September 6, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Aditi Sangal, Adrienne Vogt, Jack Guy, Tara Subramaniam and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 4:02 AM ET, Wed September 7, 2022
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7:23 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

Explosion in Enerhodar cuts power supply, as Russian officials blame Ukrainian shelling

From CNN's Tim Lister, Anna Chernova and Olga Voitovych

A powerful explosion in the Ukrainian city of Enerhodar — adjacent to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant — has cut water and electricity supplies, the city's mayor has said.

"Today at 12:20 residents of Enerhodar reported about a powerful explosion in the city," said mayor Dmytro Orlov, who is not in the occupied city, on Telegram.

"After that, the electricity and water supply disappeared simultaneously in Enerhodar," he added.

Separately, the Russian-backed authorities in the region said that a power line to the city had been damaged by Ukrainian shelling.

The military-civilian administration of Enerhodar said that "as a result of the shelling, the power line in the area of the nuclear power plant was damaged, there is temporarily no electricity in the city."

Vladimir Rogov, a senior official in the Russian-backed administration in occupied Zaporizhzhia, said there had been seven incoming shells.

The Russian Defense Ministry, quoted by state news agency RIA Novosti, claimed that Ukrainian forces had shelled Enerhodar and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant 15 times in the past day.

"Ukrainian artillery has launched a total of 20 projectiles, including three of them at the nuclear power plant," said the ministry.

CNN is unable to confirm claims by either side of shelling or damage at and around the nuclear plant.

8:12 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant: History, control and key developments

From CNN's Data and Graphics teams

A Russian serviceman stands guard outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, Ukraine, on May 1.
A Russian serviceman stands guard outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station, Ukraine, on May 1. (Andrey Borodulin/AFP/Getty Images)

"The day has come," Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) declared last Monday, marking the beginning of his journey to the largest nuclear plant in Europe that sits on the firing line between the Russian occupiers and Ukrainian forces.

Then on Thursday, a group of 14 inspectors led by Grossi arrived at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP) in southern Ukraine, despite concerns about constant shelling in the area.

Since early March, when Russia captured the plant, international and local experts have voiced grave warnings, not only for the safety of the plant's workers, but also for fear of a nuclear disaster that could affect thousands of people in the surrounding area.

Take a closer look at the perilous situation at the plant here.

8:13 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

IAEA report on Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant expected later today

From CNN's Jack Guy

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant during a visit by members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert mission, on Friday, September 2.
The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant during a visit by members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert mission, on Friday, September 2. (International Atomic Energy Agency/Handout/Reuters)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to release a report on the nuclear safety and security situation in Ukraine later today, including its findings from the mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Last Thursday IAEA chief Rafael Grossi led a 14-person mission to the plant, which has been held by Russian forces since March.

The area around the plant has seen persistent shelling for weeks, some of which has damaged the plant's infrastructure, according to the IAEA, raising fears of a nuclear incident.

On Monday, Ukraine's state nuclear energy provider, Energoatom, said the plant was operating "with the risk of violating radiation and fire safety regulations."

"Currently, only the 6th power unit remains in operation, which supplies electricity to the energy system of Ukraine and provides the Zaporizhzhia NPP's (nuclear power plant's) own needs," it added.

Energoatom said the fifth power unit was disconnected on Saturday, blaming "repeated shelling by the Russian invaders" for damage to the communication line between the plant and the Ukrainian grid.

CNN is unable to confirm the allegation. 

5:45 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

Pro-Russian official in Kherson speaks of heavy Ukrainian attacks

From CNN's Olga Voitovych and Tim Lister

As Ukrainian forces continue their offensive in the southern Kherson region, Russian media are reporting heavy bombardments around the town of Nova Kakhovka on the Dnipro river. 

The Russian backed administration of Nova Kakhovka said Tuesday the town "is once again shelled with rockets from the AFU [armed forces of Ukraine.] This is the eighth air raid alarm in a day."

Quoted by Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Vladimir Leontiev, head of the administration, said: "There were 74 missiles overnight, incoming shells continued in the morning, they hit the road infrastructure, the hydroelectric power station."

"Most of the missiles were repelled by air defense, day by day the results of the air defense are getting better and better," Leontiev added.

Nova Kakhovka is home to a strategic hydroelectric power plant, and a bridge across the River Dnipro that has been frequently attacked by Ukrainian air strikes and artillery. The bridge is now thought to be impassable.

4:09 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

Missile attack on central Ukrainian city causes heavy fire at oil depot, Ukrainian military official says

From CNN’s Olga Voitovych

A missile attack sparked a heavy fire at an oil depot in central Ukraine, the head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration reported Tuesday. 

“There was a missile attack on Kryvyi Rih. Heavy fire at the oil depot. Firefighters and a fire engine are on the scene. The scale of the destruction and information about the victims are being clarified,” Valentyn Reznichenko posted on Telegram, alongside a photograph showing large clouds of black smoke. 

Reznichenko did not clarify when the fire first broke out. 

5:40 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

Russians continue to shell Donetsk region but no change on ground

From CNN's Tim Lister

Ukrainian firefighters put out fire in a residential house after a Russian military strike in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on Monday.
Ukrainian firefighters put out fire in a residential house after a Russian military strike in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on Monday. (Alex Babenko/Reuters)

Russian forces continue to shell Ukrainian towns and villages across the Donetsk region, but have made no progress on the ground, according to Ukrainian regional authorities.

Several towns in Donetsk were shelled on Monday, including Bakhmut and Avdiivka, and four civilians were wounded. No information was provided on Ukrainian military casualties.

The regional administration said that a mandatory evacuation in much of Donetsk was still in force.

Despite daily bombardments by Russian artillery, air strikes and tank fire, there has been virtually no change on the front lines in Donetsk for several weeks. Analysts say that after a string of losses in June on the border of Luhansk and Donetsk, Ukrainian forces have largely held their positions -- and almost daily Russian assaults have been rebuffed. In recent days, Ukrainian units even advanced in one area across the Siverskiy Donets river, but it's unclear how much resistance they met.

Ukrainian officials say the latest Russian assault was towards Bakhmut overnight Monday.

"The occupiers launched two rocket strikes, eight artillery shells and 17 mortar shells. The Russians used MLRS three times, a tank -- twice, and an infantry fighting vehicle."

Further south in Zaporizhzhia and Dnipropetrovsk, the Russians shelled the Nikopol district across the river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, according to the regional administration. Regional administrators said 11 homes and 20 high-rise buildings were damaged.

5:09 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

Apartment building in Kharkiv hit by Russian fire, says regional chief

From CNN's Olga Voitovych

An apartment building in the middle of Ukraine's second largest city was destroyed by Russian fire early Tuesday, said the head of the Kharkiv region military administration.

"As a result of the morning strikes in Kharkiv, an apartment building in the central part of the city was destroyed," Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram.

"Information about the victims is being clarified. There are no hospitalized patients at the moment."

Ihor Terekhov, the mayor of Kharkiv, said that a few survivors have been rescued from the rubble of the residential building.

"Three people have already been rescued from the ruins of a residential building — two women and a man. According to preliminary information they are not injured," Terekhov said.

He said another shell had struck an administrative building but "there is no information on casualties as of now."

Serhii Bolvinov, head of the Police Investigation Department in Kharkiv, said that two rockets had landed in the city center.

 "The types of rockets and the number of victims are being clarified," he said.

5:18 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

Russia is purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea, source says

From CNN's Kylie Atwood

An artillery fire competition between the artillery units under the Korean People's Army Corps 7 and Corps 9 takes place at a training ground in North Korea on March 12, 2020.
An artillery fire competition between the artillery units under the Korean People's Army Corps 7 and Corps 9 takes place at a training ground in North Korea on March 12, 2020. (KCNA/Reuters)

Russia is in the process of purchasing millions of rockets and artillery shells from North Korea for use on the battlefield in Ukraine, a US official told CNN.

The purchase indicates that the Russian military continues to suffer from severe supply shortages in Ukraine, due in part to export controls and sanctions, according to the official.

The US expects Russia could try to buy more military equipment from North Korea going forward, the source said.

The New York Times first reported the purchases.

8:13 a.m. ET, September 6, 2022

Ukraine's Zelensky accuses Russia of deteriorating situation at Zaporizhzhia plant

From Yulia Kesaieva and CNN’s Vasco Cotovio

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers his nightly address on September 5 from Kyiv, Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers his nightly address on September 5 from Kyiv, Ukraine. (President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of intentionally deteriorating the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (ZNPP) after the power plant lost connection to the country's energy grid on Monday.

A spokesperson for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told CNN that the transmission line connecting Zaporizhzhia to the Ukrainian energy grid had been intentionally disconnected due to a fire. The spokesperson also said the line had not suffered any damage and would be reconnected as soon as the fire was extinguished.

Ukraine blamed Russia for the shelling, which, it said, caused the fire.

“I consider the fact that Russia is doing this right now, right on the eve of the IAEA conclusions, very eloquent. Shelling the territory of the ZNPP means that the terrorist state does not care what the IAEA says, it does not care what the international community decides," Zelensky said in his nightly address on Monday.

“Russia is only interested in keeping the situation at its worst for the longest time,” he added, explaining this was the second time the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had been disconnected from the Ukrainian grid, bringing it “one step away from a radiation disaster.”

“This can only be amended by enhancing sanctions, only by officially recognizing Russia as a terrorist state -- at all levels,” Zelensky concluded. “This requires an international response -- starting with the UN to every normal state.”