August 29, 2022 Russia-Ukraine news

By Heather Chen, Tara John, Hafsa Khalil, Ed Upright, Aditi Sangal, Elise Hammond and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 4:08 a.m. ET, August 30, 2022
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9:20 p.m. ET, August 28, 2022

Recent shelling hit 100 meters from reactor buildings at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, IAEA says

From CNN's Hira Humayun

Shelling in the vicinity of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant over the past few days hit a "special building" located just 100 meters from its reactor buildings, the United Nations nuclear watchdog said in a statement on Sunday.

The buildings that were hit contained facilities like water treatment plants, equipment repair shops or waste management facilities.

Shelling in the area around the plant has been ongoing since Thursday but Ukraine does not have complete information yet on the nature of the damage, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chief Rafael Mariano Grossi said in the statement.

Grossi said safety systems at the plant remain operational, there has been no increase in radiation levels, radioactivity levels are within a normal range, there is no indication of hydrogen leakage, and the plant has continued access to off-site electricity after it temporarily lost connection to its last remaining operational power line on Thursday — which was restored later that day.

Two reactor units that were disconnected from the electricity grid on Thursday were reconnected on Friday and are operational, the IAEA chief added. The other four units were disconnected before Thursday’s shelling and are still not operating.

"The latest shelling once again underlined the risk of a potential nuclear accident at the ZNPP, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant (NPP), which is controlled by Russian forces since early March but operated by its Ukrainian staff," Grossi said.

Upcoming visit: An IAEA expert mission is expected to visit the plant in "the next few days" to help ensure nuclear safety and security at the site. The mission will assess damage to the plant's facilities, evaluate the working conditions of the staff, and perform urgent safeguard activities.

2:28 a.m. ET, August 29, 2022

IAEA mission expected to visit Zaporizhzhia in the "next few days"

From CNN's Oleksandra Ochman, Kostan Nechyporenko, Hira Humayun, Darya Tarasova and Michelle Velez

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar, Ukraine, on August 22.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar, Ukraine, on August 22. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are expected to go to the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia power plant "in the next few days" amid renewed shelling at the facility and mounting fears over a potential nuclear accident.

IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi "said he was continuing his consultations with all parties with the aim to send an IAEA expert mission to the #ZNPP in the next few days to help ensure nuclear safety and security there," the United Nations' nuclear watchdog tweeted on Sunday.

Grossi himself is a member of the team participating in the expert mission, according to a report from the New York Times. The Times says it saw Grossi on a list of names, which also included "13 other experts from mostly neutral countries."

"Neither the United States nor Britain, countries that Russia scorns as unfairly biased because of their strong support for Ukraine, is represented," the Times reported.

When CNN reached out to the IAEA on Sunday about the makeup of the expert mission, the nuclear watchdog declined to comment, saying it would not make such information public and that "all IAEA missions have members from different Member States, selected on the basis of their relevant expertise. They are international civil servants representing the IAEA, not their countries."

Read more here.

9:48 p.m. ET, August 28, 2022

How Ukraine is using resistance warfare developed by the US to fight back against Russia

From CNN's Oren Liebermann

As the war in Ukraine has passed the six-month mark, US and European officials say Ukraine has successfully used a method of resistance warfare developed by US special operations forces to fight back against Russia and bog down its vastly superior military.

The Resistance Operating Concept was developed in 2013 following Russia's war with Georgia a few years earlier but its value was only realized after Russia's invasion of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014. It provides a blueprint for smaller nations to effectively resist and confront a larger neighbor that has invaded.

Russia's nearly bloodless takeover and annexation of the occupied territory stunned Ukraine and the West, intensifying a study of how to build a plan for total defense that included not only the military, but also the civilian population.

Read the full story here.