Zelensky accuses Russia of “nuclear terrorism” as troops fired on the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “nuclear terrorism” on Thursday as fighting continued around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine.

Speaking at an international defense conference in Denmark, Zelensky warned that Russia could cause “the largest radiological accident in history” at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the largest nuclear plant on the European continent and among the largest in the world.

“In terms of the actual consequences, it could be more catastrophic than Chernobyl,” he said.

The United Nations is trying to reach the Ukrainian nuclear plant after the ‘suicide’ shell

FILE – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks at a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 28, 2022. Ukrainian officials responded by accusing Russian forces of planting explosives at the Zaporizhia nuclear plant in preparation for an expected Ukrainian counterattack in the region.
(AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, file)

Adding that the repercussions of its destruction or destruction would be “Russia’s use of nuclear weapons, but without a nuclear strike.”

Zelensky’s comments come on the heels of days of international concern after the plant was attacked over the weekend as bombings took place around the site.

Russia and Ukraine blamed each other.

G7 leaders have called on Russia to hand over control of the nuclear plant – which damaged important parts of its complex – to Ukraine.

Zelensky said the station’s communications lines, radiation monitoring sensors, nitrogen and oxygen station, hydrogen pipelines and other parts of the station’s infrastructure have already been damaged.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his “grave” concern about the continued fighting in the area and called on both sides to halt all military activities around the plant and “exercise common sense and rationality” to avoid “catastrophic consequences”.

“Unfortunately, instead of de-escalation, there have been reports over the past several days of further extremely worrying incidents that, if they continue, could lead to disaster,” he added in a statement.

Ukraine has accused Russia of using the station as a “nuclear shield” and has deployed about 500 Russian soldiers to the site, the BBC reported.

Six power units generate 40-42 billion kWh of electricity making the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant the largest nuclear power plant not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe, Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhya region, southeast Ukraine, July 9, 2019. Ukrinform.

Six power units generate 40-42 billion kWh of electricity making the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant the largest nuclear power plant not only in Ukraine, but also in Europe, Enerhodar, Zaporizhzhya region, southeast Ukraine, July 9, 2019. Ukrinform.
(must read image source Dmytro Smolyenko/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

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Kyiv argued that Moscow had turned the nuclear reactor into a military base, launching missile strikes from a vulnerable position while knowing that Ukraine would hesitate to fire in the direction of the nuclear plant.

“Russia has become a terrorist state, it is in fact holding nuclear plants hostage, and it is blackmailing everyone with a potential disaster,” Zelensky said Thursday. “None of us can stop the wind if it carries radiation. But together we are able to stop a terrorist state.”

“The sooner we stop Russia, the sooner Europe and the world will feel safe again,” he added.

A Russian soldier stands guard on the area outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Energodar on May 1, 2022.

A Russian soldier stands guard on the area outside the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Energodar on May 1, 2022.
(Photo by Andrey Borodulin/AFP via Getty Images)

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Zelensky called for increased sanctions against Russia and its nuclear program.

The United Nations called on the two sides to immediately grant the International Atomic Energy Agency access to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant.

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