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Zelenskyy condemns Russian “terror” after damaging the nuclear power plant

#Zelenskyy #condemns #Russian #terror #damaging #nuclear #power #plant

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday accused Russia of using the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant “for terror” after the plant’s operator reported extensive damage to the site.

Energoatom, operator of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in the south of the country, said on Saturday that parts of the plant had been “seriously damaged” by military strikes and one of its reactors had to be shut down.

Friday’s strikes damaged a nitrogen and oxygen station and an outbuilding, Energoatom said on the Telegram news service.

As hostilities raged in eastern and southern Ukraine, pro-Moscow authorities in the Russian-held Kherson region reported another assassination attempt on a senior official.

And the head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine office said she had resigned from the organization over the group’s publication of a controversial report accusing the country’s military of endangering civilians.

Kyiv and Moscow blame each other for the attacks on the Zaporizhia power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant complex.

Zelenskyy again accused Moscow of terrorism in his nightly address on Saturday, saying: “Russian terrorists were the first in the world to use the power plant … for terror.”

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, condemned the attack “as a serious and irresponsible violation of nuclear safety regulations and as another example of Russia’s disregard for international norms”.

The head of UN nuclear surveillance also expressed alarm. The strikes underscore “the very real risk of a nuclear catastrophe,” said Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

– Another assassination offer –

An official of the Russian occupation authorities in Kherson was seriously injured in an attempted assassination on Saturday, local Moscow-backed officials said.

Vitaly Gur “is in critical condition in hospital with multiple gunshot wounds,” an unnamed official told the Russian state news agency TASS. Gur is deputy head of the Kakhovka district, about 80 kilometers east of the city of Kherson.

This was the latest in a series of assassination attempts on officials in Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine.

Although Russia has captured much of the Kherson region and part of nearby Zaporizhia in recent months, Ukrainian forces have recaptured some areas.

In his address on Saturday, Zelenskyi slammed Amnesty International, comparing the human rights group’s accusations against Ukraine’s military to its silence on Russia’s actions.

Regarding the strikes at the Zaporizhia plant, he said that although they constituted “one of the most dangerous crimes against Ukrainians and all Europeans”, for some reason there is still no report or even a simple message from Amnesty International about it.

“It is a very eloquent silence that once again indicates a manipulative selectivity of this organization,” he added.

Amnesty has sparked outrage in Ukraine with a report released on Thursday accusing the military of endangering civilians by setting up bases in schools and hospitals and launching counter-attacks from densely populated areas.

– line amnesty report –

The head of Amnesty’s office in Ukraine resigned from the organization in protest.

“Unless you live in a country occupied by occupiers who are tearing it to pieces, you probably don’t understand what it’s like to condemn an ​​army of defenders,” Oksana Pokalchuk said on social media late Friday.

“And there are no words in any language that can convey that to someone who hasn’t experienced that pain.”

Pokalchuk said she tried to warn Amnesty’s management that the report was one-sided and did not adequately reflect Ukraine’s position, but was ignored.

Amnesty Secretary General Agnes Callamard expressed regret at her departure and paid tribute to her work. But the organization stands by its report.

On Friday, Ukrainian officials said three grain ships had left Ukraine after the first in months put to sea on Monday under a deal to avert widespread food shortages.

Another five cargo ships are due to leave Ukraine’s ports of Odessa and Chernomorsk on Sunday, according to a statement from the Black Sea Grains Initiative Joint Coordination Center – the organization coordinating the operation agreed between Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Nations.

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