Russian forces have been using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant as a base from which they can attack the town of Nikopol, Ukraine, across the Dnipro River.
DRUZHKIVKA, Ukraine - Fighting raged on Saturday near a sprawling nuclear power plant in the south of Ukraine despite warnings from nuclear safety watchdogs earlier this week that conditions there were out of control. The Russian military has been using the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe's largest, as a base to attack the Ukrainian-controlled town of Nikopol across the river. The Ukrainian military said on Saturday it fired a volley of Grad rockets that damaged 11 apartment buildings and 36 privately owned houses and wounded three people.
The Ukrainian military said that the attack knocked out electricity, water and natural gas supplies in the town, where residents were fleeing the artillery attacks and the associated risk of radiation.
Russian forces began staging artillery attacks from the plant about a month ago, and the Ukrainian military has said it cannot shoot back because of concerns that it would hit a reactor at the plant, causing a radiation catastrophe. Ukraine has accused Russians of setting off explosions at the plant in order to confuse European allies about nuclear safety and discourage arming Ukraine. On Tuesday, Rafael Grossi, the director general of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, said on Tuesday that every principle of nuclear safety has been violated and has not dislodged the Russian army from the site. Fighting has continued daily, with explosions in the early afternoon on Friday. Grossi said conditions at the plant were out of control. Grossi said he was more worried about Zaporizhzhia than about Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear disaster, also in Ukraine, that radiated the surrounding area and imperiled Europe.
The I.A. The occupying Russian force and surrounding shelling make it too dangerous for inspectors, as it is unable to access key parts of the reactors at Zaporizhzhia. He said that it is difficult to assess the danger if damage is done to the facility. President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke about the brazen crime of Russian military using the nuclear power plant as a cover in his nightly address to Ukrainians. The explosions earlier in the day at the plant caused a very risky situation for everyone in Europe, according to Zelensky. This is the largest nuclear power plant on the continent. An act of terror is an open, brazen crime.