By The Associated Press

Russia’s war against Ukraine is on its ninth day. Representatives of the UN and Ukraine say there was no radiation release as a result of Russia’s attack on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine, and firefighters put out the fire at the facility.

Russian troops continued to push for a campaign that brought global condemnation. People all over Ukraine took up arms and sought refuge. More than 1.2 million people have fled to neighboring countries, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

NATO refuses to protect the no-fly zone over Ukraine. The military organization of 30 countries believes that such a step could provoke a large-scale war in Europe with Russia.

Associated Press journalists in Ukraine and abroad document military activities. Here’s a look at the events unfolding on Friday:

PROFESSION OF NUCLEAR SAFETY

Russian troops have seized the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in the southeastern city of Enerhadar as a result of an attack that evoked memories of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in Chernobyl in Ukraine.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said no radiation spikes were detected. And the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi said that the Russian “shell” hit the training center, not any of the six reactors.

However, experts said it highlights the potential danger of reactors in the war zone, and pharmacies in some Eastern European and Scandinavian countries have reported growing demand for iodine tablets that can be used to protect children from radiation exposure.

After the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his request to the West to establish a no-fly zone over his country. But NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO would have to shoot down Russian planes.

“We are not part of this conflict, and we are responsible for ensuring that it does not escalate or spread beyond Ukraine, because that would be even more destructive and dangerous,” Stoltenberg said.

DIRECT WITNESSES OR CONFIRMED BY ASSOCIATED PRESS

Russian troops have captured the southern city of Kherson, an important 280,000-strong port in the Black Sea, the first major city to collapse. Russian armored vehicles were seen on the otherwise empty streets of Kherson in a video shared by a resident of the AP.

Frequent shelling can be heard from the center of Kyiv on Friday.

Heavy fighting continued on the outskirts of another strategic port, Mariupol, resulting in the disruption of the city’s electricity, heat and water systems, as well as most telephone communications. Food supplies also declined.

A live broadcast of the video surveillance camera on the link from the main page of the Zaporozhye plant showed that on Thursday evening armored vehicles approached the parking lot of the facility and illuminated the building. The AP also checked a video taken by a resident of the area, which shows bright flashing objects landing on the site of the nuclear power plant.

In stories and videos posted on the Internet, Russian state publications falsely claim that Zelensky fled from Kiev. The photo and video show the President of Ukraine leading the defense of his country.

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING ON EARTH?

Fighting with air strikes and artillery continued on Friday in the northwest of Kiev and in the northeast with heavy blows to the cities of Kharkiv and Okhtyrka, said adviser to the President of Ukraine Alexei Orastovich.

Ukrainian defense forces held the northern city of Chernihiv and thwarted Russian efforts to capture the important southern city of Mykolaiv, he said.

Ukrainian artillery is protecting Odessa from repeated attempts by Russian ships to shell the Black Sea port, he said, insisting there was no immediate threat to the city.

Some Ukrainian drone enthusiasts are risking their lives by creating volunteer drone forces to help their country repel the Russian invasion. Citizens use air cameras to track Russian convoys and pass images and GPS coordinates to Ukrainian troops.

WHERE ARE THE REFUGEES GOING?

The data portal of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees showed that the vast majority of those who left Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion – about 650,000 – left for neighboring Poland. About 145,000 fled to Hungary. Another 103,000 were in Moldova and more than 90,000 in Slovakia.

More than 100 Jewish refugee children, who were evacuated from a foster home in Ukraine and made their way across Europe by bus, arrived in Berlin on Friday. 105 children – the youngest was only 5 weeks old – left the port of Odessa 52 hours earlier. The children received financial assistance from Jewish aid organizations, as well as diplomatic support from Israel, Germany and other European countries.

Brazil, which has the largest number of Ukrainians and their descendants in Latin America, has said it will issue temporary humanitarian visas and residence permits to Ukrainian citizens and other war victims.

In Hungary, a pastor in a village on the border with Ukraine offered a single room in his church to a family of 27 women and children fleeing the invasion.

HOW MANY PANERS?

Russia has acknowledged that nearly 500 Russian servicemen have been killed and about 1,600 wounded. Among them is the commander of the 7th Airborne Division of Russia, Major General Andrei Sukhovetsky, who had previous experience in Syria.

Ukraine has not released figures for the loss of its armed forces.

The UN Office for Human Rights reports that at least 331 civilians have been killed and 675 wounded since the invasion of Ukraine. The State Emergency Service of Ukraine said that more than 2,000 civilians were killed, but it is impossible to verify this statement.

SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA

A wave of global sanctions against Russia could have devastating consequences for importers of energy and grain. Russia is a leading exporter of grain and a major supplier of crude oil, metals, wood and plastics.

More and more companies are suspending operations in Russia, including Apple, Mercedes-Benz, BP, Volkswagen, an H&M clothing retailer and an IKEA furniture store.

The Spanish theater “Real”, one of the largest opera houses in Europe, said it was canceling a series of future performances of the Russian Bolshoi Ballet.

RUSSIAN MEDIA

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a bill threatening up to 15 years in prison for what Russia considers “false” reports of war.

The state communications service also blocked Facebook, Twitter and five foreign media outlets that publish news in Russian. These organizations – the BBC, funded by the US Voice of America and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, the German TV company Deutsche Welle and the Latvian website Meduza – are among the most influential and often critical foreign media in Russian.

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Follow the coverage of the war between Russia and Ukraine in the AP: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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