Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant loses external power
Kyiv, Ukraine >. Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, which is surrounded by Russian troops, has lost all external power needed for vital safety systems for the second time in five days, the head of the United Nations nuclear regulator said today, calling it a “deeply worrying development.” “.
The warning from International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi came amid a flurry of developments in Russia’s war in Ukraine. Ukraine’s military command said its forces had recaptured five settlements in the southern Kherson region, and Russia’s main internal security agency said eight people had been arrested in connection with the Crimean bridge blast over the weekend.
Grossi, who met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, said IAEA monitors at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest nuclear power plant – had reported the disruption to external power supply and said back-up diesel generators were keeping nuclear safety and security equipment operational.
“This repeated failure of the #ZNPP’s external power supply is a deeply concerning development and underscores the urgent need for a nuclear safety and security zone around the site,” Grossi tweeted.
Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear operator Energoatom said on social media platform Telegram that a Russian missile attack on the “Dniprovska” substation in the neighboring Dnipropetrovsk region to the north damaged it, leading to the shutdown of a key communications line to the power plant – which triggered the diesel Turn on generators automatically.
Last month, Energoatom CEO Petro Kotin said in an interview with The Associated Press that the Zaporizhia plant generally has enough fuel to run the diesel generators for just 10 days. He said these generators were “the station’s last defense from a radiation accident.”
The growing concern over the nuclear power plant comes amid an increase in fighting in southern Ukraine and a spate of Russian strikes across the country in recent days.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, said Russian shelling had killed at least 14 people in the Zaporizhia region and Donetsk region in the east over the past day. At least 34 people were injured in five regions, he wrote on Telegram.
Earlier today, Ukraine’s Southern Command said its forces had recaptured five settlements in the southern Kherson region, on the western edge of an arc of Russian control over areas in eastern and southern Ukraine.
The villages of Novovasylivka, Novohryhorivka, Nova Kamianka, Tryfonivka and Chervone in Beryslav district were recaptured on October 11, according to Southern Command spokesman Vladislav Nazarov.
The settlements are in one of four regions recently annexed by Russia, a move condemned as illegal under international law by many countries and the UN Secretary-General.
Also today, Russia’s top internal security agency – the main successor to the KGB – said it had arrested eight people for involvement in the bombing of the main bridge linking Russia with Crimea, while an official in the southern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia said Russian forces were leading others there strikes through.
The Federal Security Service, known by the Russian acronym FSB, said it had detained five Russians and three citizens of Ukraine and Armenia over Saturday’s attack that damaged the Kerch Bridge between Russia and the Crimea peninsula – a key thoroughfare for Deliveries and travel, much of which has been made of noise Building after Russia’s annexation of Crimea under Putin in 2014 cost billions.
A truck loaded with explosives blew up as it drove over the bridge, killing four people and collapsing two sections of one of the two car links.
Ukrainian officials have praised the explosion on the bridge but have not directly claimed responsibility for it.
The FSB claimed that the suspects worked on behalf of the Ukrainian military intelligence service to secretly bring the explosives to Russia and to falsify the accompanying documents.
It said the explosives were transported by sea from Ukraine’s port of Odessa to Bulgaria before being shipped to Georgia, driven to Armenia and then back to Georgia before being transported to Russia in a complex scheme for clandestine delivery to the target bring to.
Putin claimed that Ukrainian special services were behind the blast, called it “an act of terrorism” and responded by ordering rocket attacks across Ukraine.
Russia’s attack continued today in Zaporizhia region and the city of the same name, smashing windows and blowing open doors in apartment buildings, said Secretary of the Municipal Council Anatoly Kurtev. There were no immediate reports of casualties, although Kurtev warned locals of the possibility of a follow-up attack.
Zaporizhia, which lies fairly close to the front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces, has been hit by repeated, often fatal, attacks in recent weeks. It’s part of a larger region, including Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which is now under Russian control and which Moscow says it annexed in violation of international law. The city itself remains in Ukrainian hands.
To the south, in a Russian-controlled area of the region, a powerful explosion hit the city of Melitopol – throwing a car into the air, Mayor Ivan Fedorov said. There was no word about sacrifice.
The new clashes come two days after Russian forces began bombarding many parts of Ukraine with more rockets and munitions-carrying drones, killing at least 19 people in an attack on Monday alone that the UN human rights office described as “particularly shocking”. and possible war crimes designated in magnitude.
Tuesday marked the second straight day that air raid sirens rang out across Ukraine and officials advised residents to save energy and stock up on water. The strikes paralyzed power across the country and shattered the relative calm that had returned to the capital, Kyiv, and many other cities far from the war’s frontlines.
“It brings anger, not fear,” said Kyiv’s Volodymyr Vasylenko, 67, as crews worked to restore traffic lights and clear debris from the capital’s streets. “We’ve gotten used to that. And we will keep fighting.”
Leaders of the Group of Seven Industrial Powers condemned the bombing and said they would “stand firm with Ukraine for as long as necessary”. Their pledge defied Russian warnings that Western aid would prolong the war and the pain of the Ukrainian people.
Zelenskyi told G-7 leaders during a virtual meeting that Russia had fired more than 100 missiles and dozens of drones at Ukraine in the space of two days. He called for “more modern and effective” air defense systems – although he said Ukraine shot down many of the Russian projectiles.
The Pentagon on Tuesday announced plans to deliver NASAM’s first two advanced air defense systems to Ukraine in the coming weeks. The systems that Kyiv has long wanted will provide medium and long-range defense against missile attacks.
In a call with Zelenskyy on Tuesday, President Joe Biden “pledged to continue to provide Ukraine with the support it needs to defend itself, including advanced air defense systems,” the White House said.
Ukraine’s defense minister tweeted that four German IRIS-T air defense systems had just arrived and said a “new era” in air defense had begun for Ukraine.