Shelling around Zaporizhzhya plant reported by Ukraine, Russia
Lviv, Ukraine, Aug 27 (EFE).- Ukraine accused Russia of fresh attacks on the occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, energy company Energoatom said Saturday.
Pro-Russian authorities in the occupied region also accused Kyiv forces of shelling Europe’s largest nuclear facilities located in southeastern Ukraine.
“In the last 24 hours, Russian troops have bombed the grounds of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant. We are assessing the damage,” Energoatom reported Saturday on Telegram, a day after the nuclear plant was reconnected to Ukraine’s electricity grid.
The plant, which has been under Russian occupation since March, was disconnected from the Ukrainian power grid Thursday after a fire broke out at the ash pits of a nearby coal plant.
The fire, which Ukraine blames on Russia, damaged the last operating transmission line connecting the plant to the grid.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the plant as soon as possible to avoid new risks.
“I want to emphasize that the situation remains very risky and dangerous,” Zelenskyy warned on Friday.
“Any repeat of yesterday’s events, that is, any disconnection of the plant from the grid, any actions by Russia that could trigger the shutdown of the reactors, will again put the plant one step away from disaster,” he added.
IAEA chief Rafael Grossi confirmed on Thursday that an agreement in principle between Kyiv and Moscow could pave the way for an inspection of the facilities by the UN-backed agency.
The PM added that nuclear scientists protecting the power plant were “constantly being provoked by Russian forces.”
On Saturday, workers at the plant expressed concerns over the possible IAEA visit because “the Russians will arrange provocations and then blame Ukraine for them.”
The Telegram post also reported that workers of Zaporizhzhya were being tortured by Russian forces during interventions in the plant’s basement. EFE