Zelenskyy meets with the head of the UN atomic agency in Ukraine

ZAPORIZHZHIA: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with UN atomic energy chief Rafael Mariano Grossi in southern Ukraine on Monday, where they discussed the precarious situation in Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The plant, which is the largest in Europe, lost several of its electricity transmission cables during The Russian Warand on several occasions had to switch to emergency diesel generators.
Grossi, director general of the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, plans to visit the plant, which is held by Russian forces, this week. The agency has permanent staff stationed at the plant.
At the meeting, covered exclusively by The Associated Press, Grossi expressed concern to Zelenskyy that the situation at the plant “is not improving.”
He pointed out that the situation at the factory remains tense due to the militarization of the area around it and the recent power outage at the factory. It was not the first time this had happened since Russian forces took control of it last year.
The two men met in the town of Zaporizhzhia, which is in Ukrainian territory, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of the nuclear power plant of the same name.
Elsewhere, two people were killed and 29 injured on Monday when Russian forces shelled the Ukrainian city of Sloviansk in the partially occupied eastern region of Donetsk, local officials said.
Video footage of the aftermath showed damaged residential buildings, debris in the streets and burning vehicles.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attack “terrorism”.
Russia has denied targeting residential areas, even though artillery and rocket fire hit Ukrainian apartment buildings and civilian infrastructure daily during the war.
The attack on Sloviansk followed a typical long-range shelling pattern adopted by Kremlin forces, particularly in recent months, as fighting stalled during the bitterly cold winter months.
In the eastern region of Donetsk, about 10 towns and villages have been shelled by Russian forces in the past 24 hours, the Ukrainian presidential office reported on Monday.
On Monday morning, Russian missiles hit the town of Avdiivka, damaging residential buildings, a hotel and a courthouse, he added.
Mayor of Avdiivka Vitali Barabash said utility companies are being evacuated from the frontline city as it “looks more and more like a post-apocalyptic movie landscape”.
Attacks also intensified in the partially occupied southeastern region of Zaporizhzhia, where 14 frontline settlements were shelled, authorities said.
In the partially occupied Kherson region, the part of the province under Ukrainian control was bombarded 20 times by Russian artillery and aircraft, leaving four wounded, the presidential office said.
The mayor of the occupied city of Melitopol said several explosions rocked the city on Monday, damaging a building where Russian security forces were stationed.
Mayor Ivan Fyodorov posted photos of smoke billowing from the area where the Russian barracks are located.
Russian-installed authorities said the “artillery shelling” of Melitopol partially destroyed a vocational school building, damaged several other buildings and injured four people.
Meanwhile, Zelenskyy met in kyiv with British actor Orlando Bloom, Ukrainian presidential office chief Andriy Yermak said on Monday.
Bloom, who is also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, arrived in the Ukrainian capital over the weekend and visited his suburb of Irpin.
When meeting Zelenskyy, Bloom said “he was struck by the courage and resilience of Ukrainians, who despite the war remain strong,” Yermak wrote.
Bloom “will support humanitarian aid and infrastructure restoration projects aimed at securing the interests of Ukrainian children,” the official said.


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