‘Plant goes, city goes’ 1m Ukrainians at risk as Russia takes over second nuclear site

Ukraine: Russians soldiers left waiting in poor conditions

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The warning comes after reports emerged that Russia had targeted the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant with shelling overnight. A fire erupted, sparking fears about the stability of the structure and for the surrounding population. BBC Monitoring editor Vitaly Shevchenko warned nearly one million people would be at risk should the power plant be heavily damaged.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I’m from Zaporizhia, which is in the news right now for all the wrong reasons.

“That’s where this nuclear power plant is, the biggest in Europe. It came under shelling overnight, there was a fire and it’s absolutely terrifying.

“That’s where my parents are, my friends. And the concern is, if that power plant goes, the whole city goes.

“The city of Zaporizhia is pretty big place, almost one million people. You can see the chimney stacks from my mother’s stack.

“It’s an endless stream of terrifying reports from that part of Ukraine.”

Russia has now claimed to have taken over the power plant but saying they are allowing the staff to remain in control of the monitoring.

Al Jazeera Arabic however sparked further concerns after claiming “Chechen fighters” had sought to plant mines in the nuclear power station.

The broadcaster said in a tweet: “Reporter on the authority of the spokesman for the Zaporizhia plant administration: Chechen fighters stormed the nuclear plant and tried to plant mines.”

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