Volodymyr Zelensky urges world to force Russian army to leave Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged the international community to force the Russian army to leave the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after multiple strikes hit the compound.

"The entire world must react immediately to chase out the occupiers from Zaporizhzhia. Only the Russians' full withdrawal... would guarantee nuclear safety for all of Europe," Zelensky said in his daily video address.

This statement came after Ukraine accused Russia of shelling the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) again on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported.

Earlier, the Chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demanded access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant "as soon as possible" for their safety.

"I ask that both sides cooperate... and allow for a mission of the IAEA to proceed as soon as possible," Rafael Mariano Grossi said in an address to the UN Security Council.

Grossi said the IAEA had received updates from both Ukraine and Russia, but that the information provided was often contradictory, according to Al Jazeera.

"So I propose, I plead to call this mission as soon as possible," he said, adding that preventing a nuclear disaster was a "collective responsibility."

Ukraine's interior minister said that Kyiv is making contingency plans to face any scenario at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, including evacuating people from the area.

"The plant is as of today not only in the hands of the enemy but in the hands of uneducated specialists who could potentially allow for a tragedy to happen," interior minister Denys Monastyrsky said.

"Of course, it's difficult to even imagine the scale of the tragedy which could come into effect if Russians continue their actions there," he said.

Meanwhile, the UN Chief has called for an immediate end to all military activity around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, warning that any damage could lead to "catastrophic consequences" in the region and beyond, reported Al Jazeera.

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)