The British suspect bad pay for Russian soldiers. Zelenskyi, meanwhile, announces both the goal of retaking Crimea and an investigation into the explosion in Chernihiv. You can find all the latest news about the war in Ukraine in the ticker.

Monday, September 5, 2:27 am: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy opens an investigation into the explosion of a grenade launcher at a children’s event in Chernihiv. “Two people who were directly involved in the tragic incident in Chernihiv were arrested on suspicion of committing a crime,” said Zelenskyy in his nightly video address. 15 people, including eight children, were wounded in the explosion at an unscheduled exhibition of military equipment in the northern Ukrainian city on Saturday.

11:43 p.m .: In a new video message, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has confirmed the goal of recapturing the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia. “I believe that the Ukrainian flag and free life will return to Crimea. We are liberating our entire earth, all our people,” Zelenskyy said in the clip released in Kyiv on Sunday evening. For the liberation, the Ukrainian armed forces, military reconnaissance and special services are already taking all the necessary steps.

“And everyone can see: the occupiers have already started to leave Crimea. It’s the right choice for all of them,” said Zelenskyy. However, there is no evidence that the Russians actually withdrew from the peninsula. The head of state also recalled the “repression” against the Crimean Tatar population, whose freedom rights were being suppressed.

Russia incorporated Crimea into its territory in 2014. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin justified the war against Ukraine on February 24 by saying that he saw indications of attempts by the Ukrainian leadership to take back Crimea using military force. Russia had always emphasized that it would not allow this under any circumstances.

Recently there had been massive explosions with devastating destruction and incidents with drones in Crimea. The already extreme security measures on the peninsula were then reinforced again. “The Russian presence has turned Crimea into one of the most dangerous and unfree places in Europe,” Zelensky said.

9:54 p.m .: According to information from Kyiv, the Ukrainian armed forces have freed the village of Wyssokopillja from the Russian occupation in the Cherson region. The deputy head of the presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, published a photo of the hoisted flag on his Telegram news service blog on Sunday. However, as early as June there were reports of the recapture of this town in the northern part of the region. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at a military meeting that Ukrainian flags are increasingly returning to the places where they belonged.

“And there is no place for the occupiers in our country,” said Zelenskyy on Sunday, according to the presidential administration in Kyiv. He did not give details. According to media reports, Ukrainian troops also recaptured the village of Oserne in the Donetsk region on Sunday. This information could not be verified independently.

5:00 p.m .: According to British secret services, the lack of morale among Russian troops in Ukraine may also be due to poor pay. In addition to the high number of victims and increasing combat fatigue, the salary is one of the biggest abuses, according to a short report by the British Ministry of Defense on Sunday.

The wages of Russian soldiers usually consist of a basic salary, which is supplemented by various allowances and bonus payments according to a complex system. According to the British, there are likely to be significant problems with the payment of these bonuses in Ukraine. This is presumably due to an inefficient military bureaucracy, the unclear legal status of the “military operation” – as Russia calls its war of aggression in Ukraine – and, to a certain extent, corruption among the commanders.

According to the secret services, there are also problems with the provision of suitable uniforms, weapons and other supplies. This also contributes to the fragile morale in the troops.

3:11 p.m .: According to Moscow, Russian troops attacked four command posts of the Ukrainian army. The Russian Ministry of Defense announced on Sunday afternoon that the attacks on bases near Kharkiv in the east of the country and Nikolske had taken place in the past 24 hours. Already in the morning the Ukrainian army reported an attack.

Regarding the counter-offensive launched by the Ukrainians in the south last Monday, it was said that Russian troops had attacked units and reserve forces from the neighboring country. 150 soldiers of the “enemy” were killed. On Saturday Moscow spoke of 230 new deaths in the offensive in the area between Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih. This information could not be independently verified.

Sunday, September 4, 9:37 am: The Ukrainian army has reported an attack on an “enemy command post” in the war against the Russian army. The army in Kyiv did not initially name an exact location on Sunday. The attack hit military equipment and destroyed a mobile radar system. In addition, Russian attacks, for example in the town of Bakhmut in the Donbass and the nearby settlement of Pokrovske, were repelled. The information could not be independently verified.

The Ukrainian army also registered more than 24 airstrikes by the “enemy” within 24 hours. Military and civilian objects were hit, the report said. No details were given. Because Russia lacks high-precision weapons, the Russian army uses “more often obsolete S-300 missile systems”. More than 500 of these rockets have already been fired into Ukrainian territory.

8:35 p.m .: Several children were killed and injured in Ukraine as a result of Russian attacks and negligent handling of ammunition. “In Zelenodolsk, the Russians killed a nine-year-old boy,” military governor of central Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk region, Valentyn Resnichenko, said on his Telegram channel on Saturday. A total of about ten people were injured by the rocket attacks, most of them seriously. Independent verification of the data is not possible.

There were also rocket attacks in the Mykolayiv region in southern Ukraine. There, an eight-year-old child is said to have been killed by the impacts, two other children and four adults were injured.

In the north of Ukraine, in the Chernihiv region, the authorities also reported numerous Russian artillery hits, in which several buildings were damaged. Here, however, negligence on the part of the Ukrainians themselves was to blame for the injuries to several children: a shot was fired from a grenade launcher at a weapons exhibition in the regional capital of Chernihiv. Five people, including four children between the ages of two and twelve, were injured in the incident. The public prosecutor’s office has launched investigations.

Ukraine President Zelenskyy condemned the injury of several children at the arms show in the evening. The Ukrainian President promised that the incident was “unacceptable” and that those responsible for this negligent demonstration would be punished.

6:31 p.m .: The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, occupied by Russian troops, has again been taken off the grid. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced on Saturday that the connection between the last remaining main power line of the power plant and the supply grid had been interrupted. The IAEA was informed “on site today” that the plant would continue to supply electricity via a reserve line.

“One reactor is still operating and producing electricity for both cooling and other essential safety functions of the facility and for homes, factories and others,” the IAEA statement said.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russia since March, and its surroundings have been repeatedly shelled in recent weeks. Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the attacks. As early as August 25, the nuclear power plant was temporarily completely cut off from the power grid – for the first time in the history of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

According to the IAEA report, the nuclear power plant originally had a total of four main power lines. Three of them had been cut off “earlier during the conflict”.

5:08 p.m .: The situation around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine remains unclear. The Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow on Saturday accused the Ukrainian army of wanting to recapture the nuclear power plant despite the presence of international nuclear experts.

250 soldiers and “foreign mercenaries” were involved in the operation. The Russian army claims to have repelled the attack and destroyed several boats in the process. According to the Defense Ministry in Moscow, 47 “militants” have been killed. This information could not be independently verified.

The Ukrainian military in turn accused Russia of carrying out attacks in the direction of Zaporizhia on Saturday night. Details were not given in the army report. According to the Russian news agency Interfax, a power line is said to have been damaged by the shelling. Therefore, the power supply to the area not occupied by Russia was interrupted.

A group of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been in the nuclear power plant since Thursday to examine the plant for possible damage.

2:03 p.m .: According to information from Kyiv, at least 380 children have been killed since the Russian war against Ukraine began more than six months ago. This was announced by the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s Office on Saturday in the Telegram news channel. In addition, at least 737 children have been injured in the past six months. The public prosecutor pointed out that these are preliminary figures. It is difficult to collect data in Russian-occupied or contested areas.

The Donetsk region in the east had the most injured and killed children with 388 victims, followed by the Kharkiv region (204). In addition, a total of 2,328 educational institutions were damaged by bombs or shelling. 289 of them were completely destroyed. The authority blamed Russia for this.

1:55 p.m .: According to Russian information, the Ukrainian military is continuing its counter-offensive in the south of the country, but with high losses. The Kyiv “regime” is continuing its unsuccessful attempts to establish itself in the area between Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih, the Defense Ministry reported in Moscow on Saturday.

Ukraine lost 23 tanks and 27 combat vehicles. In addition, more than 230 soldiers are said to have been killed. Hospitals lacked beds and blood supplies. The information could not be independently verified. Ukraine itself does not provide any more detailed information about the offensive launched on Monday.

Saturday, 11:26 a.m .: According to British secret services, Ukraine is currently pushing a broad advance on three axes west of the Dnipro River in its counter-offensive in the Cherson region in the south of the country. Although this offensive only had limited immediate targets, it probably surprised the Russians tactically, according to a short report by the Ministry of Defense in London on Saturday. This would expose logistical shortcomings and weaknesses in the leadership of the Russian offensive. Russian commanders would now have to decide which region to focus on for supplies and reserve troops.

Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine at the end of February, the British government has regularly published intelligence information about its progress. Moscow accuses London of a targeted disinformation campaign.

Also read: Ukraine soldiers talk about counter-offensive – “Go in, finish them off and take back what is ours”

6:24 p.m .: According to its own statements, the Ukrainian army fired on a Russian base near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on Friday.

In the city of Enerhodar and in the city of Cherson, also in the south, three Russian artillery systems and an ammunition depot were destroyed by “precise attacks”, the Ukrainian armed forces said. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are currently staying at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in the Enerhodar area.

You can read more reports on the Ukraine conflict on the following pages.