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Russia-Ukraine war live: Scholz insists turbine at centre of Russian gas row works; 10m Ukraine border crossings since invasion | World news

German chancellor Olaf Scholz insists gas turbine at centre of row with Russia works

Graeme Wearden

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has insisted that Russia had no reason to hold up the return of a gas turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

Chancellor Scholz Views Siemens Gas Turbine Intended For Nord Stream 1 PipelineMUELHEIM AN DER RUHR, GERMANY - AUGUST 03: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Siemens Energy Chairman Christian Bruch look at the Siemens gas turbine intended for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Russia at a Siemens Energy facility on August 03, 2022 in Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany. The turbine underwent maintenance in Canada and was supposed to already be delivered to Russia for installation back into the pipeline, but Russian energy company Gazprom has so far refused to accept the repaired turbine, citing insufficient documentation. German authorities have refuted Gazprom’s claim and say the Russian government is stalling. Russia is still supplying gas to Germany via Nord Stream 1, albeit at a much reduced flow. The two countries are at odds over the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Siemens Energy Chairman Christian Bruch look at the Siemens gas turbine intended for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Russia today. Photograph: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

The turbine is stranded in Germany, following servicing in Canada, in an escalating standoff that has seen has flows to Europe fall to a trickle, just 20% of capacity.

Standing next to the turbine on a factory visit to Siemens Energy in Muelheim an der Ruhr, Scholz said it was fully operational and could be shipped back to Russia at any time – provided Moscow was willing to take it back.

“The turbine works,” Scholz said, telling reporters:

It’s quite clear and simple: the turbine is there and can be delivered, but someone needs to say ‘I want to have it’.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blamed a lack of documentation for holding up the turbine’s return to Russia.

Olaf Scholz stands in front of a turbine of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Olaf Scholz stands in front of a turbine of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images

Key events

Russian energy giant Gazprom has said that delivery of a turbine needed to keep gas flowing to Europe via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline was “impossible” due to sanctions on Moscow.

Gazprom said in a statement:

Sanctions regimes in Canada, in the European Union and in Britain, as well as the inconsistencies in the current situation concerning the contractual obligations of (turbine maker) Siemens make the delivery impossible.

The statement risks further increasing concern in European countries who suspect Moscow is looking for an excuse to delay the turbine’s return to Russia and further reduce its gas deliveries, AFP reports.

Earlier on Wednesday, German chancellor Olaf Scholz accused Russia of blocking the delivery of the key turbine to throttle gas supplies to Europe, as he raised the possibility of keeping nuclear plants going.

The continent’s biggest economy has been scrambling for energy sources to fill a gap left by a reduction in gas supplies from Moscow.

The delayed return of the turbine from Canada, where the unit was being serviced, was behind an initial reduction in gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in June, according to Gazprom.

Supplies via the energy link were further reduced to around 20 percent of capacity in late July, after Gazprom halted the operation of one of the last two operating turbines due to the “technical condition of the engine”.

Blast that killed Ukraine PoWs was Kremlin operation, Kyiv claims

Luke Harding

Luke Harding

The Ukrainian prisoners of war killed last week in an explosion at their barracks were the victims of a Kremlin special operation plotted in advance and approved at the highest levels, senior government officials in Kyiv have claimed.

Citing intelligence, satellite data and phone intercepts, the officials said the inmates were killed in a callous and premeditated war crime. They suggested it was carried out by Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, working closely with Vladimir Putin’s FSB spy agency.

The dead Ukrainians were members of the Azov battalion, who defended the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol until their capture in May. They were being held at a prison in Olenivka, close to the frontline and about 10 miles south of occupied Donetsk.

An adviser to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said multiple clues pointed to Moscow’s guilt. They said graves were dug next to the barracks shortly before the attack, and a Russian information campaign was launched describing the fighters as terrorists.

The prisoners were moved to the building the day before Friday’s explosion. The Russians rebased their artillery near the prison complex in an unsuccessful attempt to draw return Ukrainian fire. “This was a provocation and mass killing by the Russian side. It was organised by Putin’s regime,” claimed the official, who declined to be named.

Putin may have personally authorised the attack, they speculated, adding: “Russia is not a democratic state. The dictator is personally responsible for everything, whether it’s the shooting down of MH17, Bucha or Olenivka. For some time we have not seen Mr Putin. When is he going to recognise the atrocities he has committed?”

Russia’s defence ministry says Ukrainians destroyed the building using a Himars long-range missile made and supplied by the US. Footage broadcast on Russian television on Friday showed charred bodies, dismembered limbs and tangled metal from bunkbeds, as well as a hole in the prison’s roof.

The Biden administration says there are no indications that Ukraine attacked the site. Satellite photos released by Maxar Technologies reveal that surrounding buildings were wholly undamaged. Russian guards escaped without injury.

Read the full story here:

Ex-German chancellor Gerhard Schröder under fire for meeting Putin

Kate Connolly

Kate Connolly

The former German chancellor, Gerhard Schröder has come under fire for a private meeting held with the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, after he travelled on holiday to Moscow to meet him.

Schröder told German media in a lengthy interview he had nothing to apologise for over his friendship with Putin, whom he met last week during a visit to the Russian capital.

Schröder has come under fierce criticism for his business links to the Russian state-run gas company Gazprom. He was one of the driving forces behind the construction of two Baltic Sea pipelines to carry gas to Europe, one of which was mothballed following the invasion of Ukraine, the other, Nord Stream 1, is only currently delivering 20% of the level of gas expected.

Schröder is facing an investigation by the Social Democrats of which he has been a member since 1963, over his Kremlin links and his refusal to distance himself from Putin, and could yet be ejected from the party.

In a five-hour long interview with the magazine Stern and the broadcaster RTL he gave no direct insight into the mindset of the Russian leader, but said following his discussions with him he thought the conflict with Russia was “resolvable” but required more negotiations – which Germany and France should lead – and a greater display of sensitivity by the west towards Russia’s “real fears of being hemmed in” by hostile countries, which “feed off historical events” and were “unfortunately also valid”.

Looking to the future, Schröder recommended an Austria-style neutrality status for Ukraine, and a Swiss-style arrangement of cantons for what he referred to as the “more complicated” Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. He said that both sides needed to show a willingness to compromise.

But he would apparently not be drawn into talking about the atrocities which have been carried out by Russian troops since the start of the most recent stage in the conflict, including the massacre in Bucha, the deaths of thousands of civilians across the country, the occupation of eastern and southern regions, the forced deportation of thousands of Ukrainians and allegations the Kremlin is trying to eradicate the population.

Regarding the row over why only a fifth – or 30m cubic metres a day – of the expected amount of gas is currently flowing through the Nord Stream pipeline, Schröder said the blame lay at the door of the German company Siemens, which he blamed for failing to deliver a recently serviced turbine to Russia.

But according to the German government and to Siemens, it is Moscow that is to blame for its refusal to take delivery of the turbine, which was recently transported from Canada to Germany after a special dispensation was given allowing sanctions against Russia to be temporarily suspended.

Read more here:

A couple reacts after the Russian shelling in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. According local media, supermarket, high-rise buildings and pharmacy were damaged. (AP Photo/Kostiantyn Liberov)
A couple reacts after the Russian shelling in Mykolaiv, Ukraine on Wednesday. According local media, supermarket, high-rise buildings and pharmacy were damaged. Photograph: Kostiantyn Liberov/AP

Ukraine’s forecast for its wartime 2022 harvest has increased to 65-67 million tonnes of grain from 60 million tonnes, Denys Shmygal said on Wednesday.

In a Telegram message, the prime minister praised farmers for pressing ahead with the harvest despite the war, even in areas where shelling continues.

Russia-Ukraine warZOLOCHIV, UKRAINE - AUGUST 01: An agricultural implement harvests in a wheat field outside of the city center, as the Russia-Ukraine war continues in Zolochiv, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine on August 01, 2022. (Photo by Wolfgang Schwan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A farmer harvests in a wheat field outside of the city centre, as the Russia-Ukraine war continues in Zolochiv, Ukraine on Monday. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Ukraine has said any negotiated peace settlement with Moscow would be contingent on a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian troops, brushing off comments by ex-German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Schroeder, who is a friend of Vladimir Putin, said he met the Kremlin leader in Moscow last week, that Russia wanted a “negotiated solution” to the war and that there was even the possibility of slowly reaching a cease-fire.

In response on Wednesday, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak described Schroeder derisively as a “voice of the Russian royal court”.

Moscow is raising the terror level with one hand, and inviting to surrender with the other. Shredder — a well-known herald of the Empire and a voice at the ru-tsar’s court. If Moscow wants dialogue, it is up to them. First, a cease-fire and troops withdrawal, then – constructive. pic.twitter.com/uo8SphEJlv

— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) August 3, 2022

Russia has started creating a military strike force aimed at Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s hometown of Kryvyi Rih and warned that Moscow could be preparing new offensive operations in southern Ukraine, Ukraine said on Wednesday.

Russia holds swathes of Ukraine’s south that it captured in the early phases of its invasion, but Kyiv has said it will mount a counter-offensive. It said on Tuesday it had already recaptured 53 villages in occupied Kherson region, Reuters reports.

In its regular update on the war in the south, Ukraine’s southern military command described the situation as tense and said Russia attacked along the frontline on Aug. 2.

The steel-producing city of Kryvyi Rih where the Ukrainian president grew up lies around 50 km (30 miles) from the southern frontline.

The southern military command said:

(Russia) has begun creating a strike group in the Kryvyi Rih direction. It’s also quite likely that the enemy is preparing a hostile counter-offensive with the subsequent plan of getting to the administrative boundary of Kherson region.

Ukraine has been trying to ratchet up pressure on Russia’s positions in the strategically important Black Sea region of Kherson and has used Western-supplied long-range weapons to conduct strikes on Russian supply lines and ammunition dumps.

Ukraine’s military said in a statement that Russian forces were scoping out basements in the region to turn them into bomb shelters to store military hardware.

First Vessel Carrying Ukrainian Grain Arrives In IstanbulISTANBUL, TURKEY - AUGUST 03: The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni transits the Bosphorus passing under the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge after being inspected by representatives from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations after leaving the port of Odessa with the first grain shipment for export since the start of the Ukraine war on August 03, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. The Razoni is the first ship to export Ukrainian grain since the start of the war and a safe passage deal was signed between Ukraine and Russia on 22 July, 2022. The ship is bound for Tripoli, Lebanon carrying 26,000 tons of corn. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
The Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni transits the Bosphorus passing under the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge after being inspected by representatives from Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and the United Nations on Wednesday morning. Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

UK lawmaker, the Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, who is chair of the Commons defence committee in the British parliament in London, has repeated his appeals that Ukraine needs more weapons.

Ellwood told viewers of the GB News channel in the UK that the country was “getting better supporting Ukraine, but it’s coming very, very late in the day.”

“Let’s recognise we still see Nato sitting on its hands,” he said. “There’s a fire in Ukraine, and we won’t put it out. My concern is that fire will spread beyond Ukraine and we really will have to wake up.”

Ellwood raise concerns about possible further Russian expansion westwards, saying “There’s always a risk when you take on an adversary. There’s also risk in doing nothing allowing Russia to expand not just in Ukraine. I was recently in Moldova next door, which is not part of Nato, a very small country, very limited armed forces. They feel very, very vulnerable indeed.”

Valentyn Reznichenko, governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, has posted to Telegram to say that an older man has been injured in a Russian attack this afternoon. He told his followers:

In the afternoon, the enemy twice covered Kryvorizky district with fire. Hit the Zelenodolsk community with cluster shells from the “Hurricanes”. A 73-year-old man was injured. He is in the hospital. Several dozen private houses were damaged. Specialists are working on the spot.

The claims have not been independently verified.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz insists gas turbine at centre of row with Russia works

Graeme Wearden

Graeme Wearden

German chancellor Olaf Scholz has insisted that Russia had no reason to hold up the return of a gas turbine for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.

Chancellor Scholz Views Siemens Gas Turbine Intended For Nord Stream 1 PipelineMUELHEIM AN DER RUHR, GERMANY - AUGUST 03: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Siemens Energy Chairman Christian Bruch look at the Siemens gas turbine intended for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Russia at a Siemens Energy facility on August 03, 2022 in Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany. The turbine underwent maintenance in Canada and was supposed to already be delivered to Russia for installation back into the pipeline, but Russian energy company Gazprom has so far refused to accept the repaired turbine, citing insufficient documentation. German authorities have refuted Gazprom’s claim and say the Russian government is stalling. Russia is still supplying gas to Germany via Nord Stream 1, albeit at a much reduced flow. The two countries are at odds over the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (R) and Siemens Energy Chairman Christian Bruch look at the Siemens gas turbine intended for the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline in Russia today. Photograph: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

The turbine is stranded in Germany, following servicing in Canada, in an escalating standoff that has seen has flows to Europe fall to a trickle, just 20% of capacity.

Standing next to the turbine on a factory visit to Siemens Energy in Muelheim an der Ruhr, Scholz said it was fully operational and could be shipped back to Russia at any time – provided Moscow was willing to take it back.

“The turbine works,” Scholz said, telling reporters:

It’s quite clear and simple: the turbine is there and can be delivered, but someone needs to say ‘I want to have it’.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blamed a lack of documentation for holding up the turbine’s return to Russia.

Olaf Scholz stands in front of a turbine of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
Olaf Scholz stands in front of a turbine of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. Photograph: Sascha Schuermann/AFP/Getty Images

The first shipment of over 26,000 tons of Ukrainian food under a Black Sea export deal was cleared to proceed on Wednesday, towards its final destination in Lebanon, according to the United Nations.

A team carried out a three-hour inspection and confirmed the crew and cargo are authorized and were consistent with the information received by the Joint Coordination Centre (JCC) before the vessel left Odesa, said a statement from the United Nations Information Service Vienna.

Here are some of the latest images sent to us from Ukraine over the news wires.

TOPSHOT-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT-WARTOPSHOT - Ukranian soldiers wave from the back of a pick-up as they drive to the frontline during a rainy day in the city of Sloviansk, eastern Ukraine, on August 2, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by BULENT KILIC / AFP) (Photo by BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images)
Ukranian soldiers wave from the back of a pick-up as they drive to the frontline during a rainy day in the city of Sloviansk, eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Bülent Kılıç/AFP/Getty Images
UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT-WARA family pushes a baby carriage past a crater after a missile strike on the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on August 3, 2022, as the Russia-Ukraine war enters its 160th day. (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK / AFP) (Photo by SERGEY BOBOK/AFP via Getty Images)
A family pushes a baby carriage past a crater after a missile strike on the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Photograph: Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images
Russian shelling of Chuhuiv districtKHARKIV REGION, UKRAINE - AUGUST 2, 2022 - The consequences of Russian shelling which destroyed a drinking water plant and private garages are pictured in Chuhuiv district, Kharkiv Region, northeastern Ukraine. This photo cannot be distributed in the Russian Federation. (Photo credit should read Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
The consequences of Russian shelling which destroyed a drinking water plant and private garages are pictured in Chuhuiv district, Kharkiv Region. Photograph: Future Publishing/Ukrinform/Getty Images
A boy pushes his bicycle while communal worker inspect a crater following a strike on the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday.
A boy pushes his bicycle while communal worker inspect a crater following a strike on the second largest Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Wednesday. Photograph: Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images
UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CONFLICT-WAR-BLACKSMITHBlacksmith Anton Zaika (R), 32, and mechanic Roman, 39, speak near a car as they work to add windows metal grills in the workshop in Sumy on August 1, 2022. - Anton Zaika, a talented blacksmith artisan who had carved out a modest but successful business selling metal furniture to wealthy European clients, is helping Ukraine’s war effort in his own unique way. When the came five months ago it changed his priorities. Now he makes anti-tank barriers to protect the local volunteer battalion in the northwestern frontline city of Sumy, and special iron stoves adapted to trenches to keep them warm. (Photo by Genya SAVILOV / AFP) (Photo by GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Blacksmith Anton Zaika and mechanic Roman speak near a car as they work to add windows metal grills in the workshop in Sumy . Photograph: Genya Savilov/AFP/Getty Images

Ramon Antonio Vargas

Vladimir Putin’s purported lover has been hit with sanctions from the US government’s treasury department over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Alina Kabaeva, 39, landed on the latest update to the federal Office of Foreign Assets Control’s specially designated nationals list, freezing any of her assets in the US and generally prohibiting Americans from dealing with her.

The move came a little more than three months after the White House said Kabaeva, a famed former rhythmic gymnast, nor anyone else was safe from sanctions, even after her last-minute removal from a round of such penalties in April.

UK officials had similarly sanctioned Kabaeva – who now is chairperson of Russia’s New Media Group, the country’s largest private media company – in May.

Western countries have levied economic penalties at associates and loved ones of Putin to punish the Russian president, 69, for his decision to invade Ukraine in February. The US has avoided a direct confrontation with Russia over the invasion, though it has provided billions of dollars in weapons and other resources to help Ukraine.

The Kremlin has long denied that Putin, who is divorced, is romantically involved with Kabaeva, but various published reports suggest that she is the mother of at least some of his children. A Moscow newspaper which, in 2008, reported that Putin and Kabaeva were involved despite his still being married at the time was shut down soon after for unclear reasons.

TURKEY-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-UN-AGRICULTUREThis handout picture taken and released by the Turkish Defence ministry press office on August 3, 2022, shows an inspection delegation member inspecting the Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship Razoni carrying 26,000 tonnes of corn from Ukraine, off the coast of north-west Istanbul. - A team of Russian and Ukrainian officials in Turkey is due on August 3, 2022, to inspect the first shipment of grain exported from Ukraine since Moscow’s invasion under a deal aimed at curbing a global food crisis. The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni arrived at the edge of the Bosphorus Strait just north of Istanbul on Tuesday, a day after leaving the Black Sea port of Odessa carrying 26,000 tonnes of maize bound for Lebanon.
A team of officials in Turkey inspect the first shipment of grain exported from Ukraine since Moscow’s invasion under a deal aimed at curbing a global food crisis. The Sierra Leone-flagged Razoni arrived at the edge of the Bosphorus Strait just north of Istanbul on Tuesday, a day after leaving the Black Sea port of Odessa carrying 26,000 tonnes of maize bound for Lebanon. Photograph: Turkish Defence Ministry/AFP/Getty Images



Russia-Ukraine war live: Scholz insists turbine at centre of Russian gas row works; 10m Ukraine border crossings since invasion | World news Source link Russia-Ukraine war live: Scholz insists turbine at centre of Russian gas row works; 10m Ukraine border crossings since invasion | World news

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