As Ukraine and Russia are engaging in warfare in Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine where the largest nuclear power plant of Europe is located, concerns about the safety of the nuclear power plant are being raised. The Russian forces that seized the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in early March this year right after their invasion of Ukraine are using the power plant as a sort of shield as the Ukrainian forces began counterattacks in the south. As Russian forces were also deployed to Kherson, a city near Zaporizhzhia, the possibility of radiation leakage cannot be excluded when the battle intensified.
According to Reuters, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was under heavy attacks on Saturday and Sunday, which resulted in the injury of a person and damage to three radiation detection monitors. “Russian nuclear terror,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called it on Twitter on Monday. “More international sanctions are warranted on Russia’s nuclear sector,” he said. However, Russia claimed that Ukraine’s launch of multiple rockets is what damaged the facilities.
As conflicts between the two countries worsen, international concerns are growing. U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that attacking a nuclear power plant is a suicide attempt. Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency Rafael Grossi also said that the incident underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster.
The two countries are also moving to the south after fierce battles in Donbas in eastern Ukraine. The U.K. Ministry of Defence said on Saturday that Russian trucks, tanks, and cannons are moving from Donbas to southwestern Ukraine, making the 350 kilometers from Zaporizhzhia to Kherson a new battlefield. The ministry also added that more Russian forces are being added in the Crimean Peninsula and Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine.
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