Latest news on Russia and the war in Ukraine

Explosions heard near Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant: IAEA

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power station.

Carl Court | Getty Images

Monitors from the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, reported hearing explosions near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as Russia hit the country with a new wave of attacks.

Rafael Grossi, IAEA chief, made a repeated call for a security zone to be established around the plant, which is Europe’s largest of its kind and currently occupied by Russian forces.

A representative for the Russian state nuclear energy company Rosenergoatom, Renat Karchaa, called the comments baseless and a “provocation.”

—Natasha Turak

10 Ukrainian regions are in emergency power outages

Ukraine’s Kherson residents receive humanitarian aid as the city experiences electricity and water shortages, in November 2022.

Paula Bronstein | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Several of Ukraine’s regions have implemented emergency power cuts because of outages caused by Russia’s wave of attacks on Thursday, Ukrainian state news channel Suspilne reported.

“Currently, ten regions of Ukraine are already using emergency power outages due to a power shortage in the network after yesterday’s Russian shelling, and the restoration of damaged facilities is ongoing,” it wrote on its official Telegram channel.

Millions of Ukrainians are enduring regular power outages, enduring freezing winter temperatures as Russia targets critical infrastructure and energy facilities.

—Natasha Turak

Zelenskyy calls for more sanctions on Russia after deadly strikes

“This Russian aggression can and should be stopped only with adequate weapons. The terrorist state will not understand anything else,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Thursday.

Yan Dobronosov | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for more sanctions on Russia after a wave of missile and drone attacks on Thursday left at least 11 people in Ukraine dead.

“This Russian aggression can and should be stopped only with adequate weapons. The terrorist state will not understand anything else. Weapons on the battlefield. Weapons that protect our skies,” Zelenskyy said in his address Thursday night.

“New sanctions against Russia, namely political and economic weapons. And legal weapons – we need to work even harder to establish a tribunal for the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine.”

The Russian attacks on civilians came a day after the Western allies pledged to send battle tanks to Ukraine, something European allies like Germany had until then been reluctant to do for fear of provoking Moscow.

—Natasha Turak

Japan tires exports of robots, semiconductor parts to Russia in new sanctions

Japan on Friday announced additional sanctions in response to Moscow’s latest actions in Ukraine, banning exports to Russia of key strategic goods and freezing assets of a dozen individuals.

Japan will prohibit Russia-bound shipments of goods that can be used to enhance military capability, including semiconductor equipment and components, robots, power generators, explosives and vaccines, according to the trade ministry.

The new export tires will take effect on Feb. 3, it said.

Japan also frozen the assets of an additional three entities and 22 individuals in Russia and 14 pro-Moscow individuals related to the “annexation” of the southeastern Ukraine region.

— Reuters

A rapidly expanding cemetery in Russia offers insight into the Wagner Group convicts who are dying in Putin’s war

For months, Wagner has been locked in a bloody battle of attrition to take the towns of Bakhmut and Soledar in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. Western and Ukrainian officials have said it is using convicts as cannon fodder to overwhelm Ukraine’s defenses.

Videos and photographs of the graves first appeared on social media channels in the Krasnodar region in December. Reuters geolocated these images to the Bakinskaya cemetery and reviewed satellite imagery of the site from Maxar Technologies and Capella Space.

Satellite pictures show that the Wagner plot was empty in the summer, had three rows of graves by the end of November and was three-quarters full by early January. Virtually the entire plot was used by Jan. 24.

Read the full story from Reuters here.

— Reuters

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

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