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Attacks on nuclear power plants are ‘suicidal’, warns UN chief as artillery strikes near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is shown in Enerhodar seen from Nikopol on April 27, 2022.Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

  • Ukraine and Russia shared responsibility for recent strikes around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

  • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday that the attacks around the factory – the largest in Europe – are “suicidal”.

  • Russian forces occupying the plant appear to be using its protected status as a shield, according to British intelligence.

The UN chief warned Ukraine and Russia on Monday that attacks on nuclear power plants were ‘suicidal’, as Kyiv and Moscow swapped blame for recent artillery strikes that landed near the power plant from Zaporizhzhia in Ukraine.

“Any attack on a nuclear power plant is a suicidal thing and I hope these attacks will end,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a briefing. press conference in Japan.

“At the same time, I hope the [International Atomic Energy Agency] will be able to have access to the plant and exercise its mandated powers,” continued António Guterres.

In recent days, Ukrainian and Russian forces have blamed each other for the recent artillery strikes near the factory in Zaporizhzhia, southern Ukraine, which was busy by Russian troops since early March and is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

British intelligence said last week that Russian forces now appeared to be using the plant as a shield – taking advantage of its “protected status” to shelter troops and equipment from Ukrainian attacks and deploy artillery units in areas adjacent to the facility.

Russia’s actions have endangered the safety and security of the facility, British intelligence has said. Ukrainian forces, meanwhile, were reluctant to attack the factory for fear that an accident could trigger a major disaster.

“They’re hiding there so they won’t be hit,” Oleksandr Sayuk, the mayor of nearby Nikopol, told The New York Times. recent maintenance.

Recent fighting in and around the plant has been condemned by nuclear watchdogs, including the International Atomic Energy Agency.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said Saturday that he is “extremely concerned” by the recent bombings around the plant, “which underscore the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond”.

“Military action jeopardizing the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is completely unacceptable and must be avoided at all costs,” Grossi said.

He continued: “Any military firepower directed to or from the installation would amount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences.”

Read the original article at Business Intern