Russia stated that the bombardment of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP) is an act of nuclear terrorism committed by the regime of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy.
“The Zelensky regime committed a new act of nuclear terrorism at energy infrastructure facilities of the Zaporozhye NPP to create a humanitarian disaster in the Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions,” Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov said.
Konashenkov indicated that the shelling attack damaged the high-voltage electric power line that supplied electricity to the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions.
“The Zaporozhye NPP experienced a voltage surge that caused smoke at the station’s outdoor switchgear unit. The protection system was also activated, switching off electric power supply,” the Russian spokesman noted.
Over the last week, Kiev and Moscow have been exchanging blames for the shelling of Zaporozhye NPP, which is the largest in Europe.
Zelenskyy called for a tougher international response to Russian “nuclear terror” in a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel.
Energoatom, the operator of the Zaporizhzhia NPP in the south of the country, affirmed that parts of the facility had been “seriously damaged” by military strikes and one of its reactors was forced to shut down.
Moreover, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog expressed alarm over the shelling at the plant.
The strikes underline “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster,” stated Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“Any military firepower directed at or from the facility would amount to playing with fire, with potentially catastrophic consequences,” Grossi added.