The expert group of the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA has arrived in territory controlled by the Russian occupiers, according to the Russian occupiers. “According to the latest information, they have passed the Vasilivka checkpoint. We expect them in the city of Enerhodar within the hour,” Aleksander Volga, head of the local administration, told the Russian news agency Interfax.
Earlier there were reports of artillery shelling on the city. However, IAEA boss Rafael Grossi assured that the team is leaving. “We will not stop,” he said.
Kiev accused Russia of deliberately firing on the expert team’s route. The Russian army would then have – in its own words – prevented a Ukrainian landing operation on the bank of Dnieper near the plant.
The operator of Ukrainian nuclear power plants, Enerhoatom, said that after shelling, a backup power cable was damaged and that reactor 5 had to be shut down. According to the manager, it was mortar shelling by the Russians. Reactor 6 is still running and supplying the required power to the site.
The statements cannot be independently verified.
Russian troops have occupied the plant since early March, shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine. The plant has six reactors and is the largest in Europe.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) calls for an end to all military operations around the Russian military-owned Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine. The organization warns of a “disastrous” attack. “It is high time to stop playing fire and take concrete measures as soon as possible to protect the site and other similar places from all military operations,” said Robert Mardini, general director of the ICRC.
“The slightest miscalculation would wreak havoc that we will regret for decades,” Mardini said. He called it encouraging that the IAEA team is on the way because of the “immense commitment”. “If dangerous sites become battlefields, the consequences for millions of people and the environment could be catastrophic and drag on for several years,” he stressed.
He also warned that in the event of a nuclear leak, it would be difficult or impossible to deliver humanitarian aid.
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