Ukraine and Russia Trade Blame For Weekend Shelling At Nuclear Complex
The United Nations has called any attack on a nuclear plant a “suicidal thing,” Kyiv has appealed for the area to be demilitarized and for the International Atomic Energy Agency to be allowed in. Russia has accused Ukraine of trying to “take Europe hostage” by shelling the plant.
Petro Kotin, head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom, warned that if shells hit containers of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel, the situation could spiral out of control.
Kotin flagged the danger of shells hitting containers of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel as especially dire. If two or more containers were broken, “it is impossible to assess the scale” of the resulting disaster.
“Such insane actions could leave the situation spiraling out of control, and it will be a Fukushima or Chornobyl,” Kotin said.
Ukraine’s ambassador to the IAEA said Russian guns were firing at staff at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Still, the Russian defense ministry said Ukrainian attacks had damaged high-voltage power lines servicing the plant.
Ukraine blamed Russia for weekend attacks in the complex area, which Ukrainian technicians still run. It said three radiation sensors were damaged, with two workers hospitalized with shrapnel injuries.
After this year’s Feb. 24 invasion, Russian troops occupied the Chornobyl complex in northwest Ukraine, withdrawing from the area in late March. Ukraine plans to conduct a significant counter-offensive in the Russian-occupied south.
Russia is trying to gain control over Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea to the south in 2014. Ukraine and the West describe Russia’s actions as an unprovoked imperial-style war.
For more on this story, please consider these sources:
- Amid global alarm, Ukraine, Russia trade blame for nuclear plant attacks Reuters
- UN chief calls latest Russian attack on nuclear plant ‘suicidal’; Zaporizhzhia set for vote on joining Russia CNBC
- Russia’s war in Ukraine: Live updates CNN
- Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 166 of the invasion The Guardian
- Ukraine live updates: Risk of nuclear disaster ‘real’ at Ukraine plant USA TODAY