Update – Serious Danger as Nuclear Plant On Fire
An Nuclear Reactor in Zaporizhahia is on fire after being shelled by Russian Soldiers.
????????#BREAKING – #Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Enerhodar city is under heavy fire from #Russian troops — 2 fires on the right side of the screen, flares, and RPG#RussianUkraineWar // #UkraineUnderAttack // #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/jM74dSRhj2
— Evan ???????? (@EvanReports) March 4, 2022
IAEA Director General @RafaelMGrossi speaks with #Ukraine PM Denys Shmygal and with Ukrainian nuclear regulator and operator about serious situation at #Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, appeals for halt of use of force and warns of severe danger if reactors hit.
— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 4, 2022
Russian Advance Slowed
The Russian invasion prong aimed at the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv appears to be stalled, while fighting rages in Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city, according to a senior Pentagon official. Russian President Vladimir Putin has amassed more than 150,000 troops in 120 battalion tactical groups on the border of Ukraine since last fall, and about 90 percent of the forces have invaded, according to the latest.
Peace Talks Continue
A second round of negotiations have been completed in Belarus. Russian and Ukrainian delegations have agreed to establish humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians, deliver food and get medicines to the areas of Ukraine with the most intense fighting.
This includes the possibility of a temporary ceasefire when and where evacuations are being carried out.
According to a Ukrainian advisor Mykhailo Podolyak the second round of talks didn’t achieve the results Kyiv hoped for. Nevertheless, the delegations plan to meet for a third round of talks in the near future.
In the southern part of Ukraine, news reports indicate the Russians have taken the city of Kherson, but U.S. officials cannot independently confirm this development. Russian forces did get closer to Mariupol, another city in Ukraine’s south, and are shelling the city.
Russia’s military are also shelling Kyiv and Kharkiv, with more rounds hitting civilian targets. “The Russians have shown a willingness to hit civilian infrastructure on purpose, citing the TV tower near Kyiv’s Babi Yar Memorial as an example”.
“Obviously, are hitting residential areas. There’s no doubt about that,” according to the Pentagon. “The degree to which that is intentional — and intentionally precise, in that regard — is difficult for us to assess. But clearly it’s happening.”
United Nations officials says at least 227 civilians have been killed in the fighting, but they added that could be a massive undercount.
Across northern Ukraine, Russian forces appear to be largely stalled, the official said. “In Kyiv, the Russian forces remain north and northwest of the city,” he said. The capital city is under increasing bombardment. In Kharkiv, officials assess that the Russian forces now appear to be just outside the city, very near the ring road, a bypass road around the city.
“Ukrainian command and control nodes continue to function, and Ukraine’s air defenses remain effective”, the official said. “They continue to be able to fly their airplanes and to employ air-defense assets. And, as of this morning, we’ve now counted more than 480 Russian missile launchers, again, of all of all sizes and stripes.”
The Pentagon says that the United States cannot confirm that Russia is using cluster munitions or thermobaric fuel-air bombs against Ukraine.
“The Russian movements may appear to be stalled, but there is still a lot of combat power available to President Putin. Ukrainian fighting abilities have had an effect on the Russians, as have problems with logistics and sustainment, or they may be pausing to reassess their campaign and redirect their efforts,” according to the Pentagon.
“The Russian troops have combined-arms capabilities, and, so far, Putin has not called up reserve forces from elsewhere in Russia”, the official said. “There are still thousands of troops in Russia and Belarus to draw upon. But just because they’re drawing more on it every day, you should not take away from that that their combat power is being diminished to such a point inside Ukraine that they are they feel like they’re running out of juice. We still assess that they have available to them in and outside Ukraine, the vast, vast majority of their total combat power.”
Computer Isolation Continues in Russia
The world of tech and social media is closing down on Russia. On Thursday evening, Facebook users in Russia are having difficulties accessing the website as reported by the website Downdetector.
Russian users are also reporting that there are a number of media websites are inaccessible. This includes the BBC and Deutsche Welle.
In some parts of Russia, people are having difficulties in accessing the website of RFE/RL’s Russian service, Radio Svoboda.
Globalcheck is also reporting that the App Store and Google Play are being blocked in Russia, as well.