Ukraine President Zelenskyy accuses Russia of using Zaporizhzhia nuclear site for terror

75
2
Ukraine President Zelenskyy accuses Russia of using Zaporizhzhia nuclear site for terror

KYIV - Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia on Saturday of using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant for terror after the operator of the facility reported major damage to the site.

Energoatom, operator of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the south of the country, said on Saturday that parts of the facility had been seriously damaged by military strikes and one of its reactors was forced to shut down.

Friday's strikes damaged a station containing nitrogen and oxygen and an auxiliary building, Energoatom said on the Telegram messaging service.

As hostilities in the east and south of Ukraine raged, pro-Moscow authorities in the Russian-occupied Kherson region reported another assassination attempt on a senior official.

The head of Amnesty International's Ukraine office announced yesterday that she had resigned from the organisation after the publication of a controversial report accusing the country's military of endangering civilians.

Kyiv and Moscow blame each other for the attacks on the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe's largest atomic power complex.

Zelenskyy, in his nightly address on Saturday, accused Moscow of terrorism, saying Russian terrorists became the first in the world to use the power plant. The attack was condemned by the European Union's top diplomat Josep Borrell as a serious and irresponsible breach of nuclear safety rules and another example of Russia's disregard for international norms. The strikes underscored the real risk of a nuclear disaster, said Rafael Grossi, a director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA An official with Russian occupying authorities in Kherson was seriously wounded on Saturday in an attempted assassination, local Moscow-backed officials said.

Vitaly Gur is in a critical state with multiple gunshot wounds, an unnamed official told Russian state news agency TASS. Gur is the deputy chief of Kakhovka district, some 80 km 50 miles east of Kherson city.

This was the latest in a series of reported assassinations attempts against officials in Ukrainian regions controlled by Russia.

Ukraine's forces have regained some territory after Russia has taken a large swath of the Kherson region and part of nearby Zaporizhzhia in recent months.

In his address on Saturday, Zelenskyy hit Amnesty International, comparing the rights group's accusations against Ukraine's military with its silence on Russia's actions.

He said that the strikes on the Zaporizhzhia plant represented one of the most dangerous crimes against Ukrainians and all Europeans. There's still no report or just a simple message from Amnesty International about it.

He added that it was a very eloquent silence that points out a manipulative selectivity of this organisation.

The report released on Thursday accused the military of endangering civilians by setting up bases in schools and hospitals, and launching counterattacks from heavily populated areas.