Ukraine and Russia again accused each other, this Saturday (13), of attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.
Located in southern Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia has been under Russian occupation since the beginning of the war and has been the scene of recent clashes for a week.
“Reduce your presence on the streets of Enerhodar! We have received news of new provocations by the Russian occupiers”, the Ukrainian nuclear agency Energoatom wrote on Telegram, which published a message from a local official in the city of Enerhodar (controlled by Kiev), close to the central of Zaporizhzhia.
“According to testimonies from residents, there are new bombings in the direction of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. […] The interval between the exit and the fall of the projectiles is 3 to 5 seconds,” the agency added in the message, according to AFP.
In turn, occupation authorities installed by Russia in parts of southern Ukraine accused Kiev of being behind the attacks.
“Enerhodar and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant are under fire from militants [do presidente Volodimir] Zelensky,” Vladimir Rogov, a member of the pro-Russian military and civilian administration, declared on Telegram.
The projectiles fell “in areas situated on the banks of the [rio] Dnieper and at the plant,” said Rogov, without causing casualties or damage.
Since last week, the two countries have accused each other of being responsible for the bombings against the Zaporizhzhia plant, raising fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
The Ukrainian plant came under the control of Russian troops on March 4, shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine in February, 24.
Earlier this month, an attack damaged a high-voltage electrical transformer, causing the automatic shutdown of the number 3 reactor at the nuclear power plant, according to the France Presse news agency.
The latest bombings date from Thursday and caused damage to a pumping station and radiation sensors.
Ukrainian authorities, with the support of their allies among the Western powers, are calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the area and for it to be demilitarized, in the face of what Zelensky calls “Russian nuclear blackmail”.
This week, as Jornal Nacional showed, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for an “immediate end” to all military activities around the facility and warned that continued hostilities could “lead to a catastrophe”.
(VIDEO: Understand the importance of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.)
Understand the importance of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant