Ukraine on the brink with the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the cities of the region bombed

  • Moscow announces more bombing near the Russian-controlled factory
  • There is no new information from the Ukrainian nuclear operator
  • Russian shells hit towns in the region – governor and military
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency is awaiting permission to visit the Zaporizhzhya plant
  • Kuleba attends EU meeting on Russia visa ban

Kyiv (Reuters) – Russian artillery pounded Ukrainian towns across the river from the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant overnight, local officials said on Sunday, adding to the suffering of residents as reports of shelling around the plant raised fears of a radiological disaster.

The Russian Defense Ministry said there was more Ukrainian bombing of the plant in the past 24 hours, just a day after Moscow and Kiev exchanged accusations of targeting Europe’s largest nuclear plant, which raised serious international concerns. Read more

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

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Captured by Russian forces in March but still run by Ukrainian staff, Russian forces have been on the southern front line of the war, one of the main flash points in the six-month-old conflict.

The region’s governor, Oleksandr Starukh, said via Telegram, Sunday, that Russian forces bombed apartment buildings in the region’s main city of Zaporizhia, about a two-hour drive from the factory, and the town of Orekhev in the east.

On Saturday, Staruch told Ukrainian television that residents were being taught how to use iodine in the event of a radioactive leak.

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The Ukrainian military reported bombing nine other towns in the region on the other side of the Dnipro River from the factory in its daily report, while the RIA quoted the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that its air force bombed the Motor Sitch vehicle. (MSICH.UAX) Factory in the area where helicopters were repaired.

Reuters was unable to verify those reports.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that nine shells fired by Ukrainian artillery in two separate attacks fell on the territory of the nuclear plant.

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

The United Nations and Kiev called for a withdrawal

Military equipment and personnel from the factory to ensure that it is not a target. Read more

A continent in danger

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the Russian forces had turned the plant into a military base, endangering the entire continent, and they had no interest in being there.

“The Russian army should get out of the factory,” he said on Twitter.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, is awaiting approval for its officials to visit the plant, which its chief said on Thursday should be “very, very close.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned Friday that the situation in Zaporizhia remains “precarious” a day after two of its reactors were reconnected to the grid after being cut off by bombing. Read more

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The Kyiv army said in its daily report that on the eastern front of Ukraine, Ukrainian forces stopped the latest Russian attempt to advance towards the town of Slovensk.

The army said the defenders had thwarted Russian attempts to break through the strategic city of Bakhmut to take control of the Donbass region after Moscow captured Severodonetsk and Lyseshansk weeks ago. According to the regional governors, the cities of Kramatorsk and Slovyansk in the Donetsk province were bombed by Russian forces during the night, but there were no reports of new casualties.

Reuters was unable to verify those accounts.

President Vladimir Putin began his neighbor’s invasion of Russia on February 24, saying that a “special operation” was needed to disarm the country and remove perceived security threats to Russia.

Ukraine and the West dismissed this as a baseless excuse to launch an imperialist war of occupation that killed thousands, displaced tens of millions, reduced cities to rubble and threatened the global economy with a crisis of energy and food supplies, driving up prices.

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 Kyiv’s efforts to bolster international support for Ukraine and push for more pressure on Russia.

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

Reporting by Max Hunder and Pavel Polyuk in the Kyiv and Reuters offices; Written by Tomasz Janowski. Editing by Nick McPhee

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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