Zelensky warns Russian soldiers at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

2022-08-14 13:10:38
Zelensky warns Russian soldiers at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as "nuclear blackmail", warning that any Russian soldiers who shot at or under the cover of the plant now a "special target" for Ukraine.

Russia seized Europe's largest nuclear plant in March and has been accused of turning it into an army base, prompting warnings of a nuclear disaster.

The facility has been shelled in recent days, with sides blaming each other.

The six-nuclear reactor Zaporizhzhia station is located in the city of Enerhodar, on the eastern bank of the Dnieper River (Dnipro in Ukrainian) in southern Ukraine.

The UN has warned that continued hostilities around the station could lead to a nuclear disaster affecting much of Europe.

Russia has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing at the plant.

It says it seized control of the plant to prevent leaks of radioactive materials during fighting in the region.

During his address late on Saturday, Mr Zelensky said Russia had engaged in "constant provocations" by firing on the plant and said forces stationed there had used it as a base to shell the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets - on the other bank of the river.

This was being done, the president said, to "blackmail our state and the entire free world". But he stressed that "Russian blackmail only mobilises even more global efforts to confront terror".

"Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots under the cover of the plant, must understand that he is becoming a special target for our intelligence, for our special services, for our army," the president said.

He added that "every day" of Russia's occupation of the plant "increases the radiation threat to Europe".

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