On Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry said the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) could be shut down if Ukrainian forces continue shelling the plant.
Ukraine claims that Russia has been behind the shelling on the ZNPP, but the plant and the areas around it have been controlled by Russian forces since March. The ZNPP is located in Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Oblast, and Russian-installed officials in the region have accused Ukraine of frequent attacks on the plant.
Igor Kirillov, a Russian Defense Ministry official, said Thursday that the plant’s backup support systems had been damaged as a result of shelling and said it might have to be shut down. Also on Thursday, Russia rejected a UN proposal to de-militarize the ZNPP, saying it would leave the plant vulnerable to Ukrainian attacks.
Over in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, Ukrainian President Voldymy Zelensky hosted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and UN Secretary-General António Guterres for talks, where the officials discussed the power plant.
Erdogan warned of the dangers of the fighting around the ZNPP, and said his country was worried about the possibility of “another Chernobyl.”
Russia has been calling for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to visit the ZNPP and has accused the UN of preventing a previously planned inspection in June, a claim the UN denies.
During talks with Guterres, Zelensky said that he accepted UN parameters for an IAEA inspection at the ZNPP, but it’s not clear if an inspection has been officially scheduled as Russia would need to agree with the plan.