Moscow and Kyiv exchange accusations after the bombing of a Ukrainian nuclear power plant

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LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) – The Russian Defense Ministry on Friday accused Ukrainian forces of bombing the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, saying a radiation leak was only averted. Luckily.

He said that as a result, the production capacity of one unit was reduced and the power supply to another was cut off. In addition, the nearby town of Enerhodar was suffering from electricity and water supply problems, it added in a statement.

“Fortunately, the Ukrainian shells did not hit the nearby oil and fuel facility and oxygen plant, thus averting a larger fire and a possible radiological accident,” he said.

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Ukraine’s state nuclear power company, Energoatom, said earlier that Russia had bombed the plant, but it was still operational and no radioactive discharge had been detected. Two of the six reactors are still operating.

“The possible consequences of an impact on a working reactor are equivalent to the use of an atomic bomb,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter, accusing Russia of using “many provocations” in the process. central.

Russia’s Enerhodar administration said on Friday that power lines at the plant were cut by a Ukrainian artillery strike. The facility continues to be managed by its Ukrainian technicians.

Enerhodar and the nearby nuclear power plant were seized by invading Russian troops in early March and are still close to the front line.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday accused Moscow of using the plant as a shield for its forces, and Ukraine accused Russia of bombing its positions from positions near the plant.

A Russian-installed official in Ukraine, however, said Wednesday that Ukrainian forces had repeatedly attacked the plant with Western munitions.

Reuters was unable to verify reports from the battlefield.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has urged the international community to “take urgent steps to force Russia” to return the nuclear power plant to Ukrainian control.

Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said this week that contact with the plant was “fragile” and communications were not working every day. He requested access to determine if it was a source of danger.

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Reuters reporting; Editing by Kevin Liffey, David Ljunggren and Sandra Maler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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