Ukraine urges world to ‘show strength’ after shelling near nuclear power plant

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Ukraine called for new sanctions against Russia and pointed to the risks and consequences of a disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, where fresh shelling nearby has reignited a blame game between the two sides.

Carniolan and Russian officials have exchanged allegations about who is responsible for the attacks near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned Russian soldiers that attacking the site in the now Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar or using it as a base for firing will become a “special target”.

“If a catastrophe occurs as a result of Russia’s actions, the consequences could hit those who are silent at the moment,” he said in a late Monday night address, calling for new sanctions on Russia’s nuclear sector.

“If the world doesn’t show the strength and determination now to defend a nuclear power plant, it means the world has lost.”

The World Nuclear Guardian has warned of catastrophe if fighting doesn’t stop.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russia-based Enerhodar official, claimed Monday that about 25 heavy artillery strikes from US-made M777 howitzers were hit near the nuclear power plant and residential areas within two hours.

Russian news agency Interfax quoted the press service of the Russian-appointed government of Enerhodar as saying Ukrainian forces opened fire, with explosions near the power plant.

But according to the head of the administration of the Nikopol district, which lies across the river from Enerhodar and remains under Ukrainian control, it was Russian forces that shelled the city to make it appear that Ukraine was attacking it.

“Russians believe they can force the world to comply with their terms by shelling Zaporizhia NPP,” wrote Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential staff, on Twitter.

According to a report by Ukrainian forces from the Southern District on Facebook, Russian forces continued to bombard towns and cities – Velika Kostryumka to the south and Marhanets – opposite the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

Ukrainian forces killed 23 Russian soldiers and destroyed two fortified positions, she added.

Reuters could not immediately verify battlefield reports.

The United Nations says it has the logistical and security capabilities to support a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) if both Russia and Ukraine agree.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a phone call with Guterres to discuss conditions for the safe operation of the facility, the ministry said on Monday.

“In close cooperation with the agency and its leadership, we will do everything necessary for the IAEA specialists to be on the station and give a truthful assessment of the destructive actions of the Ukrainian side,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

But Igor Vishnevetsky, deputy head of the Department of Nuclear Proliferation and Arms Control at the State Department, was later quoted as saying it was too dangerous for an IAEA mission to travel through the capital Kyiv to inspect the facility.

“Imagine what it means to drive through Kyiv – it means that you get to the nuclear power plant through the front line,” the RIA news agency quoted Vishnevetsky as saying.

Ukraine, where parliament on Monday extended martial law for another three months, has said for weeks it was planning a counteroffensive to retake Zaporizhia and neighboring Kherson province, most of the territory Russia occupied after its March 24 invasion. February conquered and still holds.

The conflict, which has displaced millions and killed thousands, has strained relations between Moscow and the West.

A Russian-backed separatist court in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk on Monday charged five foreigners allegedly captured fighting with Ukrainian forces of serving as mercenaries, Russian media reported. Three of the men face the death penalty.

Russia said late Monday British reconnaissance planes had violated its air border on a peninsula east of Finland between the Barents Sea and the White Sea, and a fighter jet drove the British plane out of Russian airspace.

The UK Ministry of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Russia is calling its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” to demilitarize its neighbor and protect Russian-speaking communities.

Ukraine and Western backers accuse Moscow of waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

Russian forces were busy shelling to advance on a variety of frontline positions in the east and south, Ukraine’s military reported Monday night.

Even as the largest attack on a European state since 1945 was underway, there was progress on a grain deal to alleviate a global food crisis caused by the conflict, the most significant diplomatic breakthrough since the war began.

The joint coordination center set up by the United Nations, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey said it had authorized the departure of the Brave Commander, the first humanitarian food aid cargo from Ukraine to Africa since the invasion. It’s supposed to start on Tuesday.

https://www.independent.ie/news/ukraine-calls-on-world-to-show-strength-after-shelling-near-nuclear-plant-41914537.html Ukraine urges world to ‘show strength’ after shelling near nuclear power plant

Fry Electronics Team

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