The Russian military could be preparing to abandon the beleaguered Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant it has occupied since March, a top Ukraine energy official says.
Petro Kotin, president of Ukraine’s nuclear energy operator Energoatom, told the Ukraine TV show TSN that Russians could transfer control of the plant to the International Atomic Energy Agency, although he provided no timeline.
“It looks like they’re packing and stealing whatever they can find,” Kotin said.
The area around the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest, has been battered by missile strikes for months and has been offline much of the time. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has repeatedly warned that a nuclear catastrophe could result if fighting in the region is not halted.
Russian attacks cut off essential power to all four of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants last week, forcing operators to conduct high-risk procedures.
“We must do everything we can to prevent nuclear accidents at any of these nuclear facilities, which would only add to the terrible suffering we already witnessing in Ukraine,” Grossi said.
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