YouN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on international inspectors to grant access to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia traded allegations over the shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant over the weekend.
“Any attack on a nuclear plant is a suicide thing,” Mr Guterres said in Japan, where he attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial ceremony to celebrate the 77th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear bombing.
Ukraine said on Saturday that renewed Russian shelling damaged three radiation sensors and injured a worker at the Zaporizhzhya power plant, the second hit in days at the site.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of waging “nuclear terror”, this time with more international sanctions on Moscow’s nuclear sector.
“There is no country in the world that can feel safe when a terrorist country fires at a nuclear plant,” Zelensky said on Sunday.
Russian forces captured the plant in south-eastern Ukraine in early March but it is still manned by Ukrainian technicians.
The Russian-established authority for the region said Ukrainian forces attacked the site with more than one rocket launcher, damaging administrative buildings and an area near a storage facility. The Russian embassy in Washington also issued a statement detailing the damage.
“Ukrainian nationalists launched an artillery strike on the territory of the specified object on August 5. Two high-voltage power lines and a water pipeline were damaged as a result of the shelling. Only thanks to the effective and timely action of the Russian army. While covering the nuclear power facility, its critical infrastructure was not affected,” the embassy said.