May 19, 2024

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Russia seizes Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

Russia seizes Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

Russia has formally taken over the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, according to a decree signed by its President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.

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After the announcement, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Croci, who had planned to visit Kyiv and Moscow this week, announced he would travel to the Ukrainian capital to discuss establishing a safety zone around the plant. .

The latter, the largest in Europe, is located in the Zaporizhia region, one of the Ukrainian territories officially annexed by Russia last week, and not far from the dividing line between Kyiv and Moscow-occupied territories.

“The government must ensure that the plant’s nuclear installations (…) are considered federal property”, can we read in the Russian decree?

Ukrainian operator Energoatom, for its part, said it considered Vladimir Putin’s decree “null and void, absurd and irrelevant”.

“The Zaporizhia power plant will continue to operate in Ukraine, in accordance with Ukrainian law, in the Ukrainian energy system, Energoatom,” the company added in a telegram.

When the plant’s executive management was transferred to Moscow on Wednesday, Energoatom was outraged that it had “created fake companies with the name of Ukrainian companies”.

This Russian decision shows “the agony of the crazy fantasy world of the occupying country” and scolded the Ukrainian operator.

Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of bombing the site for months, with the strikes raising fears of a major nuclear disaster similar to the one at Chernobyl in 1986.

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Last weekend, the plant’s Ukrainian director, Igor Murachev, was briefly detained by the Russians before being released. Energoatom’s boss, Pedro Codin, announced Wednesday morning that he had taken over.