The situation at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine, occupied by Russian troops, is coming to a head when a reactor was shut down after the plant was shelled. The Ukrainian nuclear authority Energoatom reported that the “emergency protection system” had been activated by the airstrikes. There is also an increased risk of fire and radiation. Meanwhile, according to a report, Russian soldiers are said to have mined the power plant.
The online medium “The Insider”, which is critical of the Kremlin, reports that Russian troops have installed booby traps at the power plant. A video allegedly made earlier this week shows Russian military trucks entering the factory site and unloading goods there (see below).
Reactor blocks are said to be mined
According to the report, the explosive charge was placed near the reactor blocks and the engine room. The Russian army is said to have mined the area around the nuclear power plant beforehand. For weeks there has been criticism that Russian forces are using Europe’s largest nuclear power plant as a protective shield for their own artillery, which from there is shelling Ukraine-controlled areas.
“The EU condemns Russia’s military activities around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. This is a serious and irresponsible violation of nuclear safety rules and another example of Russia’s failure to respect international standards,” said Josep Borrell, head of EU foreign policy, demanding entry for the International Atomic Energy Agency. to the facility, but Ukraine has so far rejected this, believing it would legitimize its occupation by Russia.
Equipment hit at the power plant
The factory in the city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhya region caught fire on Friday, but was extinguished. The attacks damaged a nitrogen plant and a building with security systems. The power supply in the city was partially cut. While Moscow blamed Ukrainian troops, Kiev said the Russians had shelled the area themselves. The information cannot be independently verified.
“The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant operates at the risk of violating radiation and fire protection standards,” the nuclear agency Energoatom told Telegram. “There remains a risk of hydrogen escaping and spreading radioactive particles, and the risk of fire is also high,” she warned. The personnel of the Ukrainian power plant tries to ensure the nuclear safety of the plant even under these conditions. However, the threat of occupation of the power plant by Russian troops remains high. The Ministry of Climate Protection reports that there is currently no danger for Austria.
Moscow: 600 Ukrainians killed
Meanwhile, fierce fighting continues in southern Ukraine. The Russian army says it killed nearly 600 Ukrainian soldiers with air and artillery strikes. “Near the village of Bilohirka in the Kherson region, the temporary base of the 46th Ukrainian air assault brigade was hit by air strikes and artillery fire,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday. More than 400 “nationalists” were killed.
In addition, more than 70 other soldiers were killed and 150 injured by rocket attacks at the Kherson front. More than 80 “foreign mercenaries” were killed in rocket attacks in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Konashenkov also reported that a battery of Ukrainian “Olcha” missile launchers and HIMARS systems had been destroyed. HIMARS are precision, long-range missile launchers from the USA. Moscow has reported several times in the past that it has disabled such weapons. Kiev and Washington later denied this. There is also no independent confirmation for the current report.
Ukrainians have the initiative in the south
According to British military intelligence, the war is entering a new phase. Most of the fighting was shifted to a nearly 350-kilometer front stretching parallel to the Dnieper in the southwest from the area around Zaporizhia to Kherson. While troops loyal to Moscow try to advance further in the east, the Ukrainians now have the initiative in the south. According to Kiev, Russian troops are focused on defending their positions. The Southern Command of the Ukrainian Army reported the destruction of at least six Russian weapons and ammunition depots and two command posts in the Kherson region. There is also no independent confirmation for this information.