As the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 179th day, we take a look at the main developments.
Here are the key events from Sunday, August 21.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned Russia could “try do something particularly ugly” ahead of Wednesday’s celebration marking 31 years of independence from Soviet rule.
- A Russian missile attack in Voznesensk, a town about 30km (20 miles) from the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear plant in Mykolaiv province, wounded 14 people, including 12 children, and has raised ongoing concerns of a nuclear disaster caused by the fighting.
- Russian forces have continued assaults on strategic towns and cities in eastern and southern Ukraine, but have not made major gains as of Saturday, according to the Washington, DC-based Institute for the Study of War.
- A drone struck a building in a “failed” attack near the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in Russian-annexed Crimea, according to Moscow-appointed governor Mikhail Razvozhayev. Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the incident, which follows a string of explosions at key strategic sites on the peninsula.
- Russian forces have reached the outskirts of Bakhmut in the eastern Donbas region, but have not been able to pass Ukrainian defences there, according to the United Kingdom defence ministry.
- Russia’s defence ministry has accused Ukraine of poisoning its soldiers in the Russian-controlled part of the southeastern region of Zaporizhia in late July. An adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry said Russian forces may have eaten expired canned meat.
- Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk has defeated the United Kingdom’s Anthony Joshua in a split-point decision to retain his WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He dedicated the victory to Ukraine.
- The Russian-controlled part of the Zaporizhia region is exporting up to 7,000 tonnes of grain a day, the Russian-installed authorities have said, although they did not say where the grain was bound. Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from seized territories.
- Wally Adeyemo, the deputy United States treasury secretary, has warned that Russian entities and individuals were attempting to use Turkey to bypass Western sanctions, during a call with Turkey’s Deputy Finance Minister Yunus Elitas.
- Two Russians and a Ukrainian caught trying to enter a military plant in central Albania are suspected of espionage, Albanian authorities said. One of the Russians was trying to take photos, the defence ministry said.
- The United Nations is working with the US and European Union to overcome obstacles to Russian food and fertilisers reaching world markets, said UN chief Antonio Guterres. While western sanctions do not apply to food and fertiliser, they have had a general chilling effect on exports.
- Talks on arranging a visit to the Zaporizhzhia plant by the UN’s nuclear agency have stretched more than a week. Ukrainian authorities have urged the UN and other global bodies to compel Russian forces to leave the plant.