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Russian forces dig in at Ukrainian nuclear plant, witnesses say

Tom Balmforth and Sarah McFarlane, Fri, 19 May 2023,Yahoo! Lifestyle

LONDON (Reuters) -Russian military forces have been enhancing defensive positions in and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine in recent weeks, four witnesses said, ahead of an expected counteroffensive in the region.

New trenches have been dug around the city and more mines have been laid. Surveillance cameras at the plant are pointing north across a wide reservoir towards Ukrainian-controlled territory.

The Russians have had firing positions set up atop some of the plant’s buildings for several months. Nets have been erected in a possible deterrent to drones.

The measures described by two Ukrainians who work at the power plant and two other residents in the city of Enerhodar underline the risks the war poses to the security of the facility.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears for their safety in a city under Russian occupation.

Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom said any possible military action by Ukraine posed a threat to nuclear safety, and that the plant’s equipment was being maintained properly. The Ukrainian military intelligence agency and the Russian defence ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Some nuclear industry experts said they were alarmed and warned that any damage to the plant could have dire consequences for people, the surrounding area, the war and the global nuclear industry.

………………………………… there is concern in the international community that the six-reactor nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, could be caught up in fighting, particularly as military analysts expect Ukraine to try to push Russian forces back in the Zaporizhzhia region.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog says that the military presence and activity is growing in the region, underlining the need for urgent action. It has warned for months of the danger of a major accident at the plant.

The agency plans to present a deal between Russia and Ukraine to the U.N. Security Council later this month to protect the facility, four diplomats told Reuters……………………………………………………………


May 21, 2023 - Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war

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