Chairman Of Russia’s Lukoil “Falls Out Window,” Reported As Suicide
Ravil Maganov, chairman of the Russian oil company Lukoil, died on Thursday after "he fell out of the window of a Moscow hospital," according to Russian media reports. Meanwhile TASS news agency reported his death as a suicide. The 67 year-old was hospitalized after suffering from a heart attack.
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Maganov was one of the historical leaders of Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, founded in November 1991 as the Soviet Union collapsed.
In March, Lukoil was one of the very few Russian companies to call for “fast resolution of the military conflict” in Ukraine two weeks after Moscow’s invasion. Vagit Alekperov, the company’s chief executive officer and major shareholder, announced his resignation in April after being targeted by Western sanctions.
Maganov is the second top Lukoil executive to die in mysterious circumstances in recent months. Billionaire Alexander Subbotin was found dead in a shaman’s home in Mytishchi back in May.
In recent years, Maganov had participated in regular meetings at the Russian Energy Ministry alongside other oil companies, discussing the nation’s position on production levels ahead of OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) meetings. He was appointed as Lukoil’s chairman in 2020.
IAEA Team Arrives At Nuclear Plant, Despite Continued Shelling
\u201c\ud83d\udc77 @RafaelMGrossi and a team of experts & inspectors have set off for the IAEA Support & Assistance Mission to #Zaporizhzhya (ISAMZ), to help ensure nuclear safety and security at #Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya NPP and undertake vital safeguards activities.\n\ud83d\udc49 https://t.co/IrcPxHuukI\u201d— IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency (@IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency) 1661784120
After facing risks of nearby shelling, the team of nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have arrived at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant shortly after 1:30 p.m. local time.
In the occupied Ukrainian town of Energodar, shelling by Russian troops near the plant triggered an emergency protection being activated and one of the plant’s reactors being shut down. Energoatom said the remaining reactor "continues to work in the energy system of Ukraine and at the same time feeds the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant’s own needs."
Despite the “significant risks of their mission,” chief of IAEA, Rafael Grossi, said his team of international experts continue to pursue their mission to try to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhzhia plant.
In recent weeks, Russian and Ukrainian officials have accused each other of shelling the IAEA’s prearranged route to the Zaporizhzhia plant. IAEA spokesperson Fredrik Dahl said the inspectors had been "delayed" for three hours on the Ukrainian-controlled side of the front line on their way to the nuclear facility due to shelling and that Grossi had to personally negotiate with Ukrainian military authorities to let the team proceed with their route.
The head of the Ukrainian military administration of Nikopol, a city located across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia plant, said Russian forces were shelling near the plant to try to give the IAEA the impression that Ukraine was attacking it. But in a statement on Thursday, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said it would provide the IAEA’s inspectors "full security for further work" upon their arrival at the plant.
Heavy Shelling In Kharkiv And Elsewhere
The Ukrainian city of Kharkiv has come under heavy fire overnight according to the mayor. Russian forces attacked numerous locations in and around Kharkiv, resulting in one civilian death and four people injured.
A rocket or missile fired from near the Russian city of Belgorod, close to the Ukrainian border, appears to have gone off course and crashed into a residential area, according to multiple social videos uploaded to the Telegram channel Belgorod Informant on Wednesday night. For the moment there is no information on the number of casualties or what damage has been made.
Meanwhile, heavy explosions are ongoing in the Nova Kakhovka area of the Kherson region in southern Ukraine. This town which is controlled by Russian forces is home to bridge that has been attacked by Ukrainian forces,
Ukraine’s General Staff said that Russian forces were now concentrating efforts on establishing full control of the Donetsk Oblast and maintaining their grip on temporarily occupied parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, and Mykolaiv oblasts.
Russia Faces "Severe" Military Personnel Shortages, According To U.S.
Russian Baltic Fleet infantry drills in Kaliningrad Region
U.S. officials believe that Vladmir Putin’s order to increase Russia’s troops by 137,000 last week is due to “severe” military personnel shortages, CNN reports. The Pentagon estimated in August that 80,000 Russian soldiers had been killed or wounded since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. It is unclear how these numbers will be attained.
The United States believes that the Russian Ministry of Defense is seeking to recruit conscripts by “compelling wounded soldiers to re enter combat, acquiring personnel from private security companies, and paying bonuses to conscripts,” according to an official who spoke to CNN. Officials also had “credible reporting” that convicted criminals might be recruited “in exchange for pardons and financial compensation.”
EU Ministers Agree To Ukraine Aid, But Fall Short Of Outright Russian Visa Ban
EU meeting of foreign ministers in Prague
The two-day summit of EU foreign ministers ended today in Prague with an agreement to suspend the visa facilitation accord that had made it significantly easier for Russian citizens to obtain Schengen visas.
The ministers took the decision in response to the invasion of Ukraine, but fell short of agreeing on an outright visa ban as was advocated by countries neighboring Russia.
The suspension of the agreement is expected to significantly hinder the visa application process, making it much more expensive, burdensome and drawn-out for Russian nationals planning to visit the bloc. “In terms of our relations with Russia, we cannot continue as before. We have made progress at the meeting of foreign ministers and want to fully suspend the agreement that allows the simplified issuing of visas to citizens of the Russian Federation,” said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky.
The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, also said that the foreign ministers of the EU countries agreed to speed up work on expanding military assistance to Ukraine and increasing the European Peace Fund to meet the needs of the Ukrainian army. Additionally, the EU defense ministers agreed to create a common training mission for the Ukrainian military.
Russia Bans Trudeau Among 55 “Undesirable” Canadians, As Payback
Canadian President Justin Trudeau
Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press/Zuma
In response to Canada's sanctions, Russia has barred 55 Canadian military and political officials, including President Justin Trudeau and his wife, from entering the country. The Russian foreign ministry also announced that three Canadian non-governmental organizations were now recognized as "undesirable.".
A total of 818 Canadians are under Moscow's sanctions according to official data. The move is seen as a direct answer to Canada sanctioning 62 russian elites a week ago, including government officials, and representatives of the defense firm Avtomatika.
“New Reality” For Ukrainian Children Back To School In The Midst Of War
School destroyed in Kharkiv back in June
The beginning of September marks the start of the school year in Ukraine – albeit an uncertain one. Resuming school for the four million schoolchildren in Ukraine is a top priority for the government given the war’s long-term social and economic impact on the country.
Across Ukraine, authorities rushed to build bomb shelters ahead of the start of the new term. They are also repairing the estimated 2,300 educational institutions that were damaged in shelling by Russian forces. Less than 60% of schools were deemed safe and eligible to reopen by the Government. To deal with the lack of teaching facilities, there will be a mix of face-to-face and distance-learning formats.
Oleksiy Kuleba, governor of the Kyiv region, has posted to Telegram to say: “This year it is unusual for all of us – without traditional lines, without a large crowd of schoolchildren. There is a full-scale war in the country and this is our new reality. The first thing we think about is the safety of our young citizens. Despite everything, we are starting the school year.”
Ukraine To Offer Money To House Internally Displaced Citizens, With Help From Red Cross
Press Conference of ICRC Director General held in Kyiv
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said that Ukrainians who were providing or willing to provide housing to internally displaced citizens would receive a benefit of 900 UAH ($25) per person per month starting from Oct. 1. According to Vereshchuk, the current benefit stands at UAH 450, and is being augmented in response to the energy crisis and increasing prices.
The Red Cross Society of Ukraine, in agreement with the CMU, plans to finance the full amount of compensation for the placement of the internal refugees.