Conflicts & War

Russia strikes Zaporizhzhya region hours after power cut at nuclear plant

Kyiv, Mar 10 (EFE).- Russian forces attacked Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya region late on Thursday night just hours after Europe’s largest nuclear plant was left without power following a massive missile strike across the country, regional officials reported on Friday.

The late-night strike Thursday left 20,000 homes in the city without power as well as heating and water outages, Zaporizhzhya city’s acting mayor Anatolii Kurtiev said, according to the Unian news agency.

“A fire broke out. According to preliminary information, two educational institutions were damaged. The windows of the buildings were blown out,” Kurtev was quoted as saying.

The official added that the electricity, heating and water supply in Zaporizhzhya had been partially restored and repair works were underway.

Russia launched a massive missile and drone strike across Ukraine on Wednesday night and Thursday killing six people, president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his late-night video address to the nation.

“Today I held several meetings on the consequences of a massive attack on our infrastructure,” Zelenskyy said. “Another attempt by the terrorist state to wage war against civilization has led to temporary power, heat and water outages in some of our regions and cities.”

“Restoration work at power facilities has been ongoing all day. Kharkiv and the Zhytomyr region have the most difficult situation. Odesa, the Dnipropetrovsk region, Kyiv and Zaporizhzhya are also facing difficulties,” he added.

Thursday’s attacks completely cut off the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power from Ukraine’s energy grid for several hours, sparking the outrage of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi.

Grossi told a board of governors’ meeting in Vienna that he was “astonished by the complacency” being shown by the UN’s nuclear watchdog, warning that not enough action was being taken to address security concerns at the power plant, which is the largest in Europe.

The plant in southern Ukraine was occupied by Russian forces after the invasion in February last year. It has been disconnected from the Ukrainian grid several times since then due to shelling in the area, which Moscow and Kyiv blame each other for.

The plant needs to be supplied with electricity to power cooling systems that stop the nuclear fuel from overheating.EFE


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