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Ukraine: the Zaporizhia power plant came close to 'nuclear accident', according to Kiev | War in Ukraine

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The Russian army still controls the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. (Archive photo)

Agence France-Presse

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The Ukrainian Zaporizhia power plant, in the hands of Moscow forces, was temporarily cut off from the electricity network during the night from Friday to Saturday, creating a risk of a “nuclear accident” according to the Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom, even though the Russians claimed security had been ensured.

Last night, a total blackout occurred at the Zaporizhia power plant, and generators had to be used, Energoatom wrote on Telegram, adding that power was restored a few hours later, around 7 a.m. Saturday.

The Russian administration of the Zaporizhzhia power plant admitted that the external power supply had been cut off, however assuring that' no violation of its safe operating conditions had been noted.

The level of radiation at the plant site is normal, she assured on Telegram.

The International Agency for Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Saturday that Europe's largest plant had been without power for the eighth time since the start of the conflict, heightening concerns over nuclear safety and security .

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Two power lines supplying the plant were cut, one of which was knocked out during an air raid, Energoatom said.

But this power outage is dangerous for the proper functioning of the plant, which was on the verge of a nuclear and radiation accident, he said.

Ukrainian specialists were finally able to restore the power supply from the external network, the operator continued.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine has remained in Russian hands since the country's invasion in early 2022.

It has, in the past, been targeted by gunfire and cut off from the electricity grid on several occasions, a precarious situation which has raised fears of a major nuclear accident.

The failure of one of the two lines appears to be due to an incident that occurred far from the plant, the IAEA said, without providing further details.

The latest external power outage is a new reminder of the precarious nature of nuclear safety and plant security, which can be affected by events far removed from the site itself.

A quote from Rafael Grossi, director general of the IAEA

Energoatom president Petro Kotine accused Russian forces of not concern about safety at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

They will continue to create dangerous situations, blackmailing the whole world with a nuclear and radiation accident, he concluded.

In addition, one person was killed and four others injured in several Russian strikes on eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian authorities said on Saturday, asserting moreover that their army still resisted the daily assaults of the Russians at Avdiïvka.

A civilian was killed by shelling in the town of Chasiv Yar, and two others were injured in Toretsk and Bogdanivka, the Ministry of Defense said. Ukrainian interior on Telegram.

The Donetsk region, where these localities are located, is one of the four territories to which Russia has claimed #x27;annexation in 2022, with Kherson, Zaporizhia and Lugansk.

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Russia increases bombings in eastern Ukraine. (Archive photo)

His army does not completely control them, but the fighting there is particularly intense.

In the Cherniguiv region (north), a family, coming to visit a relative in the border town of Semenivka, found themselves under enemy fire on Saturday, said Governor Viatcheslav Tchaouss.

A man and his daughter, whose age was not specified, were injured and hospitalized, he added.

Elsewhere, the Ukrainian army said that Moscow's forces were carrying out daily assaults on Avdiivka, where they have increased their pressure in recent months.

They are also trying to enter the coking plant bordering its northern part, which is the largest factory of its type in Ukraine, according to Ukrainian forces.

Kiev soldiers nevertheless managed to repel these attacks, the army said.

For almost two months, the Russians have been trying to seize Avdiïvka, an industrial city near Donetsk.

Russian soldiers are to the east, north and south of the city, now largely in ruins, almost surrounded, but still served by an asphalt road.

Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) also reported that an act of resistance carried out on Friday in the Ukrainian town of Melitopol, controlled by Moscow forces, caused the deaths of several Russian occupants .

This operation also targeted an enemy tanker, rendering military equipment incapacitated, said the GUR.

AFP has not been able to verify these claims, but Ukraine regularly claims actions of this type in occupied territory.

Melitopol, a southern city conquered shortly after the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022, is important for the logistics of the Russian army.

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