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Dozens of countries, including the US, Japan, the UK and Turkey, called on Russia to withdraw its troops from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and surrounding area in a joint statement on Sunday.
“We urge the Russian Federation to immediately withdraw its military and all other forces [unauthorized] personnel from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, its immediate surroundings and all of Ukraine so that the operator and the Ukrainian authorities can resume their sovereign responsibilities, “the countries said.
Ukraine and Russia blamed themselves for bombing the plant, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
Communication lines, radiation monitoring sensors, a nitrogen-oxygen station and other parts of the plant have been damaged by the explosions in recent days.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of “trying to intimidate people in an extremely cynical way”.
“Any Russian soldier who shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as a cover, must understand that it becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army,” he said Saturday night. He called the tactic “nuclear blackmail”.
Mykhailo Podolyak, Zelenskyy’s adviser, said Russian forces are targeting the part of the plant “where the energy supply [the] the south of Ukraine is stored “.
Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said Sunday that an employee of the plant was killed by Russian bombing near his home in Enerhodar.
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Russian forces have controlled the plant since early March, but Ukrainian personnel have continued operations, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“Any military action that jeopardizes nuclear safety, nuclear safety, must stop immediately,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said this week. “These military actions near such a large nuclear facility could lead to very serious consequences.”