A view of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on August 4. (Alexander Ermoshenko)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of maximizing the risk of nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which was taken over by Russian forces in early March.

Addressing a gathering of allies from across northern Europe, Zelensky recalled the Chernobyl disaster.

“If the Soviet authorities tried to hide the Chernobyl disaster and all its consequences, then the Russian authorities are much more cynical and dangerous. They themselves do everything to maximize the risk of a nuclear disaster and lie to the whole world that someone someone else is allegedly to blame,” he said.

Zelensky accused Russia of turning the nuclear plant into a “battlefield”.

“The Russian occupation army uses the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant for terror and armed provocations,” he added.

The Ukrainian president also reiterated his demand that Russia be declared a terrorist state and also called for tougher sanctions.

Russia “simply would not have a combat-ready army in modern conditions if there were no imported parts. Electronics, optics and many other parts of foreign production are used in the creation missiles, drones, means of communication, armored vehicles, etc. This flow of technical assistance to Russian terrorism must be completely stopped,” he said.

Ukraine also needs a continued supply of weapons in order to force Russia to “finally think about finding a peaceful solution”, Zelensky said, adding a call for financial support.

Ukraine’s monthly deficit is around $5 billion, he told the Allied conference. “Ukraine needs reconstruction. Now. We need to clear mines. And, of course, we need to prepare defenses for winter conditions,” he said. “Financial support for our state, the budget and a quick recovery is as vital as arms and ammunition for our army and sanctions against Russia.”

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