Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.
The projectile hit a high-voltage power line at the Zaporizhzhia plant, prompting the operators to disconnect the reactor, although no radioactive leaks were detected.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Moscow of committing “an open, brazen crime” and “an act of terrorism” – and is calling for new sanctions against Russia’s entire nuclear industry .
In a late-night address, he said: “It is purely a security issue. Those who pose a nuclear threat to other countries are certainly not capable of using nuclear technology. safely.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry warned: “The possible consequences of hitting an operating reactor are equivalent to using an atomic bomb.”
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry declared Ukraine’s armed forces to be to blame and considered it fortunate to have avoided a radioactive leak.
It said in a statement: “Fortunately, the Ukrainian shells did not hit the nearby oil and fuel facility and oxygen plant, thus avoiding a larger fire and a launch accident. radiation may occur.”
Energoatom – Ukraine’s national nuclear power company – said that the Zaporizhzhia plant is still operating and no radiation has been detected.
Earlier this week, the United Nations nuclear watchdog called for access to the plant, with Washington claiming that Russia was using the site as a battlefield shield.
More grain shipments leave Ukraine
In another development, three more ships carrying thousands of tons of corn leaving the port of Ukraine on Friday.
It’s another sign that a grain export deal stuck since Russia’s invasion of the country nearly six months ago is slowly getting underway.
But barriers still lie ahead to get food to the countries that need it most, and experts claim much of the supply Ukraine is trying to export will be used for animal feed.
The shipments are not expected to have a significant impact on global corn, wheat and soybean prices.