March 25, 2023

Russian troops fire missiles and artillery into occupied areas Ukraine Across a river from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the Russian-controlled plant still has safety concerns after it was temporarily taken offline, authorities said on Saturday. Grad missiles and shells hit the cities of Nikopol and Mahanec, about 6 miles from the Zaporozhye thermal nuclear power plant, the governor of Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentin Reznichenko, said. , and cross the Dnieper River.

Russian troops occupied the nuclear power plant early in the Ukrainian war, and Ukrainian workers have been keeping it running.Both sides have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the complex, sparking fears that fighting could cause disaster.

State energy operator Energoatom said on Saturday there was a risk of radioactive leakage from the plant, AFP reported.

“Due to regular shelling, the station’s infrastructure has been damaged, there is a risk of hydrogen leakage and radioactive sputtering, and there is a high risk of fire,” the agency said in a cable, according to AFP.

Authorities on Friday began distributing iodine tablets to residents living near the factory in case of radiation leaks.The move comes a day after the factory was built temporarily offline Because what officials said was fire damage to the transmission line.

Fears of Russia's Ukrainian nuclear power plant
A Russian soldier guards part of the massive Zaporozhye nuclear power plant complex on Russian military-held territory in southeastern Ukraine on May 1, 2022.

Associated Press

The latest satellite imagery from Planetary Labs shows fires around the complex over the past few days.

The United Nations Atomic Energy Agency has been trying to send a team to inspect and help protect the plant. Officials said preparations for the visit were underway, but it was unclear when it would take place.

Ukraine claims Russia is using the power plant as a shield, storing weapons there and launching attacks from around it. Moscow has accused Ukraine of recklessly firing on nuclear facilities.

Elsewhere in Ukraine, Russia opened fire in the Mykolaiv region, killing one person and wounding another, local government officials said. The city of Nikolayev is an important port and shipbuilding center on the Black Sea.

Russia opened fire on the city of Donetsk, killing two people, Governor Pavlo Kyrylenko of the Eastern Donetsk region said on Saturday. Bachmutan important goal of Russia and separatist forces trying to control areas they do not yet control.

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