The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi urged stopping the madness on Sunday after shelling on Ukraine’s Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (ZNPP) warning Kyiv and Moscow, which traded blame for the shelling, that they’re playing with fire’.
After more than a dozen blasts targeting ZNPP over Saturday night – some of which were witnessed by a team of experts from the agency – the UN’s atomic watchdog chief called the news extremely disturbing and unacceptable, demanding the parties involved to stop playing with fire.
Speaking to French broadcaster BFMTV later on Sunday, Grossi emphasized that it was clear that the strikes which occurred at the site of this significant nuclear power plant were no accident and that the people who were doing that knew where they were hitting
Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is the biggest nuclear plant in Europe currently controlled by Russian troops but operated by its original Ukrainian staff. IAEA demanded back in September for security protection and nuclear safety zone to be set up around the plant.
In recent months, ZNPP has continuously been the target of shelling that has caused the power plant to be disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid on several occasions, most recently at the beginning of the month when Ukrainian state nuclear firm Energoatom, which operates that power plant, informed that due to Russian shelling that damaged the remaining high voltage lines connecting the Ukrainian power grid with the ZNPP, the station switched to full blackout mode and turned on all 20 diesel generators.
Meanwhile, Kyiv dismissed Moscow’s accusations that Ukrainian troops had killed Russian soldiers – in what Russia has described as a war crime- as they were surrendering, claiming that Russians used a staged surrender to open fire on Ukrainian soldiers.
Ukraine’s commissioner for human rights Dmytro Lubinets said on Sunday that extracts from the video footage in question confirm their claims that Russian servicemen in this case cannot be considered prisoners of war and that returning fire is not a war crime.
Lubinets also demanded that people who want to use international law’s protection to kill must be punished.