Zelensky warns of ‘catastrophic consequences’ from Russian actions at nuclear plant

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 28, 2022. The Ukrainian government estimates it will cost $750 billion to rebuild war-ravaged parts of the country.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky blasted Russia on Thursday for shelling around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, calling on the United Nations to secure the site.

Zelensky’s comments come as Ukraine and Russia have blamed each other for shelling the Russian-operated plant in southern Ukraine. The conflict has heightened fears of a nuclear disaster.

“This deliberate terror on the part of the aggressor can have global catastrophic consequences for the whole world,” the Ukrainian president said. “Therefore, the U.N. must ensure the security of this strategic site, its demilitarization and complete liberation from Russian troops.”

Zelensky also warned earlier this week that the situation at the nuclear site could develop into a catastrophe if the plant is not properly defended and that the “consequences may also hit those who remain silent so far.”

“Any radiation incident at the Zaporizhzhia NPP can affect the countries of the European Union, Turkey, Georgia and countries from more distant regions,” the Ukrainian leader said.

Zelensky and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres agreed Thursday for a group from the International Atomic Energy Agency to visit the plant, though it was not immediately clear if Russia would submit to the arrangement. Zelensky asked Guterres to secure the safety of the plant and execute its demilitarization.

Zelensky also pushed for Russian military to leave Zaporizhzhia in a video address Wednesday, claiming that “only absolute transparency and control of the situation” could deliver nuclear safety.

Tags Antonio Guterres nuclear plant Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine invasion Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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