The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, has fallen into hostile Russian hands, Ukrainian authorities said, as Boris Johnson called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting
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According to Ukrainian authorities, Russian forces have seized the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.
Earlier, a fire broke out near radioactive material at the site in the south-east of the country after heavy fighting, damaging a nearby building used for training purposes and later extinguished.
Russian troops have since seized the plant, although the local authority said in a statement staff are “monitoring the condition of the power plant units”.
Ukraine said enemy forces attacked the plant in the early hours of Friday, with shelling setting fire to an adjacent five-story training facility.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address that Russian tanks had fired on the nuclear reactor facilities despite there being no evidence they had been hit and that he feared the attack was the “end of Europe”.
Boris Johnson has called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting over the firefight, which he said “threatened the security of all of Europe”.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister spoke with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy early this morning about the extremely worrying situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power station.
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“Both leaders agreed that Russia must immediately stop its attack on the power plant and allow emergency services full access to the power plant.”
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Thursday the reactors at the Zaporizhzhia power plant are “protected by robust containment structures and the reactors will be safely shut down.”
The unprovoked invasion of neighboring Ukraine by Russian forces on the orders of President Vladimir Putin has sparked bloodshed and chaos.
As Putin’s forces shell cities across Ukraine and the nation’s army vows to fight to the death to defend their country, observers fear the death toll will be staggering.
At least that’s what the Minister of Health of Ukraine reported on Sunday, February 27 352 Ukrainian civilians have been killed and more than 1,000 injured since the beginning of the Russian invasion.
On March 1, Ukraine claimed to have killed 5,710 Russian soldiers since the beginning of the invasion.
These claims have not yet been independently verified, but a United Nations human rights monitoring team has confirmed this more than 500 civilian casualties in Ukraine.
At least 136 people were killed, including 13 children, a UN report showed on Tuesday.
Bachelet said earlier at the inaugural session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva: “Most of these civilians were killed by long-range explosive weapons, including heavy artillery fire and multiple missile systems, as well as airstrikes – the real numbers are, I fear, considerably higher.”
It comes as Ukraine’s president on Tuesday accused Russia of “state terrorism” after the indiscriminate bombing of Kharkiv.
She said on Twitter that she had spoken to Ukraine’s energy minister about the situation at the plant and that there had been no elevated levels of radiation near the plant.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Times Radio: “It’s clearly reckless, irresponsible and not just the fact that they fired and bombed at that particular location, but when the Ukrainian emergency authorities tried to put out the fire the shelling continued .
“We support the Ukrainians in dealing with the security situation there, but I also think that we are cracking down on Vladimir Putin.
“Therefore, the Prime Minister has called an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York for the entire international community to deal with, since of course it is a much greater threat given the nuclear implications.
“It’s an affront to the world at large.”
“It has to stop.
Earlier, Ukraine’s regulatory agency announced that Russian infantry troops would return directly to the site of Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant.
It said: “The fight is taking place in the city of Enerhodar and on the road to the site of the ZNPP (Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant) nuclear power plant.”
It added the situation was “critical” hours before the area fell to the invading army.
The move comes days after Russian forces seized Chernobyl after intense gunfire at the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
Fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces in the area in the north of the country was feared to have damaged the facility.
Large parts of Chernobyl were closed to the public for decades after a nuclear power plant there melted down during Soviet rule in 1986.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-russia-seizes-control-zaporizhzhia-26382881 Russia takes control of Zaporizhia nuclear power plant after fierce firefight - World News