Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear power company Enerhoatom said parts of the captured Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant were “seriously damaged” after an oxygen and nitrogen station and an “outbuilding” were hit by shelling. There is now an increased risk of fire and radiation.
On Telegram on Saturday, the agency said: “The Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant is at risk of violating radiation and fire protection standards.”
“There remains a risk of hydrogen leakage and spreading radioactive particles, and the risk of fire is also high,” Enerhoatom added.
Moscow and Kiev have exchanged accusations about who is responsible for the attacks on the factory. The state energy company said staff at the Ukrainian power plant are working to maintain security but are still under threat as Russian troops occupy the plant.
On Friday, shelling hit a power line near the factory. Technicians disconnected a reactor as a precaution, although no radioactive leak was detected.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi has been calling for access to the facility for weeks and has described the situation there in extremely precarious terms. Ukraine has rejected those requests out of concern that it legitimizes the Russian occupation of the factory.
Grossi said on Saturday that the shelling at the plant “underscores the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond”.
Ukraine said employees of the Russian state atomic energy organization Rosatom left the site before the shelling started, while Ukrainian workers remained. Ukraine added that the factory is still generating electricity.
On Twitter, top EU diplomat Josep Borrell “condemned” military activity around the factory. He called it “a serious and irresponsible violation of nuclear safety rules and another example of Russia’s disregard for international standards.”
Here are the other major headlines about the war in Ukraine on August 6.
Head of Amnesty International Ukraine leaves after controversial report
Oksana Pokalchuk, the director of Amnesty International’s Ukrainian office, left the organization after allegations made against the Ukrainian military in a report by Amnesty.
The rights group accused the Ukrainian military of endangering civilians by using residential areas as bases for military operations in several cities after the February 24 Russian invasion.
Kiev has responded to the report by comparing the report to Russian propaganda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Amnesty International is blaming the victim and assisting in Russia’s unprovoked attack on his country.
On Friday, Pokalchuk wrote on Facebook that local Amnesty officials have consistently noted that their organization should consider information from Ukraine’s Defense Ministry before issuing similar reports.
“As a result, the organization has, unknowingly, created material that sounded like support for Russian stories. In an effort to protect civilians, this study became a tool of Russian propaganda,” Pokalchuk said.
“It pains me to admit it, but we disagreed with Amnesty International’s leadership on values,” she added.
“That is why I have decided to leave the organization.”
Russian offensive in Donetsk continues around Bakhmut
Ukraine’s general staff said in its morning report on the situation that Russia is continuing its offensive in Donetsk and that heavy fighting has broken out in Bakhmut. The city of Bakhmut is the hub of the defense of Ukraine in the eastern Donbas region.
“The Russian occupiers continue to carry out air and missile strikes against military and civilian objects on the territory of Ukraine,” military officials said.
Ukrainian troops in the Donbas region are headquartered around Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, in an area where half a million people lived before the war. The Donbas consists of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and is currently approximately 60% occupied by Russian or Russian-backed troops.
To the east, the Ukrainian defense line is secured along the towns of Siversk, Soledar and Bakhmut, but that line is now under attack as Russian forces are on the outskirts of Siversk and Soledar. The Bakhmut interchange has seen the heaviest fighting with shelling and artillery shelling in the area.
There is also fighting on the outskirts of Donetsk, where the Russians hope to push back the Ukrainian positions. Ukraine’s general staff said it had repulsed several Russian attacks on the small town of Avdiivka.
British intelligence expects war to enter a new phase
British intelligence expects the war to move to a new phase with the heaviest fighting in the southwest from near Zaporizhzhya to Kherson along a front line parallel to the Dnieper River.
Russian forces gather in the south in anticipation of a possible Ukraine attempt to retake Kherson. The UK reports that Russian equipment and equipment are moving from the Donbass region to the Russian-occupied cities of Berdiansk, Mariupol and Melitopol, as well as Crimea.
Ukrainian attacks on Russian military infrastructure targets such as bridges, munitions depots and rail links are taking effect and wreaking havoc on Russia’s logistical supply efforts.
Hiroshima Mayor Condemns Russian Invasion Over Atomic Bomb
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui condemned Russia for invading Ukraine during his remarks at a ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the American dropping of the atomic bomb on his city to mark Japan’s unconditional surrender in World War II to enforce.
“When invading Ukraine, the Russian leader, chosen to protect the lives and property of his people, uses them as instruments of war and steals the lives and livelihoods of civilians in another country,” Matsui said.
“All over the world,” Matsui said, “the idea that peace depends on nuclear deterrence is gaining strength.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also attended the ceremony in Peace Park.
The Russian ambassador was not invited to participate along with other diplomats and dignitaries. But earlier this week, Russia’s ambassador to Japan, Mikhail Galuzin, left flowers at a memorial stone in the park.
More about the war in Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met for four hours on Friday in Sochi, with Ukraine on the agenda.
In Germany, the Commissioner for Anti-Roma Discrimination urged more aid for Roma in Ukraine.
TNZT also takes a closer look at how the tourism industry in Odessa, a popular resort town with both Ukrainians and foreigners, is surviving during the conflict.
ar/dj (TNZT, TNZT, dpa, Reuters)