Russia Seizes Largest Nuclear Plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhia, As Ukraine Invasion Intensifies
Russian forces seized Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant early Friday morning causing a fire to break out at the facility.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on Russia for a “ceasefire,” warning that if the plant blew up it would be “10 times larger than Chernobyl,” which was the largest nuclear disaster in history.
Russian army is firing from all sides upon Zaporizhzhia NPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Fire has already broke out. If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chornobyl! Russians must IMMEDIATELY cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone!
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 4, 2022
The fire was extinguished a few hours later and officials confirmed that the plant was okay. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that “essential” equipment and radiation levels at the plant were unaffected.
— IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency (@iaeaorg) March 4, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the attack “terror at an unprecedented level.”
“They know where they are shooting,” he said in a message posted on Telegram. “If there is an explosion it is the end for all of us. The end of Europe. The evacuation of Europe.”
Zelensky asked NATO again to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but a move like that could put U.S. troops in combat with Russia.
Zaporizhzhia is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, home to six of Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors.
Condemnations on Russia continued to pour in from Western powers over Russia’s decision to overtake Zaporizhzhia.
“We are seeking an urgent session of the UN Security Council and will use all the legal and political means at our disposal to address the issue,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss wrote on Twitter.
The reckless attack on Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is hugely concerning and we are relieved that the fire has been extinguished. We are seeking an urgent session of the @UN Security Council and will use all the legal and political means at our disposal to address the issue.
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) March 4, 2022