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Situation remains tense around Ukrainian nuclear plant

  • Aug 18, 2022
dpa English

Moscow -- The Russian occupying forces of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant accused the Ukrainian leadership of dangerous attacks ahead of a visit by UN Secretary General António Guterres.

The Russian-installed governor of the Zaporizhzhya province, Yevgeny Balitsky, told Russian television on Thursday that the Ukrainian attacks threatened to damage the cooling system of the reactors and the nuclear waste storage units.

"The cooling system guarantees the reliable function of the nuclear plant," he said, warning of a catastrophe such as that of Chernobyl in 1986.

Ukrainian and Russian forces have been trading accusations that the other side is targeting the plant; the Russian Defence Ministry claimed, Ukraine was planning to bomb the plant on Friday in order to blame Moscow for the ensuing nuclear catastrophe.

The accusation could not be verified and no evidence has been supplied to support it.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has accused Russia of using the plant as a shield for its troops, from behind which they can attack Ukrainian cities.

More than 40 nations have called on Russia to cede control of the plant to Ukraine, but Russia has refused, maintaining that it has not stationed heavy weaponry at the plant and is only trying to secure its safety amid the fighting.

Guterres is due to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday afternoon in the city of Lviv in western Ukraine. The three leaders will discuss the Russian invasion and the situation surrounding the nuclear plant.

©2022 dpa GmbH. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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