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Russia-Ukraine live updates: IAEA says mission to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant 'on its way'

Vyacheslav Madiyevskyi/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighboring Ukraine began on Feb. 24, with Russian forces invading from Belarus, to the north, and Russia, to the east. Ukrainian troops have offered “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.

The Russian military has since launched a full-scale ground offensive in eastern Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region, capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol and securing a coastal corridor to the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Aug 29, 2:21 AM EDT
IAEA says mission to Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant ‘on its way’

The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog announced Monday that the agency’s long-awaited expert mission to the Zaporizhzhia power plant in southeastern Ukraine “is now on its way.”

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“The day has come,” Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in a post on Twitter.

Grossi, who is leading the IAEA’s “Support and Assistance Mission to Zaporizhzhia,” has long sought access to the nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe. Russia and Ukraine have traded accusations of shelling at or near the site in recent weeks, fueling fears that the fighting could cause a nuclear disaster.

“We must protect the safety and security of #Ukraine’s and Europe’s biggest nuclear facility,” Grossi tweeted, alongside a photo of himself with 13 other experts. “Proud to lead this mission which will be in #ZNPP later this week.”

Shortly after invading neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russian troops stormed the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant near the town of Enerhodar, on the banks of the Dnipro River in the country’s southeast. The Ukrainian workers have been left in place to keep the plant operating, as it supplies electricity across the war-torn nation.

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