Russia and Ukraine blame each other for an attack on the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant | International

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The Ukrainian state company Energoatom has reported this Friday that a Russian bombardment has reached the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. The facilities operated under the administration of Energoatom until the arrival and takeover of the Russian army during an offensive in early March. According to the information provided by this company, the attack has reached a high-voltage electricity line (330 kilowatts) of the plant, the largest in Europe, which would have forced the disconnection of a reactor, but has not caused a radiation leak. The self-proclaimed Russian authorities in the town of Enerhodar, where these facilities are located, have blamed the attack on Ukrainian forces. The Russian news agency Interfax has reported that, according to these authorities, the attack has caused a fire in the plant and the electrical energy necessary for the operation of the reactors had been cut off.

The attack against the Zaporizhia plant, located southeast of kyiv on the Dnieper River, comes two days after the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Italian Rafael Grossi, stated that the plant is “completely out of control” and that “any principle of nuclear security” had been violated. Grossi has requested both the Russian authorities, who control the facilities and the area, and the Ukrainians, to facilitate the arrival of an IAEA team to review the state of the plant five months after Russian soldiers entered its interior to control its operation and the management of its workers.

Moscow has been in favor of IAEA employees traveling to Zaporizhia and thus, according to its version, see how the Ukrainian army “uses the weapons it receives from the West to attack the plant, including with drones.” The kyiv authorities do not see the IAEA mission with good eyes because it would serve as recognition of Russian sovereignty over the area and the facilities.

As reported on Thursday by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), based in Washington and which monitors the course of the war on a daily basis, Russia is allegedly attacking the town of Zaporizhia with heavy weapons from Zaporizhia. Nikopol, located about 300 kilometers to the south and regularly bombed in recent days. Moscow, according to the ISW analysis, is “intentionally putting Ukraine in a difficult position: either return fire, risking international condemnation and a nuclear incident.” [lo que es poco probable que hagan las fuerzas ucranias]or allow Russian forces to continue firing on Ukrainian positions from a safe zone effective”.

On the battlefield, in the east of the country, the Russian offensive focuses its advance on Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Piski, three towns that form a kind of crescent from the area under Russian control to the border that separates the Donbas region, coveted by Moscow, and the rest of the country. The Ukrainian authorities have similarly denounced bombings on Mikolaiv, where the local government has decreed a two-day curfew, and in the northeast of the country, in the towns of Sumi and Chernihiv.

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Putin and Erdogan, in tune

Meanwhile, on the Black Sea coast, three other freighters, two from the port of Chornomorsk, and another from Odessa, have set sail with a total of 58,000 tons of corn, in compliance with the agreement reached separately between Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. , for the unblocking of maritime grain traffic. The three vessels will head for ports in the UK and Ireland. It is the second operation under the framework of this pact after the trip undertaken on Monday by the ship reason to Lebanon with 26,500 tons of grain.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on an official visit to the Russian city of Sochi, spoke precisely about this agreement on Friday. The two leaders, who maintain good relations, despite having clashed on fronts such as Syria or Libya, have staged their cooperation during the four hours that the meeting lasted. “With his direct participation,” Putin said of Erdogan, “and with the mediation of the UN Secretary General, the problem linked to Ukrainian grain supplies from Black Sea ports was solved.” According to Interfax, Ankara has agreed to pay part of its Russian gas purchases in rubles.

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