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Moscow, Kyiv exchange accusations after Ukrainian nuclear plant shelled

Commodities Aug 05, 2022 04:26PM ET
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3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A serviceman with a Russian flag on his uniform stands guard near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine August 4, 2022 2/3

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia and Ukraine on Friday accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the biggest of its kind in Europe, and laying the ground for a potential disaster.

Russia's defence ministry said it was only by luck that a radiation accident had been avoided after what it described as an artillery barrage.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy though said Moscow was responsible and accused it of committing "an open, brazen crime, an act of terror".

In a late night address he demanded sanctions on the entire Russian nuclear industry.

"It is a purely a security issue. Those who create nuclear threats to other nations are certainly not capable of using nuclear technologies safely," he said.

The Russian defence ministry said the generating capacity of one unit had been reduced and power supply to another had been cut. In addition, the nearby city of Enerhodar had power and water supply problems, it said.

"Fortunately, the Ukrainian shells did not hit the oil and fuel facility and the oxygen plant nearby, thus avoiding a larger fire and a possible radiation accident," a ministry statement said.

Enerhodar and the nearby nuclear plant were seized by invading Russian troops in early March, and are still close to the frontline.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday accused Moscow of using the plant as a shield for its forces, and Ukraine has accused Russia of shelling its positions from positions near the power station.

"The possible consequences of hitting an operating reactor are equivalent to the use of an atomic bomb," Ukraine's foreign ministry said on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

Ukraine's state nuclear power company, Energoatom, earlier said the plant was operational and no radioactive discharges had been detected. Two of the six reactors are still operating.

The Russian-installed administration of Enerhodar said on Friday that power lines at the plant had been cut by a Ukrainian artillery strike. The facility continues to be run by its Ukrainian technicians.

Reuters was unable to verify the battlefield reports.

Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said this week that contact with the plant was "fragile" and communications did not function every day. He appealed for access to determine whether it was a source of danger.

Moscow, Kyiv exchange accusations after Ukrainian nuclear plant shelled
 

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Comments (2)
Maximus Maximus
Maximus Maximus Aug 05, 2022 8:19PM ET
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desperate and utterly reckless russians, using nuclear plants as shield for artillery and troops
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99 Aug 05, 2022 8:19PM ET
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Like Ukraine using civilians as human shields by placing their weaponry in schools, hospitals and residential areas. This is a US proxy war, brought to us because of the American backed coup in 2014 and Ukraine's refusal to follow the Minsk Agreements. apparetly US backed Ukraine is entitled to it's sovereignty but the Russian Ukrainian majority in the east are not entitled to theirs. Westerners walked right back into another Iraq style propaganda campaign, nothing was learned and America's war machine rolls on.
Jamie Kent
Jamie Kent Aug 05, 2022 6:27PM ET
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According to this article, Russia took control of Enerhodar and the power plant in March and has been using it as a shield. Why would they attack it if they had already seized it and were using it for strategic advantages? It makes no sense to me. What am I missing?
Tom Car
Tom Car Aug 05, 2022 6:27PM ET
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Because it was the Ukrainian who shell it no Russian, why Russian would shell it if they xontrol it. I agree, it dies nor make sense what Ukrainian are saying.
 
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