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UN chief to meet Ukraine, Turkey leaders in Lviv

KYIV, UKRAINE (AFP) – United Nations (UN) chief Antonio Guterres will meet with the leaders of Ukraine and Turkey this week, as Kyiv reported an “unprecedented” cyberattack on its nuclear energy agency’s website.

A deal brokered by the UN and Turkey last month has allowed a tentative restart of grain exports from Ukraine after Russia’s invasion blocked essential global supplies.

Guterres will hold talks in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.

They will discuss “the need for a political solution to this conflict”, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Guterres will then visit the Ukrainian port city of Odessa tomorrow – one of three ports being used in the deal to export grain – before heading to Turkey.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. PHOTO: AP

As the diplomatic efforts to end the war continue, Ukraine’s nuclear agency Energoatom reported a major cyberattack on its website, but said its operations had not been disrupted.

“The most powerful cyberattack since the start of the Russian invasion occurred against Energoatom’s website,” the agency said on Telegram, adding that it “was attacked from Russian territory”.

On Tuesday, Russia claimed explosions at a military facility on the Kremlin-controlled Crimean peninsula that damaged power infrastructure were the result of “sabotage”.

Fire erupted at a military site where ammunition was being stored and black smoke billowed into the air, images on social media showed.

“As a result of an act of sabotage, a military storage facility near the village of Dzhankoi was damaged,” Russian news agencies reported the defence ministry as saying.

The blasts – caused by the fire, which led ammunition to detonate – damaged civilian infrastructure, “including power lines, a power plant, a railway track” and residential buildings, the ministry said.

The explosions come one week after at least one person was killed in similar explosions at a Russian airbase in Crimea.

Ukraine has not directly claimed responsibility for either incident, but senior officials and the military have implied Ukrainian involvement.

Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said the blasts had likely damaged infrastructure supplying power from the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant to Crimea.

Kyiv and Moscow have traded accusations over a series of strikes this month on Zaporizhzhia – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.