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Ukraine says Vladimir Putin wants ‘another Chernobyl’ after nuclear plant attack as Boris seeks emergency UN meeting


UKRAINE has accused Vladimir Putin of wanting “another Chernobyl” after Russian forces attacked the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe.

The country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Russia was guilty of “nuclear terror” after the plant was set alight, as Boris Johnson announced he would be seeking an emergency U.N meeting.


Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused the Russians of ‘nuclear terror’[/caption]


Military vehicles at the nuclear power plant[/caption]

Fire from Russian forces hitting the buildings which burst into flames
Enormous clouds of black smoke rising from the city of Enerhodar
sebastian usher

The battle was raging for most of the day[/caption]

Dramatic live stream video from the site in Enerhodar showed Russian troops blasting away at one of the buildings.

Speaking after the attack President Zelenskyy condemned the Russians.

“No country other than Russia has ever fired on nuclear power units,” he said in a video message to his embattled nation.

“This is the first time in our history. In the history of mankind. The terrorist state now resorted to nuclear terror.”

Boris Johnson later spoke to Zelenskyy about the “gravely concerning situation” which was the result of Vladimir Putin’s “reckless actions”, Downing Street said.

“Both leaders agreed that Russia must immediately cease its attack on the power station and allow unfettered access for emergency services to the plant,” said a spokesman,

“The Prime Minister said the reckless actions of President Putin could now directly threaten the safety of all of Europe.

“He said the UK would do everything it could to ensure the situation did not deteriorate further.

“The Prime Minister said he would be seeking an emergency UN Security Council meeting in the coming hours, and that the UK would raise this issue immediately with Russia and close partners.  

“Both leaders agreed a ceasefire was crucial.”

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Russian armoured vehicles first appeared in the CCTV footage around 2am local time.

They lined up on a road running through the plant and unleashed salvoes at buildings to their left, which exploded as they were hit.

Shortly after local Mayor Dmytro Orlov confirmed the plant was ablaze.

“As a result of continuous enemy shelling of buildings and units of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is on fire,” he said. 

He added there has been fierce fighting between local forces and Russian troops and there have been casualties.

In the aftermath of the Russian assault there were conflicting reports about the radiation levels.

A Ukrainian government official said elevated levels of radiation had already been detected at the plant – but later the plant’s authorities said its safety had been secured.

It comes as…

In a chilling warning, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chernobyl.

“Russians must immediately cease the fire, allow firefighters, establish a security zone.” 

A spokesman for the plant Andriy Tuz urged Russian forces to stop their attack as said firefighters were unable to tackle blaze because they were being shot at.

“There is a real threat of nuclear danger in the biggest atomic energy station in Europe,” he said.

The Russians had been advancing on the plant throughout the day and smoke was seen rising as the battle raged.

The plant is in the town of Enerhodar, 33 miles southwest of Ukraine’s sixth-biggest city Zaporizhzhia.

Putin’s forces have laid siege to the site in southern Ukraine, despite a valiant effort from civilians slow the Russian advance.

Taking control of the plant – which produces a quarter of Ukraine’s total electricity supply – would be a major strategic victory for Russia, and a huge psychological blow for the Ukrainian forces.

All you need to know about Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Everything you need to know about Russia's invasion of Ukraine…

Kremlin troops have reportedly ramped up the battle for the plant after Putin was left infuriated by his army’s slow progress.

Earlier terrifying video shows black smoke rising from the outskirts of the city, amid fears some Russian soldiers have already broken through the Ukrainian line.

Enerhodar, on the left bank of the Dnieper River and the Khakovka Reservoir, is a major energy hub, and the nuclear plant accounts for a quarter of Ukraine’s total power generation.

Previously, a Ukrainian spokesperson warned Putin’s actions “could lead to another nuclear disaster, affecting the entire world.”

They added: “The city of Enerhodar, housing the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, is preparing for a battle with the invaders.

“If shells hit near the nuclear power plant, they will damage transformers, turbines, and other equipment that ensures the plant’s safety.

“To prevent this from happening, the entrance to Enerhodar is guarded by the brave station workers and military.”

Pictures earlier on Thursday showed brave Ukrainians forming a human barricade in front of the nuclear plant to prevent Russian troops from seizing it.

Hundreds of people lined the road to Enerhodar after Kyiv warned Russia risked creating “a new Chernobyl” if it goes ahead with an attack.

Local people were joined by workers brandishing Ukrainian flags in barricading the nuclear power station in Enerhodar on Wednesday.

Government official Anton Gerashchenko said Ukrainians would fight to the last man to defend one of the country’s main energy sources.

“The city where the largest nuclear power plant in Europe is located is preparing for a battle with the invaders,” he said.

“The nuclear power plant is guarded by the heroes of the National Guard of Ukraine.

“They won’t give up! There will be a fight. Shells will fire next to the nuclear power plant.


Enerhodar is the site of Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant[/caption]

Ukrainians manned a barricade on the road to the plant
twitter @ng_ukraine

Hero civilians earlier formed a human barricade to stop Russian forces heading towards Zaporizhzhia[/caption]

Many who were in the human barricade carried Ukrainian flags
Russia is facing staunch resistance from the heroic Ukrainians

Ukrainian troops have been battling to wrest control of the plant, which is the biggest in Europe[/caption]

“They will not be able to break through the concrete shell of the reactor, but they will definitely damage transformers, turbines and other equipment necessary for the safety of the nuclear power plant.”

He eerily added: “An accident can happen like at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant or the Fukushima nuclear power plant.

“Russian generals – think again!”

The head of the UN atomic energy watchdog, the IAEA, expressed “grave concern” that invading Russian troops were operating close to Zaporizhzhia.

Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi said an accident at the plant would “have severe consequences for public health and the environment”.

It comes days after Putin‘s forces captured the Chernobyl reactor on Friday.

Guards fought back as officials warned a direct hit on waste stores could spread a radioactive dust cloud over the whole of Europe.

A message from Energoatom CEO Petro Kotin said columns of Russian military equipment and forces were approaching with “shells exploding near the nuclear power plant”.

He said: “We call on the IAEA to intervene to prevent occupying forces in the 30-kilometre zone around our nuclear power plants” in Enerhodar and in Voznesensk, Mykolaiv region.

He also called on the Chernobyl reactor to be handed back to Ukrainian troops.

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