February 1, 2023

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War on Ukraine: IAEA team travels to Zaporizhia NPP

Status: 08/29/2022 12:34 pm

An International Atomic Energy Agency panel is due to inspect the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine this weekend. This was announced by his general director Croci. Apparently, there were repeated attacks on the nuclear power plant.

A team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts visited the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine after repeated shelling. “The day has come and the IAEA’s support and assistance mission is now heading to Zaporizhia,” IAEA chief Rafael Croci said on Twitter.

“We need to protect the safety of the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and Europe,” wrote Croci. The mission led by him will arrive at the nuclear power plant this weekend. In a photo accompanying his tweet, the U.N. The IAEA chief poses with a group of 13 wearing caps and vests with the Atomic Energy Agency logo.

Moscow is ready to cooperate

In an initial reaction, the Kremlin said it supported the plan. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was interested in the IAEA mission and was involved in its preparation, Interfax news agency reported. “Russia is open to cooperation.” However, the visit will not address the question of a possible demilitarized zone around the power plant in southeastern Ukraine.

Occupied by Russia since March

A visit by IAEA experts has been discussed for months, but has so far failed due to a lack of security guarantees and disputes over methods of visitation. Europe’s largest nuclear power plant with six reactors in southern Ukraine has been occupied by Russian troops since March but is still operated by Ukrainian technicians.

The power station is near Zaporizhia, home to over 700,000 people before the war. The town of Enerhodar, home to more than 50,000 people before the Russian attack on the neighboring country, is next to the nuclear power plant.

G7 countries: NPP legally belongs to Ukraine

The site of the power plant is repeatedly shelled, for which Russia and Ukraine blame each other. Two nuclear reactors were temporarily shut down last week due to power outages. The international community fears that a nuclear accident could occur. IAEA experts want to investigate the damage and security systems at the site themselves, as information from Kiev and Moscow is often conflicting.

Seven leading Western industrialized nations (G7) welcomed the announced study visit. At the same time, G7 non-proliferation directors reiterated their concerns about the security of the facility. Russia’s attempts to disconnect the power plant from the Ukrainian power grid are unacceptable. Zaporizhia NPP and the electricity it produces belong to Ukraine, the statement said.

A tense atmosphere at a nuclear power plant

Kyiv initially refused to allow the IAEA mission, fearing that the inspectors’ visit could legitimize the Russian occupation of the power plant internationally. On Friday, President Volodymyr Zelensky urged IAEA chief Krosi to send a mission as soon as possible amid the “dangerous” situation.

The situation at the nuclear power plant has recently deteriorated drastically. Several artillery shells reportedly fell last night in the town of Enerhodar, where power workers live. Videos from both sides show scores of cars burning in residential areas. As in previous days, the Russian and Ukrainian sides blamed each other for the shelling.

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Apparently nine people died

Earlier, Russian troops reportedly shot down an armed Ukrainian drone directly over one of the six reactors. Russia complained that Ukraine wanted to prevent IAEA experts from visiting the nuclear plant.

Fugitive Ukrainian mayor Dmytro Orlo spoke of provocation: Russian troops fired. He accused Moscow of a “nuclear threat” because Russian troops were stationed at the nuclear power plant. Nine people were wounded in the night shelling of the city, two of them seriously, said Vladimir Rokov, a member of the occupation administration.

Selenskyj announces revenge

Russian attacks were reported on the front line and in several areas in the Ukrainian hinterland on Sunday. President Zelenskyj discussed the next steps to counter the invasion with the military and security apparatus. He did not provide details, but declared: “The aggressors will feel the consequences of further actions by our defenders.”

Monday marked 187 days since Russia launched a war against its neighbor. Any attack on Ukrainian cities will not be answered, Zelensky said. “Zaporysia, Origiv, Kharkiv, Donbass – they will all have an answer.”

Ukraine: Attacks foiled

The Rivne region in northern Ukraine was also hit by Russian rockets on Sunday evening, according to officials. Two rockets landed in the center of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv on Sunday evening, Mayor Ihor Derekov announced. An administration building was demolished.

Dozens of positions along the more than 2,000 kilometer front line were hit by Russian tanks, tube cannons and rocket artillery, the Ukrainian General Staff said. Russian offensives were repulsed in several places in the Donbass.

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The Kremlin, meanwhile, is pushing plans to hold referendums on annexation with Russia in the occupied territories. “The decision is pending,” said Sergei Krienko, deputy head of the presidential office. According to him, 91 to 92 percent of the population in the pro-Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk favor joining Russia. In the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions captured since February, it is 75 to 77 percent.