaya Gazeta, TVRain, and others, published a statement in support of Ivan Safronov Monday demanding the release of the journalist and calling for an investigation into alleged legal violations in the case.

“It is clear to us that the reason for Ivan’s persecution is not ‘treason’, which is not confirmed by anything, but his journalistic work and materials that he published without regard to the opinion of the Ministry of Defense and the Russian authorities,” the statement said.

9:44 a.m. ET, September 5, 2022

Actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller are among the latest 25 Americans added to Russia's “stop list” 

From CNN’s Anna Chernova and Fred Pleitgen

American Actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller are among the latest 25 Americans added to Russia's “stop list.” 
American Actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller are among the latest 25 Americans added to Russia's “stop list.”  (Getty Images)

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday announced sanctions against 25 more Americans — ranging from members of Congress to business leaders and cultural figures, banning them from entry into Russia on a permanent basis. 

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced these sanctions in response to “ever-expanding personal sanctions” by the Biden administration against Russian citizens, it said on its website, adding that it was acting on the principle of reciprocity and banning US citizens in turn.

The sanctioned Americans include US Democratic senators Mark Kelley and Kristen Sinema, Republican senators Kevin Kramer, Michael Rounds, Richard Scott and Patrick Toomey, and American actors Sean Penn and Ben Stiller. 

“The hostile actions of the American authorities, which continue to follow a Russophobic course, destroying bilateral ties and escalating confrontation between Russia and the United States, will continue to be resolutely rebuffed," the foreign ministry added.

9:33 a.m. ET, September 5, 2022

Ukraine's Zelensky asks France's Macron for additional defense support

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Xiaofei Xu

Ukrainian and French presidents discussed defense support and the UN nuclear inspection during a 1.5 hours-long call, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a tweet on Monday.

French President also reiterated his full support for restoring Ukraine's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, the Elysee said in a readout of the call.

The two leaders also discussed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. 

“President [Macron] reiterated the imperative need to preserve the safety and security of the nuclear facilities, which can only be achieved through the withdrawal of Russian forces,” the Elysee said. “He also reaffirmed his determination to ensure that Ukrainian sovereignty over the plant is respected.”

9:41 a.m. ET, September 5, 2022

Russian court revokes print license for one of the country's last independent newspapers

From CNN's Fred Pleitgen and Anna Chernova

Novaya Gazeta newspaper's editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov (R) and deputy editor-in-chief Sergei Sokolov sit in a corridor before a court hearing of a case to revoke the newspaper's media license in Moscow, Russia on September 5.
Novaya Gazeta newspaper's editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov (R) and deputy editor-in-chief Sergei Sokolov sit in a corridor before a court hearing of a case to revoke the newspaper's media license in Moscow, Russia on September 5. (Filipp Lebedev/REUTERS)

The Basmanny Court of Moscow on Monday invalidated the certificate of registration for the print version of Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s last independent newspapers.

Judge Olga Lipkina ruled “to invalidate the registration of Novaya Gazeta,” state news agency RIA Novosti reported from the court.

Speaking outside court, editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov, a Nobel Peace laureate for his efforts to uphold critical news reporting in Russia, said the ruling was "a political hit job, without the slightest legal basis."

He said the paper would appeal.

In a statement published on the website, the editorial team called this “attempted murder of Novaya Gazeta.”

Russia's media watchdog Rozkomnadzor had accused the publication of failing to provide documents related to a change of ownership in 2006.

Novaya Gazeta, a stalwart of Russia's media scene since its foundation in 1993 with money from the Nobel Peace prize of late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, had carved out a niche as Russia's leading investigative outlet, even as press freedoms were.