Artillery shells have landed in the town of Enerhodar, which is close to the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant. This was announced by Russian and Ukrainian sources. Both sides blamed the other for the shelling.
It was unanimously reported that a civilian had been killed. “The nationalists of Ukraine fired at a residential area of Enerhodar with rockets,” the Russian occupation administration said, according to the TASS agency. The mayor of the city, which is still under Ukrainian control, Dmytro Orlov, spoke of a “murderous provocation” by the occupiers. There was no independent confirmation of the incident .
The risk of a nuclear catastrophe at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant “is growing every day,” the mayor said in a phone call to the AFP news agency on Sunday. The Russian army is shelling “the infrastructure that ensures the safe operation of the power plant,” added Dmytro Orlov. “What is happening there is downright nuclear terrorism,” he criticized. “It can end unexpectedly at any time.” The fire protection rules are repeatedly violated and the situation “continues to heat up”.
“The invaders continue to terrorize the civilian population and the nuclear power plant,” criticized the mayor. Mortar shells are fired at from the occupied villages every day and every night. “The situation is risky and what worries most is that there is no de-escalation process,” Orlov told AFP.
- ZIB 1: The current situation in Kyiv
The international community is concerned about the security situation at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russian troops since March. Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are to inspect the nuclear power plant. The United Nations, Russia and the Ukraine but cannot agree on the modalities of the visit.
The Ukrainian military intelligence service said on Saturday evening that Russia was “bombing the nuclear power plant from the immediate vicinity of the village of Vodjane on the right bank of the Dnipro”. The river separates those from the Russians and those from the Ukraine controlled areas.
The administration deployed by Moscow in the Russian-controlled areas, however, accused the Ukrainian troops of being responsible for the attacks. “Enerhodar and the Zaporizhia NPP are again under fire from supporters,” said Vladimir Rogov, a member of the pro-Russian civil and military administration.
Zelenskyy again accused Russia of “blackmail” in his daily video message. The “occupiers” used the nuclear power plant to spread fear “in an extremely cynical way,” he said on Saturday evening. Russian troops are “hiding” behind the nuclear power plant to shell the Ukrainian-held cities of Nikopol and Marhanets, he added.
Every day that the Russian contingent stays on the site of the nuclear power plant increases “the nuclear threat to Europe,” Zelenskyy warned. He called for “new sanctions” against Russia with the aim of “blocking” the Russian nuclear industry.
In the past week, the two parties to the conflict have repeatedly blamed each other for attacks on the nuclear power plant. The rocket attacks raise fears of a catastrophe at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, and the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting.
After the first attacks on August 5, one reactor had to be shut down. The Ukrainian authorities and Western allies are demanding a demilitarized zone around the nuclear power plant and a withdrawal of Russian troops who have been occupying the nuclear power plant since March.
In the struggle for the safety of the nuclear power plant, the Russian diplomat Mikhail Ulyanov sees the United Nations as having a duty. The task of the UN Secretariat is to “give the green light for a visit to the nuclear power plant by experts from the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” Ulyanov said in an interview with the Russian state news agency TASS published on Sunday.
The Diplomat represents Russia in Vienna at the international organizations. The IAEA could then take care of the “modalities of travel to the troubled region” itself, said Ulyanov.
According to reports, the UN had not previously allowed IAEA boss Rafael Grossi to travel, not only for security reasons, but also because there was a dispute about the route to be taken. Grossi could annoy the Ukraine under Russian protection, for example, arriving via the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014. “We worked very closely with the organization in May-July and prepared the visit. The UN Secretariat blocked it at the last moment without explaining the reasons,” Ulyanov said.
Ulyanov said that in order to provide the necessary security guarantees to the IAEA mission, Ukrainian forces must stop shelling the nuclear power plant. “You can’t send an international team under constant artillery fire. That’s the main obstacle,” he said. During a visit, the experts should then be able to check security on site and also be able to name those responsible for the shelling.
42 states are demanding immediate withdrawal
In a statement in Vienna on Sunday, 42 states and the EU called for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. “The stationing of Russian military and weapons in the nuclear facility is unacceptable,” it said. Russia is violating the security principles to which all member countries of the IAEA have committed themselves.
Control of the nuclear power plant must be handed over to the authorized Ukrainian authorities. Then experts from the IAEA could fulfill their duty of supervision over the work of the Ukrainians perceive. Russia must be completely out of the Ukraine and end the “war of aggression that was not provoked or justified by anything” against the neighboring country.
The demand was made on behalf of the EU and all of its member states – including Austria. The USA, Great Britain, Norway, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and other countries also signed. They declared their full support for the IAEA and its director Rafael Grossi in their efforts to ensure the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities despite the Russian attack.