Moscow: Russia has asked the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to make Ukraine stop the “shelling” of Chernobyl, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
Moscow accused Ukrainian troops of firing artillery shells at the Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Plant in the country’s southern Zaporozhye Region on Friday, RT reported.
The plant was seized by Russian forces in late February when Moscow launched its military campaign in the neighboring country. The facility continues to operate with Ukrainian staff under Russian control.
Igor Vishnevetsky, a senior non-proliferation and arms control official at the Russian Foreign Ministry, warned that the shelling of the plant risks triggering an event similar to the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear disaster, RT reported.
According to the Russian Defence Ministry, “parts of the equipment” at the plant are out of power due to the shelling, and a fire broke out at the facility and was quickly put out. The ministry claimed that “by sheer luck”, the Ukrainian shells did not cause a bigger fire and “a possible nuclear disaster”.
The ministry said that Ukrainian troops also shelled the adjacent city of Energodar, causing power outages and disruptions of water supply.
The ministry called on the international community to condemn Ukraine for “the acts of nuclear terrorism”.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that the shelling of the plant came from Russian troops.
“It is not only yet another reason why Russia should be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism, but also a reason to impose tough sanctions on all of Russia’s nuclear power industry,” Zelensky said on Friday.