Zelenskyy blames Russia for risking safety of Europe’s largest nuclear plant
Copenhagen/Lviv, Aug 11 (EFE).- Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia Thursday of increasing the risk of an accident at an atomic power plant in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region – Europe’s largest – saying it would be the worst nuclear disaster in history.
In a televised address at the Ukraine donor conference in Copenhagen, Zelenskyy said: “Russia knowingly uses a nuclear power plant for terrorism and armed provocations.”
“It is holding the power station hostage, setting up combat teams, and blaming everybody else,” he added.
The Ukrainian leader pointed to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in 1986 in the former Soviet Union, stressing that Russian authorities are “more cynical” than their Soviet counterparts because they “do everything possible to increase the risk of a nuclear catastrophe.”
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been under the control of the Russian forces since the early days of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24.
In recent days, Moscow accused Kyiv of “nuclear terrorism,” while the latter has blamed the Russia for creating a dangerous situation for Europe by amassing troops in Zaporizhzhia.
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to discuss the situation in Zaporizhzhia at Russia’s request later on Thursday.
The conference in Copenhagen was attended by representatives of 26 countries, marking a new phase in the economic and military support to Ukraine from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
Back on the frontline in south and eastern Ukraine, at least 10 people were killed in the cities of Bakhmut and Nikopol as Russian attacks have been intensifying in different parts of the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine, the Ukrainian authorities said Thursday.
In Donetsk’s Bakhmut region, nine towns were struck by artillery attacks, leaving at least seven dead and six wounded, the Ukrainian general staff said, according to the Ukrinform news agency.
In Nikopol, at least three others died and seven were wounded, including a 13-year-old girl.
Some 40 residential buildings were damaged in various towns there and some 6,000 people were left without power, according to their regional authorities.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, at least 361 children have died and another 705 injured, according to a report released by the Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday.
Another 204 children have been reported missing and 6,159 others have been deported by the Russians, although the report does not clarify where they might have been transferred to.
A total of 7.5 million children have been impacted by the war in Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian government.EFE