Ukraine on edge as Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, region’s towns shelled

Date:

  • Moscow reports more shelling at factory in Russia
  • No new information from nuclear operator Ukraine
  • Russian shells hit cities in region – governor, army
  • IAEA awaits permission to visit factory in Zaporizhzhya
  • Kuleba to attend EU meeting on Russia visa ban

KYIV, Aug. 28 (Reuters) – Russian artillery fired from the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant at night at Ukrainian towns across the river, local officials said Sunday, adding to residents’ fears as reports of shelling around the plant increased the fear of a radiation disaster.

The Russian defense ministry said there had been more Ukrainian shelling at the plant in the past 24 hours, just a day after Moscow and Kiev exchanged allegations of attacking Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, raising serious international concerns. read more

Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom said it had no new information about attacks on the plant.

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The complex on the war’s southern frontline, taken by Russian forces in March but still run by Ukrainian personnel, was one of the key hotspots in the six-month-old conflict.

Regional Governor Oleksandr Starukh said on Telegram on Sunday that Russian troops hit homes in the region’s main city, Zaporizhzhya, about a two-hour drive from the factory, and the city of Orikhiv further east.

On Saturday, Starukh said Ukrainian television residents were taught how to use iodine in the event of a radiation leak.

The Ukrainian army in its daily report reported shelling of nine more towns in the area across the Dnipro River from the plant, while the RIA agency quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that its air force has a Motor Sich (MSICH.UAX) struck. factory in the region where helicopters were repaired.

Reuters was unable to verify those messages.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said nine shells fired by Ukrainian artillery had landed on the nuclear plant site in two separate attacks.

“Currently, full-time technical personnel monitor the technical condition of the nuclear power plant and ensure its operation. The radiation situation in the nuclear power plant area remains normal,” he said in a statement.

The United Nations and Kiev have called for the withdrawal of

military equipment and factory personnel to ensure it is not a target. read more

CONTINENT AT RISK

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russian troops had turned the factory into a military base, endangering the entire continent, and had no business there.

“The Russian army must leave the factory,” he said on Twitter.

The UN IAEA nuclear watchdog is waiting for permission for its officials to visit the plant, which the head said Thursday should be “very, very close”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned on Friday that the situation in Zaporizhzhya remained “highly risky” for a day after it took hours to reconnect two of its reactors after being cut off by shelling. read more

On Ukraine’s eastern front, Ukrainian forces have halted the latest Russian attempt at the city of Sloviansk, the Kiev army said in its daily report.

Defenders thwarted Russian attempts to break through around the strategic city of Bakhmut to expand control of the Donbas region after Moscow captured Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk weeks ago, the military said. According to regional governors, the towns of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk in Donetsk province were shelled at night by Russian troops, but there were no reports of new casualties.

Reuters was unable to verify those accounts.

President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Russia’s neighbor on Feb. 24, saying a “special operation” was needed to demilitarize the country and remove perceived security threats to Russia.

Ukraine and the West have dismissed this as an unfounded pretext for an imperialist war of conquest that has killed thousands, displaced tens of millions, turned cities into ruins and threatened the global economy with an energy and food supply crisis, pushing prices up.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry said Kuleba would travel to Sweden on Monday, followed by a trip to the Czech Republic on Tuesday as part of Kiev’s efforts to strengthen international support for Ukraine and push for more sanctions against Russia.

In Prague, he will attend an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, where new sanctions against Moscow and an EU-wide visa ban for Russians will be discussed. Zelenskiy called for such a ban earlier this month, but has so far found support mainly from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Finland, all of which share a border with Russia. read more

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Reporting by Max Hunder and Pavel Polityuk in Kiev and Reuters offices; Written by Tomasz Janowski; Editing by Nick Macfie

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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