The top Russian-installed official in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region said on Friday that shelling of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, had “almost stopped”. Speaking on Russian state television, Russian-installed regional governor Yevgeny Balitsky said that Russian troops would not leave the nuclear plant, and that it would never return to Ukrainian control.
Australia’s financial intelligence agency has warned Russian paramilitary groups are soliciting cryptocurrency donations to buy weapons and that Australians have donated to terrorist organisations overseas. Senior executives at Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) also said cryptocurrency has become a “standard part of the money-laundering tool kit” for organised crime groups in Australia.
Air raid sirens were sounding shortly before 7am in Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, the regional governor Vitalli Kim indicated on Telegram, in a series of posts saying, “Air alarm”. Kherson governor Yaroslav Yanushevych also posted an air raid alarm, but shortly afterwards said that the alert was over.
The White House announced a further $1.85bn in aid including, for the first time, Patriot air defence missiles to protect Ukraine’s infrastructure, already crippled by Russian attacks.
The US is imposing fresh sanctions on 10 Russian naval entities over Russian operations against Ukrainian ports, the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, said. Six of the entities targeted in the latest sanctions were designated for operating or having operated in both the defence and related material sector and the marine sector of the Russian economy, the US state department said on Thursday.