The Ukrainian Ministry of Energy announced on Thursday that it was possible to reconnect the three plants controlled by Ukraine in the morning. The nuclear power plants should therefore be able to supply electricity again from the evening. Electricity and water supplies have been partially restored in Kyiv. Meanwhile, a prisoner exchange is planned for Thursday.
According to separatists, Ukraine and Russia are planning to exchange 50 prisoners of war each, Denis Puschilin, the administrator of the annexed eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk, told the online service Telegram.
On Wednesday, the state operator Energoatom explained on Telegram that the emergency system of the three nuclear power plants Rivne, Pivdennoukrainsk and Khmelnytska had been activated as a result of the Russian shelling. As a result, all reactors were automatically disconnected from the power grid.
After the heavy Russian rocket attacks, the electricity and water supply in Kyiv was at least partially restored in the morning. “70 percent of the capital has so far been without electricity,” said Mayor Vitaly Klitschko on his Telegram channel on Thursday. At least it was possible to restore the water supply. “But it will take a while before the water pipe system is working at full capacity again,” Klitschko warned.
Municipal services are working flat out to repair the damage, but Kiev’s electricity supply also depends on the stability of the entire energy system in Ukraine. According to Kiev, the Russian military shot down around 70 rockets and drones on Ukraine on Wednesday. As in the previous attacks, the targets were primarily objects in the energy sector.
According to the Ukrainian energy supplier Energoatom, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which was occupied by Russia, was also reconnected to the external power supply. The diesel generators had been turned off, it was announced on Thursday.
The Russian nuclear authority Rosatom spoke out in favor of setting up a protection zone around Zaporizhia – albeit on Moscow terms. According to the Interfax news agency, the head of the authorities, Alexei Likhachev, also stated on Thursday how he imagined the protection zone: According to this, Ukraine should neither shoot at the area nor try to recapture it. “In return, it is clear that Russia does not station offensive weapons and forces there, but only uses means of physical protection and guarding of the facility,” said Likhachev. At the same time, the Rosatom director announced that all the electrical lines around the nuclear facility were damaged. Shutting down the reactor to the cold state only offers “relative safety,” he warned.
The Russian ideas for a protection zone differ significantly from the demands of the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA. A week ago, Moscow asked them to give up the occupied Ukrainian nuclear power plant.
According to their own statements, the Ukrainian authorities discovered torture chambers and killed civilians in the part of the southern Ukrainian region of Cherson liberated by Russian troops. “The bodies of 432 civilians who were murdered were found,” said Attorney General Andriy Kostin on television on Thursday. In addition, nine rooms designated as torture chambers were discovered. A total of twelve investigative teams are active in the heavily mined area.
Russia, on the other hand, again emphasized on Thursday that it would only target military targets. This is what the spokesman for the Office of the President in Moscow, Dmitry Peskov, told journalists when asked whether the Russian leadership was concerned about the impact of its attacks on Ukrainian civilians. According to Peskov, the Ukrainian government can end the suffering of the population by complying with Russia’s demands for a solution to the conflict.