AIn view of the fighting over the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has called on the West to impose sanctions on Russia’s nuclear industry. The punitive measures would have to be taken by the nuclear industry of the aggressor state, Zelensky said in a video speech distributed in Kyiv on Saturday evening. Nuclear power Russia is building nuclear power plants in several countries and also storing radioactive waste.
Russia is using the nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine to scare people and to blackmail the Ukrainian leadership and the whole world. For days, Kyiv and Moscow have been accusing each other of being responsible for the shelling of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. Russia has occupied the sprawling facility in the city of Enerhodar for months.
Zelenskyy accused the Russian troops of using the area as a fortress in order to shoot at the small towns of Nikopol and Marhanets on the other bank of the Dnipro Dam. He warned that the deployment of Russian troops on the site of the nuclear power plant “increases the radioactive threat to Europe to a level not seen even at the most difficult moments of confrontation during the Cold War.”
Zelenskyy went on to say: “Of course there has to be a tough reaction to this.” Ukrainian diplomats and representatives of the partner countries are now doing everything to block Russia’s nuclear industry. At the same time, the President called for international criminal justice to hold the officials responsible in the “state of terror” accountable. In addition, every Russian soldier who shells the nuclear power plant or hides there becomes a target for Ukrainian secret agents and the army.
With six reactors and a net output of 5700 megawatts, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant was occupied by Russian troops in early March. It is of strategic importance for the country’s electricity supply. Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February. The leadership in Moscow and the occupation authorities in Zaporizhia have rejected demands to return the nuclear power plant to Ukrainian control. In 1986, the worst nuclear accident on European soil occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine.
Bridge no longer passable
In the south of Ukraine, the car bridge of the Nowa Kakhovka dam in the Cherson region is no longer passable, according to Ukrainian information as a result of several attacks. The Ukrainian Army Command South announced on Facebook on Saturday that the bridge had been deliberately rendered unusable by rocket and artillery units. The administration of the Russian occupiers confirmed the shelling. At the same time, she warned of damage to the dam wall, which could lead to a catastrophe. The information could not be checked independently.
According to the operators, the output of the connected hydroelectric power station has been reduced to emergency operation. “We are working in a very dangerous mode,” said the power plant’s deputy chief Arsenyy Zelenskyy, according to the Russian state news agency TASS. The state television channel RT reported regular shelling of the bridge over the ship canal and the dam itself.
Since the beginning of the war of aggression against the neighboring country at the end of February, Russia has largely conquered the southern Ukrainian region of Cherson on the lower reaches of the Dnipro River. The Ukrainian army is now trying to destroy the only three river crossings there using long-range missile systems. This is intended to prevent the Russian army from being replenished on the right bank and to enable recapture.
The Ukrainians had previously rendered the railway bridge and the road bridge at Cherson unusable. Therefore, the Russian troops built a ferry service for civilians across the river, which is about one kilometer wide, and according to reports also several pontoon bridges for the military.
Hungary has been receiving additional gas supplies from Russia since Friday
According to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, Russia has started additional gas deliveries to the EU member country. After negotiations between Moscow and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto last month, the Russian company Gazprom began supplying more gas on Friday than “already contractually agreed,” ministry representative Tamas Menczer said on Facebook on Saturday.
According to him, by the end of August, an additional 2.6 million cubic meters per day will come to Hungary through the TurkStream pipeline. Menczer explained that further deliveries in September are still being negotiated. He emphasized that it is “the duty of the Hungarian government to ensure the country’s secure supply of natural gas”.
Foreign Minister Szijjarto made an unannounced visit to Moscow in July to discuss the purchase of an additional 700 million cubic meters of gas. The acquisition of such large quantities of gas is “impossible” given the current “European market conditions” without Russian sources, Menczer said on Saturday.
A gas emergency plan has been in force within the EU since Tuesday to deal with the energy crisis triggered by the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. The regulation provides for voluntary natural gas savings in the winter of 15 percent per country, but it allows numerous exceptions for states. Hungary is one of the countries that had requested an exception. The country is particularly dependent on Russian energy imports.
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