A fire at one of Europe’s largest nuclear power plants was put out after heavy bombardment by Russian forces early Friday, with major Ukrainian cities under attack from invading forces.
Here’s what you need to know today:
Extinguishing a nuclear plant fire: fire in Zaporizhzhia nuclear power complex It initially raised fears of a possible accident but the fire has since been put out. The International Atomic Energy Agency also said the reactors at the plant were safe and no radioactive material had been released.
However, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said it was “never before” to operate a nuclear plant while military operations raged nearby.
Charges fly: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky led a chorus of leaders who condemned the Kremlin for the deliberate shooting of the factory. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the clashes at the nuclear facility showed the “recklessness of this war”, while British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was “very hard to believe that this was not done on purpose”.
The Ukrainian nuclear company said the plant’s management is now operating at gunpoint.
The Russian Defense Ministry denied the allegations. A spokesman said its forces took control of the factory and adjacent lands on Monday, but were attacked by a “Ukrainian subversive group” early Friday morning.
The Russian government has routinely claimed, without evidence, that the Ukrainian government is carrying out “provocations” to provoke a military response by Western governments.
Major cities under attack: Russia puts Siege of the main Ukrainian city of Mariupol. The deputy mayor of the southeastern city said it was “encircled” by Russian forces and was in dire need of military and humanitarian aid.
In northeastern Ukraine, 34 civilians were killed in Russian attacks on Kharkiv region During the 24-hour period, emergency services said Thursday. The mayor of Kharkiv said the Russian military was “deliberately trying to eliminate the Ukrainian people” because it targets civilian areas. Russian forces are advancing towards Odessaa strategically important city on the southern coast.
Conversations end without a breakA Ukrainian negotiator said Thursday that the second round of talks with Russia did not produce any results that Ukraine needed.
But humanitarian corridors for civilians Agreed upon from both sides. Today, Zelensky said, the world will see if those lanes work.
The worsening humanitarian crisis: The United Nations estimates that more than 10 million people may end up fleeing their homes In Ukraine, including 4 million people may cross the border into neighboring countries. More than a million people have already fled. Do you want to help? You can learn how to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine here.