Ukraine and Russia: What You Need to Know Right Now

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Aug 8 (Reuters) - International alarm over weekend artillery attacks on Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex grew on Monday with Kyiv warning of the risk of a Chornobyl-style catastrophe and appealing for the area to be made a demilitarised zone.

ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR COMPLEX

* The head of Ukraine's state nuclear power company Energoatom called on Monday for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to be made a military-free zone, warning of the risk of a Chernobyl-style nuclear disaster after the site was hit by shelling.

* U.N Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the risk of nuclear confrontation had returned after decades, calling on nuclear states to commit to no first use of the weapons. Any attack on a nuclear plant is a "suicidal thing", he said.

* Russia's defence ministry said on Monday that Ukraine had shelled the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, the biggest in Europe, on Aug. 7, damaging high-voltage power lines and forcing the plant to reduce its output.

* Moscow accused Ukraine of "taking Europe hostage" by shelling the plant, which is located in territory controlled by Russian forces.

* The power station is operating "in normal mode," the Interfax news agency quoted the Russian-installed head of the local administration as saying on Monday.

* Russian forces want to cause electricity blackouts in southern Ukraine by shelling the nuclear complex, Ukraine's ambassador to the IAEA nuclear watchdog said on Monday, calling for an international mission to the plant this month.

FIGHTING/DIPLOMACY

* The Kremlin said on Monday there was no basis for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents at the moment.

* One of President Vladimir Putin's closest allies said on Monday that Russia would achieve its aims in the conflict in Ukraine on its own terms, warning that the West had a long-term plan to destroy Russia.

* More than 450 foreign-made components have been found in Russian weapons recovered in Ukraine, evidence that Moscow acquired critical technology from companies in the United States, Europe and Asia in the years before the invasion, according to a new report by Royal United Services Institute defence think tank.

* Ukrainian forces again shelled the Antonivskyi bridge in the Russian-controlled city of Kherson, damaging construction equipment and delaying its reopening, Interfax news agency quoted a local Russian-appointed official as saying on Monday.

* Russia's defence ministry said its forces had shot down 19 U.S.-made HIMARS missiles across eastern and southern Ukraine, and destroyed HIMARS vehicles near the Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk. Reuters was unable to verify the reports.

ECON0MY

* Two more ships, carrying corn and soybeans, left Ukrainian Black Sea ports on Monday, Turkey and Ukraine said, taking the total to ten since the first ship sailed last week under a deal with Russia to unblock Ukrainian grain exports.

* Ukraine has formally requested a new programme from the International Monetary Fund and hopes to receive aid under the programme from November to December, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Monday.

WAR CRIMES

* A Ukrainian court sentenced a Russian soldier to 10 years in jail on Monday after finding him guilty of violating the laws and customs of war by firing a tank at a multi-storey apartment block. (Compiled by Nick Macfie)

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