The American embassy in Ukraine has raised its voice against the recent Russian attack on the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, saying, “It is a war crime to attack a nuclear power plant. Putin’s shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant takes his reign of terror one step further”. 

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the attack a “terror at an unprecedented level”, CNN reported. At the time of the attack, he’d urgently been in touch with the US government, regarding the danger of the situation.

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The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is the largest in Europe, and President Zelenskyy drew parallels to the 1986 disaster in Chernobyl, which is to date, the world’s worst-ever nuclear accident. However, so far, there have been no indications of the structural integrity of the Zaporizhzhya plant being compromised, and Rafael Mariano Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IEAE) assured there’s no radioactive fallout. 

He said, “We are fortunate there has not been a release of radioactive material and the integrity of the reactors has not been compromised”. 

While global leaders have condemned this attack, with even China urging all sides to show restraint, CNN reported the Russian military claiming it was provoked by Ukrainian forces to fire in the direction of the nuclear plant. 

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Part of its unverified account of the firefight details, “To provoke return fire on the building, heavy fire from small arms was opened at the servicemen of the Russian Guard from the windows of several floors of the training complex located outside the power plant”. 

A fire had broken out, which has now been extinguished and was determined to have occurred in a building serving as a training facility. Now, with the Russians in control, the management is being forced to work at gunpoint, as alleged by Petro Kotin, head of the state-owned nuclear power generator Energoatom, on Telegram. 

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Zelenskyy has used this development to once again call for a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which had previously been shot down by the US, saying that doing so would put American troops in direct conflict with Russian forces.