According to Ukraine, Russia has threatened to “provoke” Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
This claim was made by the country’s intelligence agency hours after Moscow had accused Ukraine of trying an “accident” there. It may have involved a radiation leakage during the UN secretary general’s visit to war-ravaged nations.
The Zaporizhzhia Plant is located in the southeast part of Ukraine. It was captured by Russia during the early days and has been repeatedly under fire in recent weeks.
Both sides pointed fingers at each other in the case of the shelling.
Russia’s defense ministry claimed that Ukraine would stage a minor accident and provocation – and they will blame them for it – to coincide Antonio Guterres’ visit.
The Ukrainian defense intelligence agency claimed that it had information that Russian staff had left the site. It also stated that the facility would be closed to all except operational staff.
According to NBC News, Ukrainian intelligence has reported that workers at the plant were told not to attend the facility tomorrow.
Friday’s visit by the UN chief to Odesa in Black Sea will be his. There, grain exports are currently resumed as per a UN-brokered agreement.
During his visit to Lviv, he met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine and President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.
What was the discussion at the meeting?
They discussed ways to reduce the conflict, increase grain exports, and deal with the Zaporizhzhia nuke situation.
After the meeting, Guterres demanded the demilitarisation and expressed grave concern about the current situation.
“The facility should not be used in any military operation. He said that agreement was urgently needed to restore Zaporizhzhia’s civilian infrastructure and ensure the safety of the region.
The president of Ukraine added that he had approved the parameters for an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEC) mission to the plant.
Guterres called for an end to fighting at the power station. Igor Kirillov (head of Russia’s chemical-biological defence forces), claimed that shelling had already damaged back-up support systems.
He stated that any accident could lead to radioactive material reaching Germany and Slovakia, as well as Poland.
Russia’s defense ministry also warned that the plant could be closed if it continues to be shelled.
Russia’s warnings are ominous, but nuclear explosions are highly unlikely.
Russia’s warning about a Ukrainian attack on Zaporizhzhia’s power plant Friday is alarming.
Russia is known for using ‘forecasting events’ to cover its actions.
Analysts believe the likelihood of a nuclear blast at the plant is low due to its modern construction and ability withstand large impacts.
If fighting continues around the plant, what is most likely is a radiation leaked similar to the recent Fukushima catastrophe in Japan.
This has led to a growing sense of urgency among world leaders, and it has been a focal point of the war in recent weeks.
Ukraine wants the site demilitarized. The UN secretary general supports that move after he met President Zelenskyy in Lviv.
Russia opposes it. Their forces currently occupy this site and control too much power in southern Ukraine.
Moscow is unlikely to relinquish control of Europe’s biggest nuclear power station easily after it has effectively captured and controlled it.
The Ukraine claims it is being used to attack from a base and that Russian heavy artillery has been positioned around the power plant – something the Kremlin strongly denies.
Kyiv claims that Russia attacked the facility to make it look worse. This is in order for Ukraine to be blamed for any power outages.
Erdogan stated that he had discussed potential ways to end the war at the trilateral meeting.
He said that the leaders also discussed how to use the positive environment created by the July grain export agreement to create lasting peace.
Following the meeting, Guterres stated that 21 ships left Ukrainian ports in less than one month under the agreement and that 15 vessels had left Istanbul to load grain and other supplies from the country.
Seven people were killed and 16 others were injured
As more deaths are reported in the six-month-old conflict, fears over the nuclear situation increase.
According to emergency services, on Wednesday evening, 7 people were killed and 16 others were injured by shelling in Ukraine’s second-biggest urban area Kharkiv.
Oleh Synehubov, regional governor, stated that another person was killed and 18 others were injured in an unrelated residential area of the city.
In other developments on the battlefield, Ukrainian forces claimed that they had killed 29 “occupiers” as well as artillery, vehicles, and a supply depot close to Bilohirka (northern Ukraine).
Black Sea fleet commander ‘sacked’
According to reports, the chief of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet fleet was also replaced after a series of blasts in Crimea over the past week. These were allegedly caused by saboteurs.
Russia’s RIA news agency reported that sources confirmed that Igor Osipov was expelled and replaced by Viktor Sokolov. It would be the most significant sacking of the war, if confirmed.
This follows the humiliating sinking of the flagship cruiser of the Kremlin, the Moskva by Ukraine in April.
Oleksiy Arestovych, the Ukrainian presidential advisor, stated that fighting had reached “strategic deathlock”, with Russia making “minimal progress” and Ukraine gaining some ground.
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