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Latest in Ukraine: Zelenskyy to Outline Vison for Lasting Peace in Ukraine

on 3/28/2023
New developments:???  ??U.S. official announces support for “dedicated tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine.”   German delivery of 18 tanks arrives in Ukraine.  Ukraine is giving hydropower facilities "maximum protection" by hiding equipment underground as it repairs an estimated $1 billion in damage to its energy infrastructure from Russian airstrikes, a senior industry official said.?  The Ukrainian town of Avdiivka is described as a "post-apocalyptic wasteland" by Ukrainian officials, as Russia shifts attention there after failed attempts to capture Bakhmut.?  Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to address a virtual meeting Tuesday hosted by the United States to discuss what he sees as the path to a lasting peace.  The U.S. State Department said Secretary of State Antony Blinken will host the session, with participants including foreign ministers from other nations giving their perspectives on what is necessary to end the war Russia launched more than a year ago.  Tuesday’s event leads into the broader Summit for Democracy in which Ukraine will also participate.  “Our position in support of freedom will sound strong, as always,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Monday.  International tribunal  Beth Van Schaack, U.S. State Department ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, announced in an address Monday night that the United States supports “the development of a dedicated tribunal to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine.”  Van Schaack told the Nuremberg Principles Conference in Washington that the most effective model to achieve accountability would involve “the establishment of an internationalized court rooted within Ukraine's judicial system but that includes a number of international elements.”  In response to a question from VOA’s Ukrainian service, Van Schaack said Ukrainian officials are examining both that hybrid model and a more standalone international institution that would need the backing of the U.N. General Assembly. Van Schaack said there may not be enough votes in favor at the General Assembly for a new institution that might need U.N. funding or support.  Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant  Zelenskyy said in his Monday address that Russia has used the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, "for radiation blackmail."  Russian forces have controlled the site since last year, while Ukrainian crews operate the plant.  "Holding a nuclear power plant hostage for more than a year is the worst thing that could happen in the history of the European and in general global nuclear energy sector," Zelenskyy said. "The longer the Russian occupation of the ZNPP continues, the greater will be the threat to the security of Ukraine, the whole of Europe and the world."  Zelenskyy met earlier Monday with Rafael Grossi, director?general of the?International Atomic Energy Agency, in the city of Zaporizhzhia.  ??  "The situation, of course, at the plant is not getting any better," Grossi told Zelenskyy.  "Naturally, because the military activity is increasing." ?? Earlier this month, fighting interrupted power to the plant for half a day, forcing staff to activate backup generators.? ?  Grossi had expressed alarm at that development. A sustained loss of power at the plants risks a nuclear catastrophe with continent-wide implications.? ?  "Each time, we are rolling a dice," he told his agency at the time. "And if we allow this to continue time after time, then one day our luck will run out."? ??  The Zaporizhzhia plant’s six reactors are in shutdown mode, and it is receiving the electricity it needs to prevent a reactor meltdown through just one remaining power line. It has on occasion had to switch to emergency diesel generators to power its essential cooling systems.?  Oleksii Kovalenko of VOA’s Ukrainian service contributed to this report. Some material in this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters. 

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