IRYNA BALACHUK — THURSDAY, 11 AUGUST 2022, 15:06
Russia could provoke the largest accident in history at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), and this would essentially constitute the use of nuclear weapons without an actual nuclear strike.
Source: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a speech via video link at a conference of Ukraine’s partner countries at defence-minister level on 11 August
Quote from Zelenskyy: "I am sure that each of you has already thought about how to act if Russia uses so-called tactical nuclear weapons. Consider this too: Russia could provoke the largest nuclear accident in history at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, and in terms of actual consequences, this could be even more catastrophic than Chornobyl, and in essence [it’s] the same as Russia using nuclear weapons, but without a nuclear strike."
Details: The president stressed that no one can stop the wind if it carries radiation, but the whole world is capable of "stopping the terrorist state" as long as it stands together.
According to Zelenskyy, the sooner it is possible to stop Russia, the sooner Europe and the world will be able to feel safe again. For that to happen, it is necessary to boost the sanctions against the Russian Federation and not allow them to be circumvented. In particular, tough sanctions are necessary against the state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom and the entire Russian nuclear industry.
Furthermore, according to the president, Ukraine needs even more support in terms of weapons and ammunition. And it needs weapons "of such power and such range that Russia will be forced to finally consider finding a peaceful solution."
"We must protect Europe from this threat. Protect it all together. And probably not only Europe, because the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine is the largest [nuclear power plant] on our continent. It is the third largest in the world. Six power units!" Zelenskyy concluded.
On 5 August, Energoatom [the Ukrainian state enterprise operating nuclear power stations in Ukraine - ed.] reported that the Russian occupiers had shelled the premises of the ZNPP twice in one day. First, three strikes were recorded near the industrial site – the Russian occupying forces hit a high-voltage line.
Later, the Russians hit the ZNPP with MLRS; a projectile fell near one of the power units where the nuclear reactor is located.
On the evening of 6 August, the Russian occupiers fired rockets at Enerhodar and hit the ZNPP site directly next to the station's dry storage of spent nuclear fuel.
Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) nations released a statement on the situation at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, demanding that Russia immediately hand back control of the power plant to Ukraine.
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