Ukraine's Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, located in the town of Energodar and operated by the Ukrainian company Energoatom, is being controlled today by Russian military to "prevent leakage of nuclear and radioactive materials," according to the Russian agency Sputnik.
"Ukrainian troops undertook several attempts to attack the power plant," Sputnik says. The shelling became more frequent from August 5. On the 11th, the head of Russia's National Defense Management Center, Mikhail Maizintsev, stated that Ukrainian artillery "opened fire on the power plant from the locality of Nikopol, partly damaging the thermal power plant and the equipment of the nuclear reactors' cooling system."
Maizintsev stressed that "only thanks to the skillful, competent and effective action of the Russian Armed Forces units to cover the nuclear power facility, the critical infrastructure of the nuclear power plant was not damaged and the operation of the reactors was not interrupted."
For its part, the BBC claims that personnel at the nuclear power plant are working "at gunpoint" from Russian troops.
Europe's largest nuclear power plant has been under the control of Russian troops since early March. However, the facility is operated by Ukrainian technicians.
The Ukrainians accuse Moscow of using the plant "as a shield, while its troops launch rockets from there to nearby locations."
UN Secretary General António Guterres issued a new warning about fighting near the nuclear site that would "lead to disaster."
Two workers reported to the BBC that they fear "radioactive contamination of the region in general" or a nuclear catastrophe.
A lookout point is located in the southern town of Nikopol. On the banks of the Dnieper River it is possible to see the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, some 16 kilometers away from the water.
It is a site that has suffered shelling in the last two weeks. According to Kiev they come from Enerhodar, the town where the plant is located.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says there is a "real risk of nuclear disaster" unless the fighting stops and inspectors are allowed access.
Ukraine and Russia blame each other. The picture is hazy but "the risks are very clear," the cable from the British broadcaster BBC underlines.
"My working day is a constant stress," says Svitlana, who contacts us by text message.
She and her co-worker Mykola can now only use Russian SIM cards and the signal is very limited. We do not reveal their real names for security.
"I can't work like I used to," Svitlana says. "For the last week I haven't even been able to go to my workplace, it's dangerous."
"On Saturday there was a bombing of the nitrogen and oxygen station, which caused a fire. By some miracle, the people working there survived."
Svitlana has worked at the plant for many years and says shells have fallen near her every day. "Soldiers walk everywhere with guns and in reality we are all at gunpoint."
According to Kiev, there are about 500 Russian soldiers there.
"They placed their military equipment right on the station buildings, so that it would be impossible for the Ukrainian armed forces to attack," Svitlana reportedly told the BBC.