Ukraine War Updates: Ukraine Says up to 200 War Crimes Recorded Daily

Live Updates
  • Ukraine troops continue to make advances and push Russian forces from areas of the northeastern region of Kharkiv.
  • Ukrainian forces have recaptured 6,000 square kilometers and liberated dozens of villages once under Russian occupation during its recent counteroffensive, President Volodymyr Zelensky said.
  • Morale among Ukrainian forces remains high while Ukrainian officials report Russian troops retreating and surrendering en masse.
  • Power lines have been restored to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant after heavy Russian shelling causes power outages, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday that the country's economy has defended itself against attacks from the West and maintains he will achieve the goals of the "special military operation."
  • Several Russian municipal deputies are demanding Putin resign, calling his action since the Ukraine invasion "detrimental to Russia's and its citizens' future."
Ukrainian Troops Liberate Villages
A Ukrainian military vehicle moves on the road in the freed territory in the Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. Kostiantyn Liberov/AP Photo

Live Updates Have Ended.

Ukraine Says up to 200 War Crimes Recorded Daily

Ukrainian military officials said troops are finding up to 200 war crimes every day as reclaimed territories previously occupied by Russian soldiers are assessed.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine mentioned the alleged war crimes in an update posted to Facebook Tuesday morning. The update began by describing recent actions by Russian forces, which officials said are continuing "tactics of terror and intimidation of the civilian population" through shelling, missile strikes and more.

The post further detailed the latest war efforts before turning to the alleged war crimes.

"Up to two hundred bloody war crimes committed by the Russian occupiers are recorded every day on the temporarily occupied and already liberated Ukrainian territories," the post said. Danger in reclaimed territories "remains high," it added, but said Ukrainian forces "are taking measures to return peaceful life to the liberated communities as soon as possible."

See posts, photos and more on Facebook.

In response to recent reports about war crimes, Amnesty International released a statement encouraging Ukraine to "prioritize" evidence collection of alleged war crimes. The human rights organization also asked the international community to help Ukraine with this task.

"Gathering such evidence is extremely resource-intensive, and so we are calling on the international community to provide resources that will assist Ukraine's efforts," the statement from Amnesty International's Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia said. "All ongoing and future trials over alleged war crimes must meet fair trial standards."

Official documentation of alleged war crimes is being carried out by the United Nations Human Rights Council's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, which is expected to release a report on September 23.

The war reached its 200-day mark on Sunday. Since Russia's invasion began in late February, the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner said at least 5,827 civilians have been killed, at least 375 of whom were children. At least 8,421 others were injured, though the office said the real casualty totals "are much higher."

U.S. to Send New Ukraine Aid Package Soon

The White House said it may announce more assistance for Ukraine in the coming days.

At a press briefing Tuesday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said he doesn't want to "get ahead of future security systems packages," but said he thinks another package may be announced "in the coming days."

"We're in lock-step with the Ukrainians talking to them every day," Kirby said. "There are real-time discussions going on with the Ukrainians about what their needs are."

He added that many of the systems the U.S. has provided in the past few weeks and months have "proven instrumental and effective" in the Ukrainians ability to go on the offense and defensive recently.

Kirby on Ukraine
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during a briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Washington. Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Kirby said we are seeing a "shift in momentum" as Ukraine mounts a strong counteroffensive, especially in the north.

"The events in the north are more dramatic than what've we've seen in the south"

He said Russians are evacuating, withdrawing and retreating from their defensive positions, especially in and around the Kharkiv Oblast, and leaving supplies behind.

Kirby added that while Russia's next steps are unknown, Ukraine remains on the offensive.

"They were invaded," he said. "They have a right to defend their country and their territorial integrity, and that means going on the offense. It doesn't mean just defending."

Russia May 'Stir the Pot' in Armenia, Blinken Cautions

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he is worried Russia could try to "stir the pot" in the current conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

During an event at the Birck Nanotechnology Center at Purdue University in Indiana, Blinken told reporters that Russia might use this new conflict to distract from the ongoing war in Ukraine.

"Whether Russia tries in some fashion to stir the pot, to create a distraction from Ukraine, is something we're always concerned about," he said.

Blinken said the outbreak of hostilities is "in no one's interest."

He said Russia and "use its own influence for good" to "calm the waters," end the violence and "urge people to engage in good faith on building peace."

"That would be a positive thing," Blinken added.

The secretary also said he has spoken with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan and "urged them to do everything possible to pull back from the conflict and to get back to talking about building a lasting peace between their countries."

During a call with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Blinken conveyed his deep concern over the military actions along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border and stressed the need for disengagement of military forces, according to a State Department readout.

Blinken also assured Pashinyan that the United States would "push for an immediate halt to fighting and a peace settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan."

Armenia's prime minister said at least 49 soldiers were killed during Azerbaijani shelling Tuesday, prompting fears of escalating hostilities between the adversaries.

Azerbaijani forces reportedly fired an artillery barrage and drone attacks in parts of Armenian territory early this morning, according to the Armenian Defense Ministry. The fighting continued, despite Russia's attempt to broker a ceasefire.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that the United States is calling on Russia to use its leverage in a way that will help achieve a cessation of hostilities and a de-escalation of tensions.

He said Blinken's comments were a reflection of Russia's known influence that can be used to bring about an immediate end to violence.

Blinken Russia
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a State Department careers conversation at Purdue University, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in West Lafayette, Ind. Darron Cummings/AP Photo

Putin Reportedly Not Invited to Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be invited to Queen Elizabeth II's funeral next week due to his actions in Ukraine.

Sources close to the U.K. government have told several media outlets that the royal family will not extend a funeral invitation to Russia because of its invasion and alleged atrocities committed in Ukraine.

Some of Russia's close allies will also not receive an invitation, including Belarus and Myanmar.

Iran has also not revied an invitation but is expected to "only be represented at an ambassadorial level," the Independent reported.

Buckingham Palace does not usually reveal the invite list for family events, but nearly 500 foreign dignitaries are expected to to attend.

This includes some of the United Kingdom's closest allies and diplomatic partners are all expected to receive invitation to honor the late monarch Monday. Leaders of most Commonwealth nations are also expected to make an appearance.

President Joe Biden told reporters last week that he would attend the Queen's funeral shortly after her death was announced.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanes, French President Emmanuel Macron, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro have also said they will travel to attend the funeral service.

European Union President Ursula Von der Leyen and members of other European royal families also expected to attend.

German Chancellor Urges Putin to Withdraw from Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz demanded a "complete withdrawal" of Russian forces from Ukraine on a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin Tuesday.

During the 90-minute call, Scholz urged Putin to reach a ceasefire through a diplomatic solution, called for a "complete withdrawal of Russian troops" and asked the Kremlin to respect Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty, according to a readout from the chancellor's spokesperson.

"The Chancellor stressed that any further Russian annexation steps would not go unanswered and would not be recognized under any circumstances," the readout said.

Scholz asked that Putin treats Ukraine prisoners of war in accordance with international humanitarian law and allow "unhindered" access for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Chancellor also stressed the need to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and to avoid escalation and work in alignment with the International Atomic Energy Agency to implement safety measures immediately.

The two leaders also discussed the growing global food crisis, as Scholz urged Putin to implement the United Nations' grain agreement.

Putin spoke to Scholz about the alleged "flagrant" humanitarian law violations committed by Kiev in the Donbas, according to Russian state media.

"The focus was on the situation around Ukraine in the context of Russia's special military operation," the Kremlin press service reported. "Vladimir Putin, in particular, drew the attention of the chancellor to Ukraine's flagrant violations of international humanitarian law, the continued bombing of cities in Donbas, which resulted in the death of civilians and deliberate damage to civilian infrastructure."

The Kremlin also highlighted Russia's willingness to be a reliable energy supplier, Russia media reported.

US in 'Ongoing Dialogue' About Ukraine War Needs

The U.S. has an "ongoing dialogue" with Ukraine and its international partners regarding what Ukraine needs in its war effort against Russia, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters during a Tuesday media briefing.

The U.S. and its partners have been "working closely" with Ukraine in the months since Russia's invasion began, Ryder said.

"I do not anticipate that we will let up on the throttle," he said.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said a recent Ukrainian counteroffensive helped troops reclaim about 6,000 square kilometers of territory since the start of September and is asking for additional aid from the U.S. and other countries. When asked Tuesday if Ukraine's recent military gains change U.S. calculations on what weapons it will send to Ukraine to aid in the war effort, Ryder did not provide specifics but said the U.S. is in "an ongoing dialogue" about Ukraine's war needs.

Officials are looking at the immediate, medium and long-term needs of Ukraine as the war continues, Ryder said.

"That will be an area that we'll just continue having that dialogue in terms of what does that include and how best can we support them," he said.

Ryder declined to speculate on how specifically the weapons calculations could change moving forward, but said, "Certainly we will continue to have that dialogue with Ukraine, in terms of what their needs are."

US Says Russia Forces 'Exist En Masse' in Ukraine

Russian troops still "exist en masse" in Ukraine despite recent territorial gains by Ukrainian soldiers, the U.S. Department of Defense said Tuesday.

While speaking with reporters during a Tuesday afternoon press briefing, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder was asked if he could provide either the number of Russian battalions that the U.S. believes are still in Ukraine or give a general sense of how large those forces are. Ryder did not provide a specific number but said, "Obviously, Russian forces do exist en mass in Ukraine."

"Certainly this week, we've seen a number of Russian forces, especially in the northeast in the Kharkiv region, cross over the border back into Russia as they retreated from the Ukrainian counteroffensive," Ryder said. "But in terms of specific numbers, I'm not going to be able to provide that."

Questions about Ukraine dominated the Pentagon's media briefing in the wake of the latest Ukrainian counteroffensive, which has resulted in the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from parts of the Kharkiv Oblast region. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said Ukrainian forces reclaimed about 6,000 square kilometers of territory so far this month.

Despite Ukraine's recent territorial gains, Ryder noted challenges remain as the war continues.

"Ukraine has made some progress," he said, "but there's still a very tough fight ahead."

Ukraine Blasts Germany's Refusal to Send Tanks

Ukraine's Foreign Minister is taking aim at Germany refusing to send needed military weapons to Ukraine.

Dmytro Kuleba said there were "disappointing signals" from Germany amid the country's refusal to send Leopards and Marders to "liberate people and save them from genocide."

"Not a single rational argument on why these weapons can not be supplied, only abstract fears and excuses," he said in a tweet. "What is Berlin afraid of that Kyiv is not?"

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recent asked the West to hasten deliveries of needed weapons systems.

German Defense Minster Christine Lambrecht said Ukraine's advances on the battlefield will not change Berlin's refusal to provide the country with battle tanks.

"No country has yet supplied Western-style infantry fighting or combat tanks and we have agreed with our partners that we will not go it alone for Germany," Lambrecht said Monday. "We have agreed with our partners that Germany will not take such action unilaterally."

She said Germany has set over an "unbelievable amount" from the defense reserves.

"But I say at this point quite clearly that we have reached the limit," Lambrecht told Germany's parliament last week.

Amy Gutmann, the new U.S. Ambassador to Germany, has urged Berlin to "take more of a leadership role."

"We have to do even more," she added. "We are defending our own prosperity, our own democracy when we support Ukraine. My impression is that Germany wants to take more of a leadership role, and we hope that it will fulfill that."

The German government shared its latest list of supplies delivered to Ukraine Tuesday.

Their support includes 24 self-propelled anti-aircraft guns GEPARD, 53,000 rounds ammunitions for self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, 14,900 anti-tank mines, 3,000 anti-tank weapons, howitzers, 500 air defense Stingers and 10 anti-drone guns.

Germany said the total value of individual licenses issued by the federal government for the export of military goods from Jan. 1 to Sept 12 amount to 733,631,635 euros.

Timelapse Video Shows Russian Gains, Losses

A timelapse video created by Newsweek shows where Russia has gained and lost ground over the course of its war with Ukraine.

Though Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly expected the war to be short at first, fighting stretched past the 200-day mark this week as Ukrainian troops made advances in the Kharkiv Oblast region.

Newsweek's timelapse video begins on March 4, just a few days after Russia's invasion of Ukraine began. By late March, Ukrainian counterattacks can be seen on the map, followed by a push and pull between the two sides that continues in the following months. The video's conclusion reflects the recent territorial gains made by Ukraine through its latest counteroffensive.

Ukraine's recent efforts impacted one of Russia's "most prestigious" armies, according to an intelligence update from the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defense. The force, known as the 1st Guards Tank Army (1 GTA), typically defends Russia's capital city and would fight the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) if a war between Russia and any NATO member states were to arise. Soldiers with 1 GTA "suffered heavy casualties" early in the war and hadn't "fully" recovered before Ukraine's latest counteroffensive, the UK ministry said.

The current status of 1 GTA and other Russian forces means that "Russia's conventional force designed to counter NATO is severely weakened," the UK ministry said. "It will likely take years for Russia to rebuild this capability."

Putin to Meet with China's Xi Jingping This Week

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin this week at a summit with other leaders of a Central Asian security group.

Xi is promoting his "Global Security Initiative" in response to the formation of the Quad by the United States, Japan, Australia and India in response to China's aggressive foreign policy.

Putin and Xi are set to meet in Uzbekistan later this week at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which also includes Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

The two leaders will meet one-on-one Thursday ahead of the summit to discuss Ukraine, Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, told reporters.

Ushakov said the summit is an alternative to western-centric structures and mechanisms. He said this body is "committed to the formation of a more representative, democratic, just and multipolar world order, which is based on the universally recognized principles of international law," according to Russian state media.

This comes as Putin appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov as the new Russian Ambassador to China.

Xi has refused to condemn Putin's attack on Ukraine and has accused the United States and its western allies of provoking the conflict.

"China has taken a well-balanced approach to the Ukrainian crisis, clearly expressing its understanding of the reasons that prompted Russia to launch the special military operation," Ushakov said.

According to Bloomberg, Putin wants to obtain more industrial and technological imports to supplement the goods lost by Western sanctions.

Yang Jiechi, the Communist Party of China's foreign affairs chief, told Russia's outgoing ambassador to China Andrey Denisov Monday that "the relationship between the two countries has always moved forward on the right track," according to a foreign ministry readout.

Yang said China is willing to work with Russia to make high-level strategic coordination more concrete, to safeguard the common interests of both countries and ensure a more just and equitable international order, according to Chinese state media.

Ukraine Says it Reclaimed Vovchansk

Ukrainian forces continued applying pressure to Russian troops on Tuesday as part of a counteroffensive that President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said reclaimed about 6,000 square kilometers since the start of September.

Among the latest reclaimed territories was Vovchansk, according to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine. Vovchansk, a town located in the Kharkiv Oblast region about 3 kilometers away from the Russian border, was taken by Russia on the first day of the war, according to the Associated Press.

Russian troops left Vovchansk by Sunday, the Kyiv Independent reported.

On Tuesday, Ukraine's state border agency shared a video on Facebook showing soldiers removing Russian signs, burning Russian flags and passing abandoned Russian military vehicles.

"Vovchansk is home," the post said.

84K views, 8.9K likes, 1.5K loves, 177 comments, 832 shares, Facebook Watch Videos from Державна прикордонна служба України: Вовчанськ вдома🇺🇦 Прикордонники прибрали залишки непотрібу👌 Слава Україні!

As Ukraine's counteroffensive continued, the AP reported that Ukrainian military officials were keeping the pressure on Russian troops high, with some choosing to launch flyers at soldiers that featured messages further driving their point home.

"Russians use you as cannon fodder. Your life doesn't mean anything for them. You don't need this war. Surrender to Armed Forces of Ukraine," the flyers said, according to the AP.

Nearly 50 Russian Deputies Call for Putin's Resignation

Calls for the resignation of President Vladimir Putin have grown this week, as more Russian municipal deputies join a petition to oust the president amid the war in Ukraine.

Almost 50 Russian municipal deputies have signed the petition, 29 more than on Monday.

Ksenia Thorstrom, a municipal deputy of the Semenovsky District in Saint Petersburg, told CNN that 47 deputies from a wide geographic range have joined the call.

"My colleagues and I wanted to support the deputies from Smolninsky, who were recently summoned to the police and will soon have a trial," he said.

"We decided to make our appeal so short that there would be less reason to find any fault with it from the authorities and so that as many municipal deputies as possible would sign the petition," Thorstrom added.

The petition says the undersigned deputies believe Putin's actions are "detrimental to Russia's and its citizens' future."

This comes after deputies in the Smolninskoye municipality of St. Petersburg asked the State Duma of the Russian Federation to charge Putin with treason and remove him from office amid his efforts in Ukraine.

Russia Preparing for Attack on Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine Says

Russian forces may be planning an attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, according to Ukraine officials.

Ukraine defense intelligence representative Andriy Yusov said Russia continues its shelling on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, which "undoubtedly" can affect other nuclear facilities.

"Indeed, there is information about some preparation of regular provocations and shelling of the Zaporizhzhia station," he said in a television interview Tuesday.

Russian attacks damaged powerlines that connect Zaporizhzhia with the Ukrainian energy system, Yusov added.

He called these attacks "nuclear terrorism."

"[Russia President Vladimir] Putin wants to plunge Ukraine and the whole of Europe into a dark cold winter," he said.

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant
This photo taken on September 11, 2022 shows a general view of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar (Energodar), Zaporizhzhia Oblast, amid the ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine. STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images

The president of Ukraine's state nuclear company, Energoatom, said power units at Zaporizhzhia were disconnected from the power grid earlier this week to undergo cooling while power lines from the plant are restored.

"We tried to prolong the operation of one of our power units for as long as possible, even in the conditions when it was operating in island mode. It worked for us for three days," Energoatom President Petro Kotin told CNN Monday.

As of Monday night, two back-up power lines to the plant were restored, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This allowed operators to keep one line in reserve while other provide external electricity needed to cool reactors and conduct other safety functions during the shutdown.

IAEA officials said the situation around Europe's largest nuclear power plant remains precarious are fighting continues.

"A nuclear safety and security protection zone is urgently needed and I have begun initial consultations with the relevant Parties," IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement Monday.

Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Mykhailo Podolyak is also calling for more air defenses to protect critical infrastructure amid more Russian shelling near the Zaporizhzhia plant and on Kharkiv's electricity infrastructure earlier this week.

"Russia fights against civilians, so critical infrastructure facilities protection with air defense is obligatory," he said in a tweet.

Russian Forces Evacuating Crimea, Ukraine Says

Russian forces are beginning to evacuate Crimea and occupied areas in southern Ukraine as Ukrainian forces continue to make advances.

The Ukraine General Staff of the Armed Forces said Russian commanders and intelligence officers are working to sell their homes in the region and "urgently" relocate their families to territory inside the Russian Federation.

"The successful actions of defenders of Ukraine force the so-called 'authorities' of the temporarily occupied Crimea and the south of our country to urgently relocate their families to the territory of the Russian Federation," Ukrainian Armed Forces said.

The so-called "invaders" have also banned the settlement of housing purchase-sale agreements, set restrictions on the movement of the Crimea bridge and are trying to close access to information about counteroffensive actions of Ukrainian defenders, the Ukraine General Staff of the Armed Force said in a Facebook post.

Troops Capture Russian Weapons in Kharkiv Oblast

Ukrainian soldiers added Russian weapons and other military equipment to their own stockpiles following recent counteroffensive attacks in the Kharkiv Oblast region that pushed out Russian troops.

Ukraine's military efforts this month have resulted in thousands of square kilometers of liberated territory, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday.

In parts of the Kharkiv Oblast region, Ukraine's military actions were swift enough to prompt a speedy withdrawal by Russian troops, according to The Kyiv Independent, which reported that many of the departing troops left military equipment including vehicles, grenades, portable rockets and more behind.

The media outlet pointed to a Facebook post by Vladyslav Abdula, a spokesperson for Kharkiv's Department of the Security Service of Ukraine. The post included photos of some of the "arsenals of ammunition" that Russian troops left behind, Abdula said.

"We know what to do with them and will be sure to use them for the purpose - against the enemy," Abdula said.

Наші захисники радять почати цей ранок з Ізюму. Кажуть, корисно для здоров’я 😉 А от російські окупанти під тиском українських воїнів тікають так, що залишають після себе цілі арсенали боєприпасів....

Ukraine Reportedly Asking U.S. for More Weapons

Ukraine is reportedly planning to ask the U.S. and other allied countries for a series of new weapons that Ukrainian officials say are necessary amid their ongoing war with Russia.

The request was indicated on a document reviewed by some U.S. lawmakers and The Wall Street Journal. The paper reported that the document lists several different kinds of weapons, which officials say they will need to fuel their war efforts if fighting continues into the new year.

The U.S. has pledged billions of dollars over the last few months to help Ukraine, which on Sunday marked the 200th day since Russia's invasion began in late February. But the U.S. has thus far refused earlier requests Ukraine made for long-range missiles, which are reportedly included on the list of weapons that Ukraine says it needs.

While the U.S. has vowed continued support for Ukraine, there is concern that use of some weapons if they are supplied by the U.S. could prompt a larger war involving countries beyond Russia and Ukraine.

Area Larger Than Delaware Liberated This Month

Ukrainian troops have liberated about 6,000 square kilometers of territory since the start of September, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday.

The size of land that has been re-claimed this month is larger than President Joe Biden's home state of Delaware, a comparison that Ukraine's Ministry of Defense made on Twitter.

Zelensky's Monday update on Ukrainian troops' progress came one day after Ukraine marked the 200th day of the war, which started with Russia's invasion in late February. Ukrainian soldiers have in recent days launched a counteroffensive that drove Russian troops out of many occupied territories in the eastern and southern parts of the country.

Despite the recent progress, Zelensky put out a call for a stronger international response to Russia, which he said "must be designated a terrorist state."

"The response to the terror of this state is insufficient," he said.

UN Agency Reiterates Concern for Nuclear Dangers

The head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reiterated his concern about the ongoing situation at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant during a Monday meeting with the IAEA's Board of Governors.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the agency's director general, has been calling for Ukraine and Russia to come to an agreement on creating a safety zone around the nuclear power plant due to concerns that continued shelling and other military action in the area could lead to a nuclear disaster. Earlier Monday, Grossi told reporters he has "seen signs that they are interested in this agreement," according to The Associated Press.

During Monday's board meeting, Grossi again spoke of the need to establish a safety zone. He said discussions with Ukraine and Russia have already started.

"This situation is untenable, and we are playing with fire," Grossi said. "We cannot continue this situation where we are one step away from a nuclear accident."

Safety at the plant is currently "hanging by a thread," he added.

Ukrainians Celebrate Liberation of Izyum

People in Ukraine were celebrating Monday following recent gains Ukrainian troops made during a counteroffensive that resulted in the liberation of territories like Izyum.

Izyum, a city located in Kharkiv Oblast of eastern Ukraine, was a significant location for Russian troops following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February. Videos posted on social media last week showed people in nearby Balakliya celebrating Ukraine's progress as the counteroffensive ramped up, according to the Associated Press.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy listed Izyum as among the areas that Ukrainian troops had recently liberated in an address he delivered Sunday, a day that marked the 200th day of the war.

On Monday, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that civilians in Izyum were making efforts to share news of the city's liberation with distant family members and experienced emotional moments of gratitude while passing Ukrainian soldiers in the area.

"We had tears in our eyes. We were so happy to see that our guys had come here," one civilian identified as 61-year-old Grygoriy Pyvovar told AFP reporters.

Couple walking in Izyum, Ukraine
This photograph taken on September 11, 2022, shows a couple wheeling suitcases as they walk in front of a destroyed building in Izyum, part of the Kharkiv Region in eastern Ukraine. JUAN BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Kremlin Candidates Sweep Elections

Kremlin allies won all 14 of Russia's region governorships in the country's first election since the invasion in Ukraine began.

Twelve of the winning candidates ran as members of the United Russia political party that is closely tied to President Vladimir Putin. The other two ran as self-nominated, but are supportive of United Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the election results "absolutely" show a support for Russia's so-called "special military operation" in Ukraine.

"This shows a high level of support for both the current head and the decisions he makes," Peskov told reporters Monday.

The United Russia party also did well in six regional parliament elections over the weekend. Party candidates won about 75 percent of the municipal council seats in Moscow, according to state news agency TASS.

These local governances have become a battleground for opposition politicians who were blocked from competing in national races.

TASS reported that voter turnout was lower than previous election. The total voter turnout in Moscow's municipal elections was 33.9 percent, with over 1.7 million people voting online and 695,000 casting ballots in polling booths, according to the head of the Public Headquarters for Election Observation in Moscow.

The Kremlin said there were no major violations that would warrant "immediate or proactive interference" were reported this election.

"We believe that the elections that took place, were organized and conducted at an extremely high level and we also proceed from the fact that no glitches, incidents or objections that are capable of influencing the outcome of the elections in one way or another were recorded," Peskov told TASS. "We are being guided by these statements from the election commission."

Over 7 Million Refugees in 200 Days of War

More than seven million people have fled Ukraine in the wake of Russia's February invasion, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

An estimated 7,156,748 people left Ukraine in search of refuge in Europe since the war began, the latest UNHCR report said. About 4 million of those refugees sought temporary protection status in other countries. An additional 7 million people were also displaced within Ukraine.

The report later noted that "millions of people" have also returned to Ukraine since the war began, with many citing a wish to reunify their families as their reason for going back.

Millions of others "need humanitarian assistance & protection," the OCHA said in a Monday tweet. About 12.8 million people have been helped by humanitarian efforts thus far, the OCHA report said, but an estimated 17.7 people are still in need.

More than 14,000 others have been killed or injured in the fighting, the tweet said.

Ukraine marked the war's 200th day with a counteroffensive that resulted in Ukraine pushing Russian forces out of some territories that Russia had been occupying. Though experts have said it is too soon to tell whether the counteroffensive will later be seen as a moment when the military situation began to change, Ukrainian civilians were captured on video celebrating troops' recent successes by embracing and shaking hands with Ukrainian soldiers.

Ukraine Running Out of Space for Russian POWs

As Ukrainian forces continue their counteroffensive against Russia, troops have captured several prisoners of war (POWs).

Russia troops are retreating and surrendering to Ukrainian forces en masse. A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence told the Associated Press that Russian soldiers "understand the hopelessness of their situation."

An advisers for the Ukrainian president said the country is running out of space to accommodate the captured POWs.

Ukraine Forces Advance
Destroyed armored vehicles litter the road in Balakliya, Kharkiv region, on September 10, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ukrainian forces said on September 10, 2022 they had entered the town of Kupiansk in eastern Ukraine, dislodging Russian troops from a key logistics hub in a lightning counter-offensive that has seen swathes of territory recaptured. Juan BARRETO/AFP via Getty Images

Bodies of Tortured Civilians Found in Kharkiv

Four tortured bodies were discovered in the recently-liberated village of Zaliznychne in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine.

The Ukraine Prosecutor General's Office said the four civilian bodies were found Sunday. Three of the bodies were buried on the household's land, while the other body was buried on the land of an asphalt plant across from the village's train station.

Local law enforcement said the civilian victims were allegedly killed by Russian troops during the time of Russian occupation.

🔹 У звільненому від окупантів селі на Харківщині виявлено ще 4 тіла мирних мешканців зі слідами катувань – розпочато провадження За процесуального керівництва Чугуївської окружної прокуратури...

"According to the preliminary version of the investigation, the victims were killed by the Russian military during the occupation of the settlement," the Prosecutor General's Office said on Telegram.

The bodies have been sent for a forensic examination. The office is currently investigating thousands of alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces since the invasion began.

Zaliznychne was liberated by Ukraine forces during the recent counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region.

Civilians Seen Embracing Soldiers in Ukraine

Civilians in Ukraine could be seen hugging soldiers and shaking their hands in videos posted on social media after Ukraine's latest territorial gains in its ongoing war with Russia.

Ukraine's recent gains, the result of a counteroffensive launched as its people marked the 200th day since Russia's invasion began in late February, were celebrated by people who live in the newly-liberated areas.

Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, posted one video of a soldier walking along a dirt road while carrying a Ukrainian flag. The soldier approached a civilian who appeared to be weeping as she reached out and wrapped the soldier in a hug.

Gerashchenko captioned the video on Twitter by saying civilians were "Greeting our Defenders on liberated territories."

"What these people must have lived through in these past months," he wrote.

Gerashchenko's video amassed more than 141,000 views by Monday afternoon.

Another video posted on Twitter by the news aggregator Vicegrad 24 showed a woman initially hesitant in her reaction to an approaching soldier before realizing the soldier was fighting for Ukraine. She then gave the soldier a hug while crying as a man walked up to shake the soldier's hand.

A third video posted by Twitter user @igorsushko showed a group of Ukrainian soldiers smiling as several civilians walked up to speak with and embrace them.

WH Says U.S. 'Will Continue to Support' Ukraine

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Monday that President Joe Biden has "been clear" that the U.S. "will continue to support Ukraine as they continue to defend their democracy against Russian aggression."

Speaking onboard Air Force One while traveling with Biden to Boston, Jean-Pierre described Russia's war with Ukraine as "unprovoked" when asked about territorial gains Ukrainian troops have made in recent days. The descriptor is one the White House has used often since Russia's invasion of Ukraine began in late February.

"We see how bravely the Ukrainians have been fighting to fight for their freedom. And we support that," Jean-Pierre said.

Jean-Pierre declined to comment on Ukraine's recent counteroffensive specifically but said it is "clear they are fighting heard to defend their country and take back territory."

She also declined to comment on the upcoming meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to have with China's president, Xi Jinping but said the U.S. has "made clear our concerns about the depth of China alignment and ties with Russia, even as Russia prosecutes a war of aggression in Ukraine."

UN Reports Over 5,000 Civilian Deaths

Over 14,000 civilian casualties have been reported since Russia began its attack in February, although the United Nations cautions actual figures are "considerably higher."

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), 5,827 civilians have been killed and 8,421 injured, as of Sept. 12, 2022.

Among those killed were 2,270 men, 1,559 women and 340 girls and boys. There are 35 children and 1,623 adults whose gender is still unknown.

There have been 3,471 deaths and 4,562 injuries recorded in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the office said.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide area effects, including shelling from heavy artillery, multiple launch rocket systems, missiles and air strikes," according to the OHCHR.

The office believes that the actual casualty figures are "considerably higher," as the sharing of information from areas with intense fighting have been delayed and many reports are still pending corroboration.

There are allegation of numerous civilian casualties in areas including Mariupol, in the Donetsk region, Izium, in the Kharkiv region, and Lysychansk, Popasna, and Sievierodonetsk in the Luhansk region.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office reports over 1,130 children casualties since the war began. This includes 383 deaths and 747 injuries.

The Prosecutor General's Office said it's currently investigating over 3,300 registered war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces.

Putin in 'Constant' Contact With Military Leaders

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in "constant" communication with Russia's Ministry of Defense and other top military officials amid the latest developments in Russia's war with Ukraine, according to a Kremlin spokesperson.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin's press secretary, responded to reporters' questions on Monday about Russia's response to territorial gains made by Ukraine over the last few days.

Peskov said Putin "is in constant, one might say round-the-clock, communication with the minister of defense and with all the military leaders" in the wake of the latest developments.

Ukraine's Ministry of Defense said on Sunday that it had liberated "dozens of villages and towns" as part of its most recent counteroffensive. The size of those gains was about the size of London, according to the Associated Press.

The United Kingdom Defence Ministry said Russia "likely" responded to Ukraine's counteroffensive by pulling troops from the Kharkiv Oblast region. The UK ministry said the speed of Ukraine's move has "significant implications for Russia's overall operational design."

Ukraine Recaptured Land Equal to Twice the Size of London, U.K. Says

Russian troops are likely withdrawing from occupied areas amid Ukrainian advancements, according to the latest British intelligence.

"In the face of Ukrainian advances, Russia has likely ordered the withdrawal of its troops from the entirety of occupied Kharkiv Oblast west of the Oskil River," the U.K. Defence Ministry said in its latest intelligence update Monday.

The U.K. Defence Ministry said Ukraine has recaptured territory "at least twice the size of Greater London."

In the south, near Kherson, the U.K. said Russia is also struggling to bring in reserves to the front line.

"An improvised floating bridge Russia started over two weeks ago remains incomplete; Ukrainian long-range artillery is now probably hitting crossings of the Dnipro [River] so frequently that Russia cannot carry out repairs to damaged road bridges," the Defence Ministry said.

The Ukrainian advancements will have "significant implications" for Russia's overall operational design, according to British intelligence.

"The majority of the force in Ukraine is highly likely being forced to [prioritize] emergency defensive actions," the ministry said. "The already limited trust deployed troops have in Russia's senior military leadership is likely to deteriorate further."

UN Nuclear Chief Calls for Nuclear Safety Zone

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the head of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is calling on Ukraine and Russia to reach an agreement on establishing a safety zone around the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant near Enerhodar, Ukraine, due to continuing threats posed by fighting in the area.

Speaking with reporters after an IAEA team traveled to the power plant to assess the situation, Grossi said what is needed is for "Ukraine and Russia to agree on a very simple principle of not attacking, or not shelling, at the plant," according to the Associated Press.

The IAEA team arrived at the plant to find the power infrastructure in the area "destroyed by shelling" that caused "a complete power black-out" in Enerhodar, Grossi said last week.

Grossi called the situation "unsustainable" and "completely unacceptable."

"It cannot stand," he said.

Grossi then issued his call for Ukraine and Russia to agree to halt shelling in the area, an effort that he said was the only way to "ensure the safety and security of operating staff and allow the durable restoration of power to Enerhodar and to the power plant."

"This dramatic development demonstrates the absolute imperative to establish a nuclear safety and security protection zone now," Grossi said. He said coming to an agreement on this issue was "the only way to ensure that we do not face a nuclear accident."

On Monday, Grossi told reporters that discussions had started between the IAEA, Russia and Ukraine. Grossi said he had ""seen signs that they are interested in this agreement," according to the AP.

Russian Municipalities Call for Putin's Resignation

Deputies in over a dozen municipalities in Moscow and St. Petersburg are demanding the resignation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We, the municipal deputies of Russia, believe that the actions of its president Vladimir Putin are detrimental to Russia's and its citizens' future," 18 Russian municipal deputies wrote. "We demand Vladimir Putin's resignation from the post of the President of the Russian Federation."

The demand was published by Ksenia Thorstrom, a municipal deputy of the Semenovsky District in Saint Petersburg.

This comes amid growing calls from Russian government officials for Putin to step down.

The Council of Deputies of the Lomonosovsky District in Moscow also appealed to Putin demanding his resignation. The deputies said "everything has gone wrong" during Putin's second term in office, noting growing economic issues and instability.

The deputies condemned Putin's rhetoric, that is "imbued with intolerance and aggression" and has "sent our country back into the Cold War era."

"Russia is once again feared and hated, and we are once again threatening the world with nuclear weapons," the deputies wrote.

"In view of the above, we ask that you resign from your post, since your views and your model of government are hopelessly outdated and hinder the development of Russia and its human potential," they added.

The municipal deputies of Smolninskoye in Saint Petersburg proposed the State Duma charge Putin with high treason and remove him from office.

They believe Putin's actions since starting a war with Ukraine fall under Article 93 of the Russian Constitution, which says the president can be impeached based on charges of high treason or other serious crimes brought against them by the State Duma.

The petition claims Putin's decision to attack Ukraine is "detrimental to the security of Russia and its citizens." It also claims the mass emigration and global withdraw from Russian markets has harmed the country's economic wellbeing.

"While the Russian president declared the demilitarization of Ukraine as one of his goals, we are witnessing the opposite happen," Deputy Dmitry Palyuga told the Insider. "This is not to say that we stand in full support of the goals declared by President Putin, but even in his own terms, he is harming Russia's national security."

"We want to let people know that there are deputies who are opposed to the current policy and who believe that Putin is harming Russia," he added. "We also want to let them know we are not afraid to speak out."

Kharkiv Without Electricity, Water After Russian Strike

Russia airstrikes in the Kharkiv region have destroyed key infrastructure.

The region has lost power and water supply again Monday due to Russian shelling.

"Yesterday evening situation repeats again," Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov said on Telegram. "Due to the shelling, critical infrastructure was put out of operation, resulting in the loss of power and water supply in Kharkiv."

Terekhov said earlier Monday that 80 percent of the electricity and water supply had been restored after Sunday's outage.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said the goal of the Russian Federation is to "deprive people of light and heat."

"Even through the impenetrable darkness, Ukraine and the civilized world clearly see these terrorist acts," Zelensky said on Telegram. "Deliberate and cynical missile strikes on critical civilian infrastructure. No military facilities."

One employee working at a Kharkiv power and heating plant was killed in the strike Sunday, according to Head of Kharkiv Region Civil military Administration, Oleh Synehubov.

"As a result of the strikes on the critical infrastructure of Kharkiv, a man - an employee of the enterprise - died. Rescuers continue their search," Synehubov said on Telegram.

Russian Attack on Power Plant
Ukrainian State Emergency Service firefighters put out the fire after a Russian rocket attack hit an electric power station in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. The Kharkiv and Donetsk regions have been completely de-energised in the rocket attack. Kostiantyn Liberov/AP Photo

In the city of Izium, more than 80 percent of city infrastructure has been destroyed, according to city council member Maksym Strelnikov.

This includes multi-story buildings and private houses, enterprises, government institutions, educational institutions and industrial plants, Strelnikov said at a briefing Monday.

"The central heating system, which was used by majority of residents in winter, is damaged. So these would be the challenges to overcome for the local authorities," Strelnikov said.

He also said at least 1,000 civilians have died, mostly due to a lack of medical care, after Russian forces destroyed health care institutions.

"The occupiers have looted all the pharmacies, so there was no access to medication," he said. "This is the most urgent issue for now, along with hospitalization of Izium residents, who require urgent medical care."

Ukraine Recaptures Territory, Pushes Russian Troops Back

Ukraine has reportedly made significant advances against Russia in recent days as the war in Ukraine continues.

Ukrainian forces have taken several villages and pushed back Russian troops to the northeastern border as part of a major counteroffensive, the Associated Press reports.

"In some areas of the front, our defenders reached the state border with the Russian Federation," Oleh Syniehubov, the governor of the northeastern Kharkiv region, said.

Ukrainian authorities claimed that their forces have recaptured around 500 square kilometers of territory in the southern Kherson region over the past two weeks. On Monday, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said its troops had liberated more than 20 settlements within the past day.

The Russian Defense Ministry said over the weekend that it will pulled back troops from Balakliya and Izyum to regroup in the eastern region of Donetsk.

There are reports of boosted Ukrainian morale and chaos among Russian troops.

"The Russians were here in the morning. Then at noon, they suddenly started shouting wildly and began to run away, charging off in tanks and armored vehicles," Dmytro Hrushchenko, a Zaliznychne resident, told Sky News. The small town near the eastern frontline was recently liberated by the Ukraine army.

Russian strikes on Ukraine cities continue as the Kremlin remains determined to achieve the goals of it's "special military operation."