UKRAINE: After Ukraine and Russia swapped allegations over the weekend shelling of Europe’s largest nuclear plant, UN Secretary-General António Guterres demanded that foreign inspectors be allowed access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
After attending the Hiroshima peace memorial ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic explosion two days earlier, Guterres stated during a press conference in Japan on Monday that “any attack on a nuclear plant is a suicide thing.”
According to Guterres, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needs access to the plant. According to Guterres, “We completely back the IAEA in all their efforts to provide the conditions for stabilisation of the plant.”
At the Zaporizhzhia power station, Ukraine said that new Russian shelling on Saturday had destroyed three radiation sensors and injured a worker, the second attack on the facility in as many days.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, accused Russia of conducting “nuclear terror” that called for additional international sanctions, this time targeting Moscow’s nuclear industry.
In a televised address on Sunday, Zelenskyy declared that “there is no such nation in the world that could feel safe when a terrorist state shoots at a nuclear plant.”
“Russian forces took over the plant in southern Ukraine in early March, but Ukrainian personnel are still in charge,” he added.
Russian-installed authorities in the region said that Ukrainian forces used multiple rocket launchers to attack the site, causing damage to administrative structures and a region close to a storage facility.
Additionally, the Russian embassy in Washington issued a statement detailing the losses.
On August 5, Ukrainian nationalists fired artillery toward the area of the mentioned object. The shelling caused damage to two high-voltage power lines and a water pipeline. According to the embassy, its key infrastructure was spared only because of the Russian military’s quick and successful efforts in securing the nuclear power plant.
Evgeniy Balitskyi, the commander of the occupying forces in Zaporizhzhia, claimed that the Ukrainian troops were at fault and had “chosen to bring the whole of Europe on the edge of a nuclear catastrophe” by attacking the facility.
According to Ukraine, Russia has converted the facility into a military outpost, making it very challenging to attack the Russian personnel and apparatus there. According to the reports, Russia has reportedly used the factory since mid-July as cover from which to fire on Ukrainian soldiers.
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington-based think tank, predicted on August 3 that Russian forces were probably using the power plant to play on Western fears of a nuclear disaster in Ukraine. “Russia was essentially utilising the facility as a nuclear shield to prevent Ukrainian strikes on Russian forces and equipment,” the ISW continued.
It has been impossible to conclusively identify the side that launched the attack on the power plant.
The latest attempt, said IAEA director Rafael Mariano Grossi on Saturday, “underlines the very real possibility of a nuclear calamity.”
According to British and Ukrainian military sources, Russia is bolstering its fortifications and forces on the southern front of Ukraine to get ready for a possible Ukrainian counteroffensive and is probably prepping the area for an attack.
“It’s highly likely that Russian forces are gathering in the south, either in anticipation of a Ukrainian counteroffensive or in readiness for an assault. Long convoys of Russian military vehicles, including trucks, tanks, and artillery, have been seen travelling from the Donbas to the southwest,” according to the UK’s defence ministry, supporting earlier claims made by the deputy military intelligence chief of Ukraine.
A different source with Ukraine’s military intelligence claims that Russian forces are using drones to conduct aerial reconnaissance over the area and setting fire to the frontlines in the occupied Kherson region to prevent Ukrainian forces from advancing on their positions.
They are also increasing the number of units attacking Mykolaiv and the south of the Dnipropetrovsk region. According to the same source, Russian forces vigorously engaged Ukrainian troops in the captured Zaporizhzhia region while also sending in new battalions to bolster their numbers.