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War in Ukraine: nuclear power plant bombed, Chernobyl feared


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    The Zaporiyia nuclear power plant, located in Ukraine but controlled by Russia

    since March, was bombed and sparked cross accusations today between Moscow and Kiev. Alarm is growing over the "catastrophic consequences" of this event, warned authorities of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    Since the attack occurred between Friday night and early Saturday morning, Ukraine and Russia have been accusing each other

    . No independent source has been able to confirm the veracity of the accusations so far.

    In his daily video message, Volodimir Zelenski today lashed out at Russia by stating that "the occupiers created another extremely dangerous situation for the whole of Europe."

    "Any shelling against this facility is an open and flagrant crime, an act of terror," the Ukrainian president said, and insisted on the need to recognize Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and call for further sanctions "against the entire Russian nuclear industry,

    from Rosatom to all related companies and individuals."

    Russia denounces Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant

    Russia accused Ukraine of the bombing and the spokesman of the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov assured that "on Sunday, August 7, Zelensky's forces committed another act of nuclear terrorism directed against the energy infrastructure works of the Zaporiyia nuclear power plant

    "

    According to the spokesman, as a result of the attack "the Kakhovsky high-voltage power line, which supplies electricity to the Zaporiyia and Kherson provinces (southern Ukraine),was damaged

    ," the Russian news agency Sputnik reported.

    Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for the Russian government, warned that the bombing of the power plant is "potentially extremely dangerous" and could "have catastrophic consequences for a vast area, including European territory"

    .

    Meanwhile, the head of Ukraine's Energoatom nuclear agency, Petro Kotin, called Monday for evicting Russian occupiers and creating a "demilitarized zone"

    around the plant.

    Russia took control of part of Zaporiyia province

    , including the town of Energodar, where the nuclear plant is located, which has six pressurized water reactors of the VVER-1000 model and a total capacity of 6,000 megawatts.

    The reportedattack was carried out with 152 millimeter projectiles and caused a fire

    on the territory of the plant, which was quickly extinguished by the emergency services.

    UN and IAEA responses

    UN Secretary General António Guterres told a press conference in Tokyo: "The attacks on this nuclear power plant are an act of suicide. We hope they will stop,"

    Guterres

    said

    Guterres expressed

    hope

    that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission will gain access to the plant and be able to use its expertise

    .

    The head of the IAEA, Argentine Rafael Grossi, expressed his concern about the bombing and stressed that military actions in the area of the nuclear power plant entail "a very real danger of nuclear catastrophe"

    .

    Consequently, the IAEA is pushing for its own delegation and another from the UN to come to the nuclear power plant in order to study its condition and investigate the attacks, informed today the head of the administration of this province, Evgueni Balitski,

    who added that after the attack denounced by Russia, two of its reactors are not working at full capacity.

    "We want a delegation from the IAEA and UN representatives to come to inspect the state of the plant, to see how it is protected by the Russian anti-aircraft defense and to register whose rockets and from which part they arrive. The direction of their flight is very easily determined," Balitsky told Rossiya 24 TV channel.

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine: latest news

    Ukraine attacks Kherson bridge

    Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces early this morning again attacked a major bridge in Kherson

    , a city in the south of the country and occupied by Russian troops, Kiev authorities announced.

    "What a night for the occupants of the Kherson region. Attacks in the area of the Antonovsky bridge," a regional deputy, Sergei Khlan, said on Facebook regarding the Ukrainian offensive on the southern town under control of Russian forces.

    The spokeswoman for the Ukrainian army's southern command, Natalia Gumeniuk, confirmed the shelling.

    "The fire control we have been developing for several days is working. The hits are considerable on both the Antonovsky and the Kakhovsky bridges

    ," she told Ukrainian television, AFP news agency reported.

    Two ships with food leave Ukraine

    Separately,

    two ships with food set sail today from the Ukrainian ports of Yuzhni and Chernomorsk

    , Turkey's Defense Ministry reported.

    "This morning, the ship Sacura, with 11,000 tons of soybeans, left from the port of Yuzhni. The ship Arizona, with 48,458 of tons of corn

    , departed from the port of Chernomorsk for the Turkish city of Alexandreta," the military body posted on its Twitter account.

    The UN previously reported that Sacura's destination is the Italian city of Ravenna and that the departure of the two was authorized on Sunday by the joint coordination center, based in Istanbul, Sputnik confirmed.

    On July 22, Russia, Turkey and the UN signed an agreement seeking to unblock the export of grain and fertilizers from Ukraine amid the war with Russia.

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