On Monday, Ukraine and Russian officials reported firing near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Both sides are blaming the other, but if the shooting near the power plant doesn’t stop, it could spell disaster for all of Europe as a possible repeat of Chernynobl could occur.
The Zaporihzizha Nuclear Power Station, which lies on the south shore of Kahovaka Resevioir on the Dneiper River, is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Russia captured the nuclear plant early in the war by Russia, and it is currently being used as a military base since its capture. Vladimir Rogov, a Russian official in Edonhar, where the power plant is located, claimed that around 25 heavy artillery from the U.S. made M777 howitzers had hit residential areas and the nuclear power plant.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has warned of possible disaster if fighting occurs around the nuclear power plant. The IAEA, an organization that ensures the safe and secure use of nuclear technology, has also asked for access to the nuclear plant. Many experts believe that the shots can cause damage to the plant’s reactors. This has prompted the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call for a demilitarized zone around Zaporizhzhia.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that Russia is willing to comply with IAEA and give an accurate assessment of the damage done by the Ukrainians. On the other hand, the Ukraine parliament has extended martial law and is willing to launch a counteroffensive to recapture both Zaporizhzhia and Kherson province, the largest territory Russia has seized since the start of the war.
On Monday, the UN and the Delegation of European Union to the International Organizations in Vienna released a joint statement along with many other countries, such as the United States and the Republic of Korea urging Russia to remove troops from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station.