Moscow – Kyiv – One of the reactors at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant had to be shut down today as a result of Russian mortar shelling. This was stated by the Ukrainian energy company Enerhoatom, which is the operator of this Russian-occupied facility. Today, both Kyiv and Moscow accused each other of provocations, the aim of which is to prevent the inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) planned for today.
The Ukrainian mayor of the city, Dmytro Orlov, said today that Russia has been shelling the city of Enerhodar, near which the power plant is located, with mortars since the morning. Russia, on the other hand, talks about the landing, which it says was carried out by Ukrainian forces near Enerhodar in an attempt to attack the power plant.
Russian agencies claim that Ukraine carried out the landing at Enerhodar
According to Russian agencies, Ukrainian forces carried out an airdrop near the city of Enerhodar, near which the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is located. Now the Russian Air Force is allegedly attacking them. The inspection mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is due to arrive at the nuclear facility today, but its “advance part” had to interrupt its journey for security reasons, according to the Ukrainian authorities. The Ukrainian side called on Russia to “stop provocations” and allow IAEA experts to visit the power plant.
The information of Russian agencies about the Ukrainian military presence on the occupied bank of the Dnieper could not be verified from independent sources, Kyiv has not yet commented on this claim. This morning, the Ukrainian side talked about the “mortar shelling” of Enerhodar. The increased military activity in the area was also confirmed by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi before the departure of the team from Zaporizhia, according to him, the mission continues.
“They (Ukrainian soldiers) are lying down at the moment, the air force is working on them,” said the head of the Russian occupation administration, Enerhodar, Alexander Volha. According to him, the Ukrainians fortified themselves in a cottage area near Enerhodar. “The operation will end soon,” he added.
The governor of Ukraine’s Zaporozhye region, Oleksandr Staruch, said that Russian forces were shelling a pre-arranged route along which inspectors from the IAEA were supposed to arrive at the Zaporozhye NPP. “For security reasons, the UN advance team cannot continue,” he wrote. “We demand that the Russian Federation stop provocations and allow the IAEA access to the Ukrainian nuclear facility,” Staruch added.
According to Kyiv, Russia is shelling Enerhodar at the Zaporizhia NPP, the IAEA mission continues
This morning, a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) went to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant occupied by Russian forces. According to IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, the inspection mission to the facility will continue despite increased military activity in the area. According to Kyiv, since this morning the Russians have been shelling the town of Enerhodar near the occupied nuclear power plant.
“Since five o’clock in the morning, the mortar shelling of the city has not stopped. Machine gun fire can be heard. It is known that several civilian objects have been hit. There are wounded. We are finding out exactly how many” stated Ukrainian city mayor Dmytro Orlov.
Inspectors from the IAEA are scheduled to visit Ukraine’s Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russian invasion troops since March. According to Reuters, the convoy with the delegation set off from Zaporozhye, which is under the control of the Ukrainian government and is located several tens of kilometers from the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. The team will thus have to cross the front line on their way to the facility.
According to Grossi’s elders, the initial inspection should last several days, while the IAEA hopes that it will then be able to establish a permanent presence of its experts at the power plant. Russia is said to have provided guarantees that the 14 international experts participating in the current expedition will be able to carry out their work at the facility.
The situation surrounding the power plant, which is the largest facility of its kind in Europe, raises concerns in Ukraine and the world about a possible nuclear disaster. Last week, according to the Ukrainian authorities, two reactors still operating were temporarily disconnected from the grid due to a fire at the site. According to the agencies, the authorities have started distributing iodine tablets to residents in its vicinity, which are used to protect health in the event of a radiation leak.
The power plant is still kept running by Ukrainian employees, but they are under the supervision of Russian invasion units and experts. Kyiv is seeking international assistance in demilitarizing the facility as well as retaking control of the power plant and its surroundings. Ukraine accuses Russia of using the power plant as a shield, storing weapons there and launching attacks from its vicinity. Both countries blame each other for shelling the power plant.
Russia Ukraine diplomacy fight nuclear energy