UN Secretary-General Guterres: Attacking nuclear facilities in Ukraine is suicide; should be subject to scrutiny

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to allow access to the Zaporozhian nuclear power plant, which was attacked in Ukraine.

Guterres, who is in Japan for the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attacks, said, “Any attack on a nuclear power plant is suicide.”

Speaking at a press conference held here, the UN Secretary-General stressed that international inspectors should enter the facility and said, “We fully support all the efforts of the IAEA to stabilize conditions at the facility.”

IAEA Director Rafael Mariano Grossi warned on Saturday that the latest attacks on the facility “underlined the very real risk of a nuclear disaster”, adding that the plant is “totally out of control” and that experts visited the facility to help stabilize the situation and prevent a possible nuclear accident. He urged them to let him quickly.

The attacks on the world’s ninth largest nuclear facility have created worldwide fear.

Ukraine and Russia blame each other

Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the attacks on Zaporizhia, Europe’s largest nuclear facility.

Ukraine announced that Russia launched a new bombardment against Zaporizhia on Saturday, saying that three radiation sensors at the facility were damaged, and an employee was injured in the attacks on Saturday and another in the following days.

Accusing Russia of initiating “nuclear terrorism”, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for more international sanctions targeting Moscow’s nuclear sector.

“No nation in the world can feel safe when its nuclear facility is attacked by a terrorist state,” Zelenskiy said in a public address on Sunday.

Russian forces seized the facility in southeastern Ukraine in early March, but the facility is still operated by Ukrainian technicians.

“The facility was hit by rockets fired by Ukrainians”

Pro-Russian forces controlling the area reported that the facility was hit by multiple rockets fired by Ukrainian forces, the administrative building was damaged and an area near the storage facility was hit. The Russian Embassy in Washington also issued a statement detailing the damage to the facility.

“Ukrainian nationalists launched artillery fire on August 5th. Two high-voltage power lines and a water pipeline were damaged as a result of the bombardment. Critical infrastructure was not affected thanks to the effective and timely intervention of the Russian army protecting the facility,” the statement said.

News agencies reported that they could not obtain confirmation from independent sources that the accuracy of the statements of both sides.

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