UKRAINE – After shelling the facility and raising fallout alarms across the continent, Russia on March 4 took over Europe’s largest nuclear power plant located in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhia Oblast.
Ukraine’s State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation said on March 4 that Russia is now in control of the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant. Russian checkpoints were also set up around the facility, the government agency added.
The Guardian, a newspaper based in London, wrote that the plant has six reactors with a combined capacity of 5,700 megawatts.
“In normal times it produces one-fifth of Ukraine’s electricity and almost half the energy generated by the country’s nuclear power facilities,” the newspaper said.
Ukrainian firefighters at 6:20 a.m. on March 4 said they extinguished fires near the plant caused by Russian shelling of the facility.
“Russia is the first country in the world to fire at a nuclear plant,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an early morning video address.
The plant is located in Enerhodar, a town situated on the banks of the Dnipro River and the Kakhovka reservoir.
Russia has unleashed carnage upon Ukraine ever since Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of the country on February 24.
Russia’s ground forces have been unable to conquer the country, deeply frustrating the Russian ruler. Moscow has since resorted to massive and indiscriminate bombardment of Ukrainian civilian areas and infrastructure.
In his first state of the union address, U.S. President Joe Biden called his Russian counterpart a “dictator.”
Mr. Zelenskyy called Putin a “terrorist.”