Ukraine – Russian forces occupy the bombed nuclear power plant


The Russian army attacked last night the largest power plant in Europe, which has 6 nuclear reactors. The level of radioactivity is unchanged. The Russian tanks are there.

Surveillance cameras captured the bombardment carried out last night on the largest nuclear power plant in Europe located in Ukraine.

Zaporizhzhya NPP via REUTERS

The Russian army occupies this Friday the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in Zaporozhye, in southern Ukraine, hit overnight by bombardments which caused a fire, without however causing a radioactive leak.

“The territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is occupied by the armed forces of the Russian Federation. The operational staff controls the energy blocks and ensures their operation in accordance with the requirements of the technical regulations for operational safety”, indicated the Ukrainian nuclear regulator.

According to Kiev, Russian tank fire on the plant during the night set fire to a building dedicated to training and a laboratory. The emergency services said they were able to access the site and put out the fire around 6:20 a.m. (5:20 a.m. in Switzerland), after being prevented from doing so by Russian soldiers.

The fire did not cause any casualties, according to Ukrainian relief. And no radioactive leak was detected, according to the nuclear regulator.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Russian tanks opened fire on the Zaporozhye power plant (which can also be spelled Zaporozhya in French).

“These tanks are equipped with thermal sights so they know what they are doing, they were prepared,” he said in a video released by the Ukrainian presidency.

Radioactivity levels remain unchanged at the site of the plant, which has six nuclear reactors and provides much of the country’s energy, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said. no “essential” equipment was damaged.

Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Moscow of resorting to “nuclear terror” and of wanting to “repeat” the Chernobyl disaster, the most serious in history in 1986.

“We alert everyone to the fact that no other country, apart from Russia, has ever fired on nuclear power plants. This is the first time in our history, the first time in the history of mankind. This terrorist state is now resorting to nuclear terror,” he said.

“The end of Europe”

“Ukraine has fifteen nuclear reactors. If there’s an explosion, it’s the end of everything. The end of Europe. It is the evacuation of Europe,” he continued.

“Only immediate European action can stop the Russian troops. We must prevent Europe from dying of a nuclear disaster,” added the Ukrainian president.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council “in the next few hours”.

“President Putin’s irresponsible actions can now directly threaten the security of all of Europe,” he said in a statement after meeting with Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Ukrainian president also spoke on the phone with US President Joe Biden, an official in Washington said. Joe Biden then “urged Russia to cease its military activities in the area” of the power plant, according to the White House.

On February 24, fighting had already taken place near the former Chernobyl power plant, about a hundred kilometers north of Kiev, which is now in the hands of Russian troops.

Putin stays the course

In statements on Russian television Thursday, President Vladimir Putin gave no hope of appeasement.

“The special military operation is going strictly according to schedule, according to plan,” he said, paying tribute to Russian soldiers and their “valuable fight against neo-Nazis” and “foreign mercenaries” who use, according to him, civilians as “human shields” in Ukraine.

Russian forces are stepping up their strikes on major cities in Ukraine. Kiev notably accused Moscow on Thursday of having bombed a residential area in Cherniguiv, on the road to Kiev, killing 33 people.

Zaporizhie, located on the Dnieper River about 550 km southeast of Kiev, is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant with a total capacity of almost 6,000 megawatts, enough to supply electricity to around four million homes. It was opened in 1985, when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union.


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