Dangers have increased around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

The risks surrounding the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine are “increasing every day,” the mayor of the city where it is located assured on Sunday. Moscow and Kiev have blamed each other for more than a week of bombings at the site.

In addition, Ukraine said it was in the process of isolating part of the Russian forces after destroying or damaging all bridges in the Kherson region.

“Dangers (around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant) are increasing every day,” Dmytro Orlov, the mayor of Energodar, told AFP by phone, adding that burning motors at the plant had become a daily occurrence, denouncing ‘absolute nuclear terrorism’. Russia can ‘become unpredictable at any moment’.

‘Limit your presence to the streets of Enercoder! “We have received information about new provocations from the Russian aggressors,” Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom said on Telegram, retweeting a message from a local leader of Energodar loyalists in Kyiv – the city where the plant is located.

According to the testimonies of citizens, explosions are again taking place in the direction of the Zaporizhia (…) nuclear power plant. The interval between the start and arrival of the shots is 3-5 seconds,” he added.

worry

“Of course we are worried because the nuclear power plant is nearby,” Viktor Shabanin, 57, from Zaporizhia, who lives in the village of Vyshsetarasivka, on the other bank of the Dnieper, opposite the plant, told AFP.

The expanding wave often heads in our direction when the windows burst, he added. So we are immediately exposed to radiation, which also spreads through water.

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By the end of the day on Saturday, Ukrainian military intelligence confirmed that ‘(Russian) aggressors are shelling the nuclear power plant on the right bank from the village of Vodiane, located in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear power plant (…). Dnieper’, a river that separates areas in Russian hands from areas controlled by Ukrainian authorities.

Damaged pumping unit

One strike damaged a pump unit and another ‘led to the partial destruction of the fire department responsible for the protection of the nuclear power plant’, according to a military intelligence report, accusing Russian forces of ‘preparing provocations under Ukrainian’. flag’.

For their part, occupation authorities based in the Russian-held areas of Zaporizhia have accused Ukrainian forces of being behind the shooting.

“Energodar and Zaporizhia nuclear power plant are again under fire by militants (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky,” Vladimir Rogov, a member of the pro-Russian military and civil administration, said in a telegram.

The projectiles “fell in areas located along the banks of the Dnieper and at the power plant,” he said, without reporting any casualties or damage.

According to AFP reporters at the scene, there were no signs of a resumption of fighting apart from the sound of sirens and explosions.

Atomic ‘Blackmail’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the “Russian threat” surrounding the nuclear site in his daily speech.

Occupiers are using the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant to terrorize people in a more cynical way, saying Russian forces are ‘hiding’ behind the plant to bomb the Ukrainian-held towns of Nikopol and Markanets.

“Every day that Russian crews spend on the territory of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and neighboring regions increases the nuclear threat to Europe,” he warned, calling for “new sanctions against Russia” to ‘stop Russia’s nuclear industry’.

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Militarization

A series of bombings, which both sides blame on each other, have targeted the Zaporizhia power plant since last week, raising fears of a nuclear disaster and prompting a UN resolution on Thursday. Security Council meeting has been triggered.

Ukrainian officials, backed by their Western allies, have called for the demilitarization of the region and the withdrawal of Russian troops who have occupied the area since March.

In the south of Ukraine, where Kiev has been leading a counter-offensive for several days, a regional deputy, Sergui Klan, confirmed on Sunday morning that ‘the only way for the occupier to cross the river is the pontoons near the Antonievsky Bridge, but they cannot fully meet their needs.

According to him, ‘Russia is moving its command centers from the right bank of the river to the left, knowing that as it escalates, it will not be able to evacuate them in time’.

He estimated the number of Russian soldiers on the right bank of the river at 20,000, and noted that they could always ‘cross the damaged bridges on foot’.

Russian troops captured Kherson on the Dnipro River at the start of their invasion of Ukraine, the only regional capital they had managed to capture so far.

However, the first humanitarian ship chartered by the United Nations to carry Ukrainian grain was loaded with 23,000 tons of wheat and ready to go to sea, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov announced on Sunday.

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