UN chief condemns fighting around Ukraine nuclear plant

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UN chief condemns fighting around Ukraine nuclear plant

The UN secretary general Ant nio Guterres condemned the fighting around the vast Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex in southern Ukraine, saying any attack on a nuclear facility is suicide. Russian forces have occupied the nuclear complex, Europe's largest, since March, and have been using it as a base to launch artillery barrages in the Ukrainian-controlled town of Nikopol, across the Dnipro River for the past month. In the past few days, a number of blasts have occurred and rockets have struck the complex's grounds. Russia and Ukraine blamed each other for the attacks, which have raised fears of a major nuclear accident.

Mr. Guterres said on Monday that he hoped the attacks would end and that the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. s nuclear watchdog, would be given access to the plant as Ukraine requested.

The I.A. The director of Rafael Mariano Grossi said last week that he was ready to lead a mission of experts to the plant to stabilize the situation there and carry out inspections. In a news conference in Tokyo two days after he called for global nuclear disarmament at a commemoration of the 77th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, the remarks came from Mr. Guterres. In his comments, Guterres did not assign blame for the attacks. Russia and Ukraine continued to accuse each other of endangering nuclear security. Ukrainian staff has been working there, despite Russian forces controlling the plant. The Ukrainian officials say that the workers have been subject to harsh interrogations including torture with electrical shocks, as the risk of combat grows, and have been prevented from retreating to underground shelters. The company that oversees the Zaporizhzhia plant said on Monday that shrapnel from Russian shelling had injured a worker. The woman is in a condition of moderate severity at the intensive care unit of the Energodar city hospital, the company said in a Telegram post.

The Ukrainian staff of the station continues to work in inhumane conditions to ensure nuclear and radiation safety not only of our country, but also of the whole world, according to Energoatom.

Russia's Ministry of Defense accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the plant again on Sunday in an act of nuclear terrorism. The shelling damaged a high-voltage line that supplies electricity to the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.