Fri, 07 Oct 2022

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ukraine on Thursday, with grain exports and concerns about the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to top the agenda. Follow FRANCE 24's live coverage of the Ukraine crisis. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

7:56am: Volunteers from the Georgian Legion help Ukrainians repel Russian army

In the first weeks after the Russian invasion in February, thousands of volunteers from all over the world, not all of them with military experience, flooded into Ukraine to help repel the Russian army. However, Georgian soldiers serving in the Georgian Legion have been fighting in Ukraine since 2014. FRANCE 24's reporters met in Kyiv with some of the volunteers who are providing expertise and training to the Ukrainians.

About thirty per cent of the Georgian Legion are foreign volunteers like Brad Mowery, a former police officer in the US who has come to Kyiv to help with the training. "I have the skill-set to come over and help. I could not stay at home and do nothing. . . . I find the Ukrainians incredibly easy to work with. . . . I can see them working through problems together. It is almost [as if] they are teaching themselves before I can get a chance to teach them. The morale is excellent among everyone. Obviously no-one is excited to go to war but they're ready."

5:00am: Guterres in Lviv ahead of his meeting with Zelensky and Erdogan

UN chief Antonio Guterres will meet the leaders of Ukraine and Turkey in Lviv on Thursday, following a deal reached last month that allowed the resumption of grain exports after Russia's invasion blocked essential global supplies.

The meeting also comes a day after the head of NATO said it was "urgent" that the UN's atomic watchdog be allowed to inspect Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, where a Russian occupation has sparked concerns of a nuclear accident.

A spokesman for Guterres said that the UN chief, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss the grain deal, as well as "the need for a political solution to this conflict".

He added that he had "no doubt that the issue of the nuclear power plant" would be raised. In his regular nightly address on Wednesday, Zelensky said Guterres had arrived and that the two would "work to get the necessary results for Ukraine".

Guterres is slated to travel on Friday to Odesa, one of three ports involved in the grain exports deal -- hammered out in July under the aegis of the UN with Ankara's mediation. He will then head to Turkey to visit the Joint Coordination Centre, the body tasked with overseeing the accord.

According to the UN, the first half of August saw 21 freighters authorised to sail under the deal, carrying more than 563,000 tonnes of agricultural products, including more than 451,000 tonnes of corn.

The first wartime shipment of UN food aid for Africa reached the Bosphorus Strait on Wednesday, carrying 23,000 tonnes of wheat.

9:35pm: Russian strike on Kharkiv kills 6, says mayor

A Russian strike killed at least six people and wounded 16 others in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, according to the city's mayor.

The attack started a fire in an apartment block, Kharkiv Mayor Igor Terekhov said on the Telegram app.

5:11pm: Ukraine buries unidentified victims of Bucha massacre

Unidentified remains of 21 victims of the Bucha massacre were buried Wednesday in a cemetery in the Kyiv satellite town that saw atrocities committed by retreating Russian forces in late March.

Reporting from Bucha, FRANCE 24's Rob Parsons said the bodies were brought from the Bucha morgue, where they were being held while investigators tried to match the victims' DNA. "But so far, for these ones at least, that's proved not possible. Meanwhile each grave is marked with a number, so if investigations into the DNA come up with some kind of answers, the relatives will be notified and they can moved their loved ones to graveyards of their own choice," explained Parsons.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

Originally published on France24

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