(Zaporizhia) A mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is set to travel to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine Thursday, where it wants a “permanent” presence to avert a potential disaster.
Posted at 6:24 AM
Updated at 12:45 PM.
This team of 14 people arrived, on Wednesday, in the city of the same name, about 50 kilometers away, where the crow flies from this complex occupied since the beginning of March by the Russians, which is a matter of great concern from the international community.
“We will try to establish a permanent presence of the Agency” – a scenario that has not been discussed before, declared IAEA Director General Raffaello Grossi of Zaporizhia.
“This is a mission that seeks to avoid a nuclear accident,” he stressed, explaining that the experts would spend “a few days” on the spot and that they had received security guarantees from the Russian authorities and the Ukrainians.
“These operations are very complex: We are going into a war zone, we are going to an occupied zone,” Grossi said.
At the same time, Ukraine demanded that Russian forces cease fire on the road to the factory.
The Russians carried out strikes on the nearby city of Energodar to give the impression to international experts that it was Kyiv soldiers who bombed their surroundings, Yevgen Yevtushenko, head of the Ukrainian administration confirmed from Nikopol, a town on the other side of the Dnieper.
In Moscow, the Russian Defense Ministry symmetrically accused the Ukrainian army of committing “provocations” aimed at “disrupting the work of the IAEA mission,” claiming that Ukrainian artillery had “hit” the previous day “a radioactive waste reprocessing building” in the Zaporizhia complex.
The two warring parties have accused each other for weeks of endangering the security of this nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.
On the ground, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday evening that “the fighting is currently taking place practically on the entire front line: in the south, in the Kharkiv region (northeast) and Donbass (east)”.
The next day, Ukrainian authorities reported the killing of four people in Donetsk region (east), one of two provinces in the Donbass Basin, partly controlled by pro-Russian forces since 2014 and whose full invasion is Russia’s strategic priority.
In this region, they added, “heavy fighting continues in the direction of Bakhmut and Avdivka,” where “the Russians tried to advance unsuccessfully, but they had to” withdraw “.
They also reported that at least one person was killed in Mykolaiv, in the south where the Ukrainian army continues its counterattack, particularly around Kherson, one of the few major Ukrainian cities occupied by Russia.
For its part, the Russian army confirmed, on Wednesday, that it repelled the Ukrainian attacks during the past two days, and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy, as it destroyed in particular “eight helicopters” and “63 tanks”, in addition to “1700 elements”. “killing.
It was not possible to verify this information from independent sources.
As for the United States, “in the coming days” they will announce new military aid to Ukraine, the White House indicated.
Short stay visas
In another parallel war, the gas war, Russian giant Gazprom announced on Wednesday that it has “completely” suspended its supplies from Europe via the Nord Stream gas pipeline due to maintenance work that is expected to last three days.
While other European countries, notably Germany and France, are working to reduce their dependence on Russian gas, Hungary announced on Wednesday an agreement with Gazprom to receive additional shipments.
On the diplomatic front, EU foreign ministers agreed on Wednesday to suspend a 2007 agreement with Russia to facilitate the reciprocal issuance of short-stay visas.
“The question of restricting European visas for Russian citizens must finally be settled. I think it is offensive that Europe is seen as just one big supermarket or one big restaurant. President Zelensky commented in his daily evening message, “Europe is a region of values above all, not a region of primitive consumption.” “.