Ukraine condemns Russian ‘terrorism’ after damage to nuclear power plant

Ukraine condemns Russian 'terrorism' after damage to nuclear power plant

Ukraine says Russian rockets damaged part of a giant Russian-controlled nuclear power plant.

Kyiv:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday accused Russia of using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant “for terror” after the operator of the facility reported extensive damage to the site.

Energoatom, operator of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the south of the country, said on Saturday that parts of the facility had been “severely damaged” by military strikes and that one of its reactors had been forced to shut down.

Friday’s strikes had damaged a station containing nitrogen and oxygen and an auxiliary building, Energoatom said on Telegram messaging.

As hostilities raged in eastern and southern Ukraine, pro-Moscow authorities in the Russian-occupied Kherson region reported the assassination of a senior official.

And the head of Amnesty International’s Ukrainian office has announced that she has resigned from the organization following the group’s publication of a controversial report accusing the country’s military of endangering civilians.

Kyiv and Moscow have blamed each other for the attacks on the Zaporizhzhia power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear complex.

Zelensky, in his Saturday night address, once again accused Moscow of terrorism, saying: “Russian terrorists have become the first in the world to use the power plant…for terror.”

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog has expressed concern over the bombing of the plant. The strikes underscore “the very real risk of a nuclear catastrophe”, said Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

“Any military firepower directed at or from the facility would be tantamount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” he added.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, condemned the attack “as a serious and irresponsible violation of nuclear security rules and another example of Russia’s disregard for international standards”.

another assassination

An official of the Russian occupation authorities in Kherson died in hospital after being shot on Saturday, Russian state media reported.

Vitalii Hura, “the deputy head of the Novaya Kakhovka administration in charge of the housing and utilities sector, died from his injuries,” wrote Yekaterina Gubareva, deputy head of Russia’s civil-military administration in Kherson. , on Telegram, according to TASS.

The report states that Hura was attacked at his home and shot several times.

Another Moscow-appointed official was killed in the same area in June, reportedly by a bomb planted in his car.

There have been a series of reported assassination attempts and attacks on pro-Kremlin officials in Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine.

Although Russia has seized much of the Kherson region and part of the nearby city of Zaporizhzhia in recent months, Ukrainian forces have recovered some territory.

In his Saturday speech, Zelensky denounced Amnesty International, likening the rights group’s accusations against Ukraine’s military to its silence on Russia’s actions.

Referring to the strikes on the Zaporizhzhia plant, he said that although they represent “one of the most dangerous crimes against Ukrainians and all Europeans…for some reason there is still no no report or even just a simple message from Amnesty International about it.

“It is a very eloquent silence, which points, once again, to a manipulative selectivity of this organization,” he added.

Amnesty sparked outrage in Ukraine with the report released on Thursday accusing the military of endangering civilians by establishing bases in schools and hospitals and launching counterattacks from heavily populated areas.

Amnesty report line

The head of Amnesty’s office in Ukraine left the organization in protest.

“If you don’t live in a country overrun by occupiers tearing it apart, you probably don’t understand what it is to condemn an ​​army of defenders,” Oksana Pokalchuk said on social media Friday night.

“And there’s no word in any language that can convey that to someone who hasn’t experienced that pain.”

Pokalchuk said she tried to warn senior Amnesty officials that the report was one-sided and did not properly reflect the Ukrainian position, but was ignored.

Amnesty’s secretary general, Agnès Callamard, regretted her departure and paid tribute to her work. But the organization stands by its report.

On Friday, Ukrainian officials said three grain ships left Ukraine after the first month of sailing on Monday as part of a deal to avert widespread food shortages.

Five more cargo ships are due to leave the Ukrainian ports of Odessa and Chernomorsk on Sunday, says a statement from the Joint Coordination Center of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the organization coordinating the operation agreed between Russia, Turkey , Ukraine and the United Nations. .

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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