In the dispute over travel opportunities for Russians in the EU, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reiterated his call for a travel ban.

"It must be ensured that Russian murderers and supporters of state terror do not use Schengen visas," he said in Kyiv on Friday evening.

Several cities in Ukraine were hit by Russian rockets in the evening, according to authorities, five rockets hit the city of Zaporizhia alone.

International concern continues to be about the situation in the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in the city of Enerhodar, which is occupied by Russian troops.

A glimmer of hope on the 171st day of Russia's aggressive war is the export of grain from Ukrainian ports, which is expected to resume this Saturday.

Russia's EU neighbors are calling for travel restrictions

The demand for travel restrictions for Russians comes mainly from the direct neighboring countries.

Estonia and Latvia in the Baltic States have already tightened entry rules, and Finland is also considering doing so.

Germany and the EU Commission in Brussels reject a fundamental freeze on tourist visas for Russians.

“Europe has banned air travel from Russia to Europe.

This means that the only way Russians can get to Europe is through only three countries – Finland, Estonia and Latvia,” said Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

"So it's not really fair that all other Schengen countries issue these visas, but we three actually bear the burden." Kallas referred to violent reactions in Moscow to the visa discussion.

This shows that an entry ban can be an effective sanctions instrument.

Zelenskyy said that after everything the Russian occupation has done in Ukraine, there can only be one attitude towards Russia and that is to consider it a terrorist state.

"The attitude towards the citizens of Russia should also be determined from this point of view." For Russians who really need protection, there are tried and tested legal mechanisms such as asylum.

But that has nothing to do with holiday or business trips to the EU.

EU for demilitarization of nuclear power plant

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called for an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

He supports demands for the demilitarization of the plant and urges a visit from experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"Russia must immediately return control to Ukraine as the rightful owner," Borrell wrote on Twitter.

The international community is concerned because the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, which has been occupied since March, has been shot at several times in the past few days.

Ukraine and Russia each see responsibility as being on the other side.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the USA have also called for the power plant and its surroundings to be demilitarized.

Moscow strictly rejects this, but wants to allow IAEA experts to visit the city of Enerhodar.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused Ukraine and its western partners of risking a "new Chernobyl" in the nuclear power plant - in memory of the nuclear accident in 1986. He added a threatening-sounding sentence to his blog on Telegram: "Not to forget that there are also nuclear power plants in the EU.

And something can happen there too.”

Missiles on Ukrainian cities

Five Russian rockets landed in the regional capital, Zaporizhia, about 45 kilometers away on Friday evening.

The infrastructure buildings were destroyed, said Governor Olexander Staruch.

A fire had broken out.

At least one woman was injured and more information about victims is expected.

The sixth largest city in Ukraine is in Ukrainian hands.

However, the southern part of the Zaporizhia region is occupied by the Russians.

According to the authorities, the city of Kramatorsk in the Donbass was also shelled on Friday evening.

At least two civilians were killed and 13 injured.

The Donbass continued to be the main battlefield.

At the same time, the Ukrainian general staff acknowledged that Russian territory had been gained near Horliwka.

Threat of problems in German refinery

The Russian oil company Rosneft paints the future of its Schwedt refinery in Brandenburg black because of the upcoming ban on oil imports from Russia.

Rosneft announced that if the PCK refinery was no longer supplied via the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline, but via other routes, it would only be used at half capacity.

This will lead to losses of up to 300 million euros per year with corresponding effects on tax payments to the German treasury.

Rising petrol and fuel prices are also to be expected throughout Germany.

The EU imposed an import ban on Russian oil in May because of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) is looking for alternative oil sources for Schwedt.

Burdened by Western sanctions, the Russian economy shrank significantly in the spring.

The gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 4.0 percent in the period from April to June compared to the same quarter last year, according to the national statistics office.

It was the first quarter entirely dominated by the war against Ukraine that began on February 24th.

Economic output thus fell back to the level of 2018.

Grain exports from Ukraine are gaining momentum.

As part of an internationally brokered grain export deal, 14 ships carrying more than 430,000 tons of cargo have left Ukrainian Black Sea ports since August 1.

Two ships have been announced for this Saturday.