Europe on nuclear alert: 'Windows shatter' as Russia strikes city near major power plant

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Russian artillery strikes have targeted the city of Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia – just miles from the massive nuclear power plant of the same name, currently controlled by Putin’s forces. The Kyiv Independent tweeted: “Acting Mayor of Zaporizhzhia Anatoly Kurtev said a Russian strike on the city on Sept. 15 damaged the building of an enterprise, shattering the windows and causing a temporary blackout. No casualties were reported.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin told United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday that he welcomed “constructive” cooperation with the IAEA nuclear watchdog following its visit to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the Kremlin said.

However, that does not seem to have stopped his military commanders from attacking the nearby city, irrespective of the obvious risks of doing so.

On Monday, the last operating reactor at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine was been put into what is known as a cold shutdown after an external power line was restored, making it possible to shut it down more safely.

On Friday, Raphael Grossi, direcor-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), warned shelling had destroyed the switchyard of a nearby thermal power plant supplying power the the power station.

Mr Grossi called for an “immediate cessation of all shelling in the entire area”, adding: “This is an unsustainable situation and is becoming increasingly precarious.”

Separately, Russian forces yesterday launched eight cruise missiles against the southern Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, 80 miles to the west of Zaporizhzhia, in an apparent attempt to disrupt water supplies.

Kirill Timoshenko, the deputy head of the president’s office, said in an online post that there had been no civilian casualties in the attack.

However, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the interior minister, later tweeted a video of what appeared to be a small bridge being washed away.

He commented: “Rockets were directed at hydraulic structures.

“This caused water level of (the) Inhulets river to increase, threatening the city.”

(More to follow)

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