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Ukraine managed to return the bodies of 79 fallen soldiers, the Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories announced on its website on May 30. The bodies will be returned to their families and loved ones for burial.
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Ukraine’s parliament adopted a law allowing insurance of investments in Ukraine against war risks. The law expands the capabilities of the Export Credit Agency, allowing it to insure both domestic and foreign investments against the risks caused by armed aggression or terrorism.
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According to the report, Russia has also lost 3,802 tanks, 7,469 armored fighting vehicles, 6,219 vehicles and fuel tanks, 3,445 artillery systems, 575 multiple launch rocket systems, 332 air defense systems, 313 airplanes, 298 helicopters, 3,092 drones, and 18 boats.
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"Yesterday, Russian border guards celebrated their professional holiday. The fighters of the Russian Volunteer Corps congratulated them by successfully crossing the 'holey' state border once again," one of the Russian militia groups fighting on Ukraine's side said on May 29.
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Russian troops hit the villages of Kozatske and Zolota Balka in Ukraine's southern Kherson Oblast on May 29, the regional administration reported. A 61-year-old man was killed in his house as a result of the Kozatske shelling, according to the report.

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Le Monde: France approves Framatome's involvement in Russia-led construction of nuclear reactors in Hungary

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 29, 2023 1:22 PM 3 min read
This audio is created with AI assistance

The French government has reportedly cleared ways for Framatome, a state-backed nuclear power operator subsidiary, to participate in a construction project in Hungary led by Russia's state-owned Rosatom.

In an article published on April 28, French newspaper Le Monde reported, citing its sources, that Paris has greenlighted Framatone to supply equipment for the construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Russian-backed Paks Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary.

"The French government has given the authorization to Framatome, but the German government has not done so for Siemens. So, we are now studying this problem in close cooperation with Framatome," a Hungarian source told Le Monde.

The report of France aiding the Russian-managed expansion of the nuclear power plant in Hungary comes amid Ukraine's repeated calls for the EU to sanction Russia's nuclear industry, urging that the West needs to do more to hurt Moscow's revenue amid a brutal war.

Despite some lawmakers and diplomats in the EU pushing to have severe links with Rosatom, Russia has a strong grip on Europe's nuclear energy landscape, and the progress has been slow.  Russia exports nuclear fuel to reactors in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Finland, and the continent still relies on Russian uranium.

While some countries like Bulgaria are looking for ways to reduce Russia's lingering reach on its Russia-dominated energy sector, Hungary in August issued a permit for the Rosatom-led construction of two new nuclear reactors in the southern city of Paks. Currently, the Paks plant runs on four nuclear reactors.

Though Germany has been reluctant to deliver the reactor control system to Hungary for the Russian-backed expansion project, Hungary has relied on French help, Le Monde reported. It added that the issue was "discreetly" discussed during a dinner between French President Emmanuel Macron and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the Elysée Palace on March 13, which was also reported by the Financial Times.

Shortly after the formal dinner, Le Monde cited Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto as saying, "since the German government is blocking for political reasons the contractual participation of Siemens Energy, we wish to rely more on the French."

The Russian-backed expansion project of the nuclear power plant in Hungary is "expected to cost about $12.4 billion and will more than double the plant's capacity," according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's August article. It added that Russia would be providing a $10 billion loan for the project.

Orban struck an agreement on the expansion project with Russian President Vladimir Putin shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. Despite the delays, Orban has insisted on finishing the project by 2030.

The French participation in the project may indicate the two countries' readiness to take their nuclear cooperation to another level, the Financial Times reported in late March.

Sources told the Financial Times that Russia's participation in the project could fade if the war in Ukraine lasts longer and the West continues to impose sanctions against Moscow. But the newspaper added that it's unclear whether it would mean constructing a new power plant or simply replacing Rosatom with a different partner.

Losing the Paks project would be "a serious blow" to Rosatom, the newspaper reported, citing Maxim Samorukov, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Foundation.

A French official told the Financial Times that both Paris and Budapest were ready to cooperate more on the nuclear power industry, but "we don’t know at this stage if there is a way for France to get a bigger share of the work on Paks."

This Week in Ukraine Ep. 5 – Everything we know about Ukrainian attacks inside Russia
“This Week in Ukraine” is a video podcast hosted by Kyiv Independent’s reporter Anastasiia Lapatina. Every week, Anastasiia sits down with her newsroom colleagues to discuss Ukraine’s most pressing issues. Episode #5 is dedicated to Ukrainian attacks deep behind enemy lines – on Russian soil, and i…

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