UN calls for end to ‘madness’ of attacks near Zaporizhzhia plant

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IAEA says some of the shelling ‘targeting’ Europe’s biggest nuclear plant as Ukraine and Russia trade blame over responsibility.

The United Nations atomic watchdog chief has condemned what he described as targeted attacks on the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, calling for a “stop to this madness”.

Powerful explosions from shelling shook Ukraine’s Zaporizhia region, the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, over the weekend.

A heavy barrage of Russian military attacks — almost 400 on Sunday alone — also hit Ukraine’s eastern regions, and fierce ground battles were underway in eastern Donetsk province, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his evening update on Sunday.

“The news from our team yesterday and this morning are extremely disturbing,” Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a statement on Sunday.

“Explosions occurred at the site of this major nuclear power plant, which is completely unacceptable.

“Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately,” he added.

“As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!”

In renewed shelling close to and at the site, IAEA experts at the Zaporizhzhia facility reported hearing more than a dozen blasts within a short period on Sunday morning and could see some explosions from their windows, the agency said.

Agencies

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