Russia shells residential area of town hosting Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant

29 August, 11:29 AM
Russian occupiers shell Energodar (Photo:Dmytro Orlov — the mayor of Energodar/Telegram)

Russian occupiers shell Energodar (Photo:Dmytro Orlov — the mayor of Energodar/Telegram)

Invading Russian forces shelled the third and fifth districts of the temporarily occupied city of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhya Oblast, next to Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant the mayor of the city, Dmytro Orlov, reported on Aug. 28.

Orlov said at least one apartment on the city’s Voiniv-Internatsionalistiv Street suffered a direct hit. Information on casualties and the extent of the destruction is being verified.

Windows were shattered in neighboring houses, and cars parked nearby were set on fire by the shelling, Orlov said.

Andrii Yermak, head of the President's Office, called the shelling of Enerhodar a provocation and nuclear blackmail by Russia.

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“The Russians are shelling Nikopol and Marganets, and imitating a ‘response’ attack at Enerhodar, although they are firing themselves,” he wrote on Telegram.

The town of Enerhodar is home to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), which was seized by Russian invaders after the fighting in the city on March 4. The ZNPP’s buildings have been damaged by Russian shelling in several places, and plant workers have been taken hostage.

The Kremlin is using the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant as cover for its military vehicles, since the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot return fire in the area of ​​the power plant. They are using their control of the plant to put pressure on Ukraine and the world by threatening a nuclear catastrophe.

Russian troops have set up firing positions at the ZNPP and are now shelling Ukrainian cities across the Dnipro River from there. Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom reported that invading Russian forces placed at least 14 units of heavy military vehicles with ammunition, weapons and explosives in the turbine hall of reactor No. 1 of the Zaporizhzhya NPP.

Then, on Aug. 22, the invaders brought additional armored personnel carriers and special trucks to the repair area of the station. In total, more than 40 units of Russian military equipment are deployed on the territory of the nuclear plant.

In recent weeks, the invaders have repeatedly staged provocations by shelling parts of the ZNPP. Energoatom reported that Russia is preparing to disconnect the nuclear power plant from the Ukrainian energy grid in the near future.

The head of the Zaporizhzhya regional military administration, Oleksander Starukh, on Aug. 16, called on the residents of the temporarily captured Enerhodar to evacuate due to Russian shelling of the ZNPP. He said that in the event of an accident, about 400,000 people would have to be evacuated from two regions.

Ukraine has called  on the IAEA and the UN to send an international mission to the ZNPP as soon as possible. During a meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres in Lviv, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed with him the nuclear threat posed by the Russian army at the ZNPP.

The UN is ready to support any IAEA mission to the ZNPP sent through Kyiv. According to the WSJ, the IAEA mission will depart for the station this week.

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