More bombs on the Zaporizhzhia plant, the IAEA team arrives. Major maneuvers on the southern front: “The counter-offensive to free Kherson has begun”
ZAPORIZHZHYA. The bill at the rove has startedwake for the arrival of the inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, around which the crossfire that yesterday hit the roof of one of the plant’s buildings is tightening, causing fear of accidents and radioactive leaks. While the exchange of accusations between Moscow and Kiev on the authorship of the attacks is raging, which risk deteriorating the minimum security framework within which the envoys of the United Nations agency will have to operate. «The day has arrived – announces the general manager of Aiea, Rafael Grossi -. The Support and Assistance Mission in Zaporizhzhya (Isamz) is on its way. We must protect the safety of the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and Europe. Proud to lead this mission, which will arrive at the end of this week ». There are 13 experts led by Grossi, among them is the Italian Massimo Aparo, deputy general manager and head of the safeguard department of the same agency. The team arrived yesterday in Kiev from where it will move to Zaporizhzhia, the arrival is expected by the end of the week.
“It is the most difficult mission in the history of the organization”, says Dmytro Kuleba, “because of Russia’s attacks on the ground, but also because of the brazen way in which Moscow is trying to legitimize its presence,” added the minister of Foreign Ukrainian. At least ten people were injured, including two seriously, in yesterday’s attacks against Enerhodar, the town that hosts the plant. Such “systematic” actions are nuclear “blackmail” against Ukraine and Europe, thunders Volodymyr Zelensky. “Russia is the only terrorist in the world who has managed to turn a nuclear power plant into a battlefield and is constantly doing everything to alarm Europe, where the wind can carry this radiation if, God forbid, a disaster, ”says the Ukrainian president. But there is an exchange of accusations on the authorship of the sorties. Russian forces controlling the area claim that the roof of a facility at the power plant was hit by Kiev artillery, “a US-made M777 howitzer.” And they increase the dose by claiming the shooting down of a Ukrainian kamikaze drone, the second in two days, also of American production, which was trying to carry out an attack in the area of the plant. The fear of accidents keeps the population and the authorities themselves in check, to the point that the distribution of iodine tablets has begun to those who live near the plant to cope with any exposure to radiation.
The global community should “relegate nuclear weapons to history, once and for all,” says Antonio Guterres, on the occasion of the International Day against Atomic Tests. «Our world has been held hostage» by this type of weapons «for too long – explains the UN secretary general -. Such devices of death do not guarantee victory or safety: as they are designed, their only result is destruction ». In the meantime, an appeal has come from the G7 for the IAEA to have free access to the plant. Russia, for its part, says it is ready to guarantee the safety of inspectors, replies the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. “Of course – he warns – the necessary levels of security will be guaranteed on the territory controlled by Russia”. The inspectors, he added, will come from the territory under Ukrainian control and “as far as we know it will be the Ukrainians who will guarantee security on that territory”. The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, hopes that “the conclusions of the experts will be objective and free from political bias.” But the Russian authorities of the Zaporizhzhia region do not expect much from the mission: «We understand that today the Americans have in their pockets all the European structures that, to a large extent, work only for their interests. In any case, we will guarantee safety, we hope that this visit will change something ».
However, the “infowar” between Kiev and Moscow goes beyond the question of the power plant and extends to the southern front where the counter-offensive is expected of the forces of Kiev. According to Natalia Humeniuk, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian Southern command, the great maneuvers have already begun “in various directions, including in the Kherson region”, where troops have penetrated the Russian first line of defense. The Russian positions of Antonivka, Oleshky, Nova Kakhovka, Liubymivka and Beryslav were also targeted. “Fake news of Ukrainian propaganda”, replies the Russian leader in Crimea, Serghei Aksyonov, according to which, on the contrary, the Ukrainians are suffering “extreme losses in the south and in all other sectors, but they must show the activities to their Western masters” . The pro-Russian deputy governor Kirill Stremousov echoes him: «Nobody is freeing Kherson. Nobody is retreating anywhere. ‘
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