Day 482: Russia mines more facilities at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s intelligence chief says

Russia mines more facilities at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s intelligence chief says. Ukrainian troops slowly advance. NATO chief praises Ukraine’s “right operational decisions”. The EU readies 50 billion euros for Ukraine aid package.

Russia mines more facilities at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine’s intelligence chief says

Russia has mined the pond used to keep reactors cool at the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Head of the Main Intelligence Department of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Major General Kyrylo Budanov said on television Tuesday.

Answering a question on whether there are threats to the plant, Budanov said that “there is some threat”. 

“The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains under the actual control of [Russian] occupying troops. The truth is that having blown up the [Kakhovka] dam, they disrupted a regular flow of water to the cooling systems at the plant. The second most terrifying thing is that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was additionally mined during that time, namely the cooling pond was mined. If they disable it [blow this up], there’s a high probability we’ll suffer heavy consequences,” Ukraine’s defense intelligence chief said.

Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi earlier said that there is a risk the facility could be left without essential water needed to cool its six reactors “perhaps in a few weeks or a month”, following the collapse of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and dam. The situation around the plant was “serious” but being “stabilized” after the blast at the dam, Grossi said after visiting the plant on June 15.

Enerhoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear energy company, said that the situation around the Zaporozhzhia nuclear power plant was controlled and that the water was high enough to meet the station’s needs.

Ukrainian troops slowly advance; NATO chief praises Ukraine’s “right operational decisions”

Ukrainian troops are making gains in the counteroffensive on the southern Melitopol and Berdyansk axes, spokesperson for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Andriy Kovalyov said. “In the past day, Ukrainian troops had achieved partial success in the directions Novodarivka – Pryiutne [in Polohy district in central Zaporizhzhia region], Makarivka – Rivnopil [in Volnovakha district in western Donetsk region], and Novodanylivka – Robotyne [in Polohy district]. They are strengthening positions on the recently gained ground,” he said.

Ukrainian forces may be temporarily pausing counteroffensive operations to reevaluate their tactics for future operations, the Institute for the Study of War said on June 18.

The Ukrainian military command is making the right operational decisions as Ukrainian troops are gaining ground, NATO Secretary General told a joint news conference with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius at the Jagel Air Base in Germany. 

Russian forces intensified operations on the Lyman-Kupyansk axis, at the administrative border between Kharkiv and Luhansk regions, spokesperson the Eastern Military Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces Colonel Serhiy Cherevatyi said. They are taking heavy losses, he added.

EU readies 50 billion euros for Ukraine aid package

The European Union is ready to propose a financial aid package of around EUR 50 billion (USD 55 billion) to support Ukraine, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the plan. The cash will be disbursed provided Ukraine fulfills reforms to improve the rule of law and address corruption.

The proposal from the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, will help finance the Ukrainian government’s current expenditures and pay for urgent reconstruction priorities, according to people familiar with the plan. The reforms aim to put Ukraine on a path to become an EU member with leaders to decide whether to open negotiations by the end of the year.

The commission wants to avoid a burdensome reconstruction instrument for a country at war and will offer the aid in the form of grants, concessional loans and guarantees, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private. In contrast with previous financial packages for Ukraine, the plan will be financed via contributions from member states instead of borrowing from the markets, one of the people said.

The package, still subject to changes before it’s made public, will be announced Tuesday ahead of a conference this week in London, where donors will discuss how to rebuild the country and Ukrainian officials will seek private sector involvement.

Cities that are no longer. Ukraine in Flames #466

In an episode witness the stories of three war-ravaged Ukrainian towns. Rubizhne, once a thriving community, was destroyed by Russian occupation, leaving the town a ghostly shell. Severodonetsk, a former industrial center, had its infrastructure completely destroyed, but its resilient residents believe in a better future. And Starobilsk, sandwiched between occupied territories and the Russian border, stands firm, providing vital assistance to its people while preparing for de-occupation. These stories demonstrate Ukraine’s unwavering spirit in the face of ongoing war. Watch UIF #466 to learn more.


  • Oleksiy Artyukh, Editor of Tribune, Rubizhne
  • Oleksandr Stryuk, Head of the Severodonetsk city military administration
  • Yana Litvinova, Mayor of Starobilsk

Support of Ukrainian universities during the war. Ukraine in Flames #467