Ukraine Latest: IAEA Says Zaporizhzhia Plant Is Offline Again

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A funeral was held in Moscow for Mikhail Gorbachev, the final leader of the Soviet Union, with thousands lining up to pay respects. Russian leader Vladimir Putin was pointedly not present. Dmitry Medvedev, a former president who attended the event, warned the US and its allies of a “chess game with Death” if they look to promote Russia’s disintegration.

Russia’s Gazprom PJSC said its key gas pipeline to Europe won’t reopen as planned, moving the region a step closer to blackouts, rationing and a severe recession. The announcement came hours after the Group of Seven said it plans to implement a price cap for global purchases of Russian oil.

The head of the UN’s nuclear agency said Russian and Ukrainian engineers at the Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant have struck a fragile working relationship to keep reactors operational. The nuclear facility went offline again late Saturday.

(See RSAN on the Bloomberg Terminal for the Russian Sanctions Dashboard.)

Key Developments

  • Europe’s Energy Crisis Deepens After Russia Keeps Pipeline Shut

  • Yellen’s Win on Russia Oil Price-Cap Faces Risky Road

  • Netherlands Expects to Reach 80% Gas Storage Target Next Week

  • White House to Seek $11.7 Billion in Additional Ukraine Aid

  • Russia Wheat Shipments Falter While Ukraine Ramps Up Exports

On the Ground

Ukraine’s front line remained largely static overnight, with Russian forces shelling positions along the line of contact, the Ukrainian army’s General Staff said on Facebook. Russia conducted more than 20 airstrikes, and Ukraine’s airforce flew over 40 sorties during the day, it said. Ukrainian troops are fortifying the border with Belarus, as this direction remains as dangerous as other areas, a border service chief said when visiting areas near Chernobyl zone, according to Facebook. Two Turkish-supplied Bayraktar drones destroyed millions of dollars in Russian weaponry in three days, Ukrainian army commander in chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi said on Facebook.

(All times CET)

UK Likely to Join EU Security Meeting, FT Says (7:51 p.m.)

The EU is planning to invite the UK’s next prime minister to a summit of an expanded group of European countries that’s meant to strengthen cooperation after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Financial Times reported.

While invitations to the meeting on Oct. 6 in Prague are pending, the UK is likely to be on the list, the FT cited officials if didn’t identify as saying. The grouping, which includes EU neighbors such as Ukraine, Moldova and Balkan countries, was floated by French President Emmanuel Macron in May, according to the FT.

Zaporizhzhia Goes Offline Again, IAEA Says (6:54 p.m.)

The Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine again lost connection to its last external power line, although a reserve line continued to supply electricity, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

Fighting continues in the area of Europe’s largest atomic power plant, the UN agency said in a lengthy statement.

IAEA experts at the site were informed less than two days, after they arrived at the plant with the agency’s head, Rafael Mariano Grossi, that the plant’s fourth and last operational power line was down.

Russians Bid Farewell to Gorbachev, Last Soviet Leader (2:11 p.m.)

A farewell ceremony for Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, concluded in Moscow with crowds chanting “thank you” as his hearse pulled away, Interfax reported.

President Vladimir Putin pointedly did not attend the ceremony, which didn’t not bear the pomp of past state funerals of Russian leaders, including Boris Yeltsin. Among the dignitaries to attend were Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and journalist Dmitry Muratov and the former leader of the liberal Yabloko party, Grigory Yavlinsky.

Gorbachev, whose policies of openness and reform helped end the Cold War and unraveled the Soviet Union, died Tuesday at 91.

Read more: Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet Leader Who Ended Cold War, Dies at 91

Medvedev Warns Against Seeking Russia’s Collapse, Brandishes Nukes (1:04 p.m.)

A top Russian official accused the US and its allies of attempting to seek the disintegration of his country and warned it could lead to doomsday.

Dmitry Medvedev, former president and the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said in a post on Telegram that such attempts could lead to “chess game with Death” given Russia’s vast nuclear arsenal.

Medvedev, who’s taken on a bellicose posture on social media since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, made the post after attending a Saturday farewell ceremony for Mikhail Gorbachev.

Erdogan Offers to Mediate a Zaporizhzhia Solution (11:42 a.m.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the situation in Ukraine, including this week’s visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Erdogan offered help to mediate a standoff over the plant, which was occupied by Russian forces in March, the Turkish presidency said in a statement. Turkey earlier worked with the UN to broker a deal to allow Ukrainian agricultural goods to be exported, that’s seen a steady flow of grain shipments in the past month.

Erdogan expressed his condolences over the death of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

Swiss Agree to Buy Reserve Power Plants (10:45 a.m.)

Switzerland bought eight mobile gas turbines from GE Gas Power to help cover any energy shortages this winter and through April 2026, the government said in a statement late Friday. The turbines can run on gas but also on oil or hydrogen. They can generate at least 30 megawatts each.

Google Plans Ads to Counter Fake News on Refugees (8:30 a.m.)

Google is mounting an ad campaign to counter misinformation about Ukrainian refugees who fled the war. The company will run a series of 90-second videos in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic that will seek to inform viewers about how to avoid being manipulated.

The spread of misinformation has become a major political issue in Europe, with watchdogs warning that Russian-affiliated sites and social media accounts are promoting false pro-Kremlin narratives.

Read more: Google’s Plan to Stare Down Fake News on Ukrainian Refugees

Ukraine’s Southern Offence Exploiting Poor Russian Logistics, UK Says (7 a.m.)

A Ukrainian offensive in the south that began Aug. 29 has limited objectives but has “likely achieved a degree of tactical surprise,” the UK Ministry of Defence said, by “exploiting poor logistics, administration and leadership in the Russian armed forces.”

One element for Ukraine is an ongoing advance on a broad front west of the Dnipro River, focusing on three axes within the Russian-occupied Kherson region.

“With fighting also continuing in the Donbas and Kharkiv sectors, a key decision for Russian commanders in coming days will be where to commit any operational reserve force they can generate,” the UK said.

Zelenskiy Says European Integration ‘Important Work’ (7 a.m.)

Ukraine’s president said a meeting Friday “devoted to the state’s further steps in European integration,” was “important work” for Kyiv.

“The movement of Ukraine to the European Union and the transformation within our country is one of the key elements of the long-term protection of the state, a guarantee of freedom for all Ukrainians,” Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. “I am sure that Ukraine will become a full member of the EU. At least let’s do everything for it.”

Ukraine in June was granted candidacy status for access to the EU by the European Council. The membership path is open ended and could take years.

White House to Seek $12 Billion in Additional Ukraine Aid (10 p.m.)

The White House will ask Congress to provide almost $12 billion in additional aid for Ukraine in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, as officials warn that earlier money is running out with the effort to combat Russia’s invasion well past the six-month mark.

The administration is seeking $11.7 billion in security and economic assistance for Ukraine in the first quarter of fiscal 2023, along with $2 billion aimed at helping to prevent domestic energy costs from going up as Russian President Vladimir Putin squeezes supplies.

IAEA’s Grossi Returns From Nuclear Plant With Concerns (9:03 p.m.)

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi returned to Vienna late Friday after visiting the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The IAEA has stationed two permanent monitors at Zaporizhzhia to collect real-time information that can be reported to Vienna, Grossi said. Attacks at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant have increased since the beginning of July, with Ukraine and Russian officials blaming each other for the strikes. Russian and Ukrainian engineers at the station have struck a fragile working relationship to keep reactors operational, Grossi said.

Gazprom Won’t Reopen Gas Pipeline in 11th Hour Blow to Europe (7:59 p.m.)

Russia’s Gazprom PJSC said its key gas pipeline to Europe won’t reopen as planned, moving the region a step closer to blackouts, rationing and a severe recession.

The pipeline was due to reopen on Saturday after maintenance. But in a last-minute statement late on Friday, the company said a technical issue had been found and the pipe can’t operate again until it’s fixed. The European Union said Gazprom was acting on “fallacious pretenses.”

It’s a massive blow to Europe, which is scrambling to cut its dependency on Russian gas before winter and has been waiting for Moscow’s next steps in the energy war. As the continent tries to implement measures to get through the winter, the indefinite closure of the pipeline is an escalation that threatens more economic turmoil.

G-7 Backs Price-Cap Plan for Russian Oil (2:59 p.m.)

The Group of Seven industrialized countries said they plan to implement a price cap for global purchases of Russian oil, a measure the US hopes will ease energy market pressures and slash Moscow’s overall revenues.

The ministers said they plan to implement a price cap in line with the timing of European Union sanctions on Russian oil set to kick in on Dec. 5.

G-7 Backs Price-Cap Plan for Russian Oil to Limit Revenue

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