Ukraine and Russia again accuse each other of firing on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant
kyiv and Moscow again accused each other on Saturday of responsibility for firing on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, occupied by Russia and targeted several times for a week.
“Limit your presence in the streets of Enerhodar! We have received reports of new provocations from the occupiers” Russians, the Ukrainian nuclear agency Energoatom reported on Telegram, republishing the message of a leader of Enerhodar (the city in which the plant is located) who remained loyal to kyiv.
“According to the testimonies of the inhabitants, shelling is again underway in the direction of the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhia (…). The interval between the departure and the arrival of the shots is three to five seconds”adds the message.
At the end of the day, Ukrainian military intelligence claimed that “the occupants [russes] bombard[aient] the nuclear plant (…) from the village of Vodiane, located in the immediate vicinity, on the right bank of the Dnieper »the river that separates areas in Russian hands from those controlled by Ukrainian authorities.
One of the strikes damaged a pumping unit and another “resulted in the partial destruction of the fire department responsible for the safety of the nuclear power plant”according to a military intelligence statement which also accuses the Russian forces of “preparing provocations under the Ukrainian flag”.
For their part, the occupation authorities installed by Russia in the areas it has conquered in the Zaporijia region have, unsurprisingly, accused the Ukrainian forces of being at the origin of these shots.
“Enerhodar and the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant are again under fire from militants [du président ukrainien, Volodymyr] Zelensky », said on Telegram a member of the pro-Russian military and civil administration, Vladimir Rogov. The projectiles fell “in areas located on the banks of the Dnieper and in the power plant”he said, without reporting any casualties or damage.
In his daily address, the Ukrainian President denounced a “Russian blackmail” around the nuclear site. “The occupiers are trying to intimidate people in an extremely cynical way by using the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant”, said the president, who claims that Russian forces are “hide” behind the power plant to bomb the (Ukrainian-controlled) towns of Nikopol and Marhanets.
“Every day spent by the Russian contingent on the territory of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant and neighboring regions increases the nuclear threat to Europe”he warned, calling for “new sanctions against Russia” in order to “block the Russian nuclear industry”. He added that officials of the ” blackmail “ should “to be tried before an international court”.
Several bombings, of which the two parties accuse each other, have targeted the Zaporizhia power plant since last week, raising fears of a nuclear disaster and prompting a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday. (UN).