12.45 p.m .: The counter-offensive launched by Ukraine in the south of the country has largely failed from the point of view of Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. “The Ukrainian armed forces continue to attempt attacks in the area between Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih and in other directions, the enemy is suffering heavy casualties,” Shoigu said on Friday at a briefing broadcast on the ministry’s Telegram channel. Kiev’s only goal in the offensive is “to create the illusion among Western curators that the Ukrainian army is capable of attacking.”

The aim of the Ukrainian attacks is to drive the Russian troops stationed west of the Dnipro back behind the river in the Cherson region. In contrast, Shoigu declared that Russian troops had advanced to the territorial border with the neighboring Mykolaiv region. The information cannot be verified independently.

Shoigu also spoke of further successes of the Russian army in eastern Ukraine. There the troops last took the heavily fortified town of Pisky directly in front of Donetsk. Russian sources had reported Pisky’s intake for the first time a month ago.

Friday, September 2, 9:51 am: According to British experts, Russia’s military exercises have proved useless due to the weak performance of Russian forces in Ukraine. Events like the Vostok-22 maneuver currently being held have not proven effective in maintaining the military’s ability to conduct large-scale, complex operations, the UK Defense Ministry’s intelligence update on the Ukraine war said on Friday.

“Such events are highly scripted, do not encourage initiative and are primarily aimed at impressing the Russian leadership and international audiences,” the statement said. The British military experts also assume that the actual number of participants in Vostok-22 is significantly lower than stated by Moscow. “Russia has publicly claimed 50,000 troops will be involved, but it is unlikely that more than 15,000 military personnel will participate.” That is only 20 percent of the number of participants in the past Vostok exercise in 2018.

According to the British, heavy fighting continued in the south of Ukraine – also in the vicinity of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which was occupied by Russian troops.

1:33 p.m .: The team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has arrived at the contested Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia. This is reported by several news agencies.

11:55 a.m .: According to the Russian occupying forces, the group of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for the southern Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia is already in the area they control. “According to the latest information received, they passed the Vasylivka checkpoint and we expect them in the city of Enerhodar within the hour,” Enerhodar occupation administration chief Alexander Volga was quoted as saying by Russia’s Interfax news agency on Thursday.

Earlier there were reports of artillery shelling of the city of Enerhodar. IAEA boss Rafael Grossi had reported on the risks and assured in the nearby city of Zaporizhia before departure: “We will not stop. We’re leaving now.” The mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, accused the Russian military of also attacking the route of the IAEA mission to Zaporizhia. For safety reasons, the IAEA team cannot continue on its way to the nuclear power plant.

10.49 a.m .: According to the operator, a reactor at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which was occupied by Russian soldiers, had to be shut down after a shelling during the night. “As a result of renewed mortar fire by the Russian occupying forces at the site of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, emergency protection was activated and the fifth reactor in operation was shut down,” the Ukrainian nuclear authority Enerhoatom said on Thursday on its Telegram channel.

Reactor number six, which supplies the plant with the necessary electricity, is still in operation. A power line was also damaged, Enerhoatom said. The information cannot be verified independently. For weeks, the Russian and Ukrainian sides have held each other responsible for the shelling of the facility.

9:52 a.m .: The experts at the US think tank “Institute for the Study of War” write that Moscow is trying to portray the Ukrainian offensive as a failure. “The Russian Ministry of Defense launched an information campaign immediately after the announcement of the Ukrainian counter-offensive on August 29 to present it as a failure. Several prominent military bloggers – including those who have been critical of the Kremlin in the past – support this message,” the briefing said.

It is also claimed that President Selenskyj and his general staff have fallen out because of the offensive – this is also disinformation.

9:02 a.m .: The Ukrainian armed forces have continued their offensive against the Russian occupation in southern Ukraine and, according to British secret services, have attacked Russian logistics sites with long-range missiles. Official footage of the Ukrainian government also shows the use of missiles that can be used to locate and destroy radar systems, according to a short report by the British Ministry of Defense on Thursday.

From the point of view of the British secret services, the Russian radar systems are a decisive factor for Russia’s position in the Ukraine war. Substantial damage to these systems would significantly weaken the Russians, it said.

Thursday, September 1, 7:23 a.m.: Shortly before the planned arrival of the experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia, fighting broke out again in the nearby small town of Enerhodar. Ukrainians and Russians blamed each other. “The shelling from grenade launchers has been heard since five in the morning,” wrote the escaped Ukrainian mayor of Enerhodar, Dmytro Orlov, on Telegram on Thursday. Several civilian objects were hit, and there were also dead. The agreed route, which the expert commission is to take from Zaporizhia to the nuclear power plant 120 kilometers away, is also under fire, wrote the governor of the region, Olexandr Starukh, on Twitter.

On the other hand, the representative of the Russian occupiers, Vladimir Rogov, reported on Telegram that Enerhodar had been under fire from Ukrainian artillery since the early morning. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that an attempted attack by Ukrainian troops on the nuclear power plant had been repelled. Around 60 men got out of boats on the banks of the Kachowka reservoir about three kilometers away from the plant and tried to take the power plant.

The nuclear experts, led by IAEA boss Rafale Grossi, are to check the condition of the plant with its six reactors, the conditions under which the Ukrainian operating team is working, and whether all the nuclear material is still there. Russian soldiers are in the nuclear power plant. The plant and its surroundings have come under repeated shelling in recent weeks, with Russians and Ukrainians blaming each other. Internationally, there was great concern about damage to the plant and the release of radioactivity.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian nuclear power plant operator Energoatom announced that the employees were being subjected to repression by the Russian occupiers. Several employees who are not well-disposed towards the Russians have disappeared.

4.15 p.m .: Since the Ukrainian counter-offensive launched in southern Ukraine at the beginning of the week, Russia has said that the troops of the neighboring country have suffered heavy losses. More than 1,700 Ukrainian soldiers have already been killed, the Defense Ministry said in Moscow on Wednesday. In addition, according to army spokesman Igor Konashenkov, Russian troops destroyed 63 tanks, 48 ​​armored vehicles and 4 fighter planes. This information could not be independently verified.

Kyiv’s attempt to resume the offensive in southern Ukraine between Mykolayiv and Kryvyi Rih and in other directions failed, Konashenkov said. Since the beginning of the offensive, the Ukrainian leadership has not released any information about its course. Russian sources, on the other hand, wrote that the troops loyal to Moscow had come under heavy pressure themselves in some sections.

1:47 p.m .: On the way to the Ukrainian nuclear power plant Zaporizhia, the team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) arrived in the city of the same name in southern Ukraine. A convoy of around 20 vehicles, including an ambulance, arrived in Zaporizhia on Wednesday, journalists from the AFP news agency reported. According to Ukrainian sources, after the IAEA team left Kyiv, the Russian army shelled the town of Enerhodar near the power plant.

11:39 a.m .: After a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) left for the Ukrainian Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the Russian army fired on the nearby city of Enerhodar, according to Ukrainian sources. The city on the Dnipro is being attacked by the Russians with grenades, said the head of the military administration of the Nikopol district, Evhen Yevtushenko, on Wednesday. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi had previously announced in Kyiv that his team was now making its way from the Ukrainian capital to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

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