Russia says Ukraine is “holding Europe hostage” by bombing nuclear plants

Russia says Ukraine is “holding Europe hostage” by bombing nuclear plants

On Monday, Russia accused the Ukrainian government of trying to hold Europe hostage by bombing the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

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In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry said it would like to visit the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the facility, Europe’s largest nuclear facility, but that Kyiv is blocking a possible visit.

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“They are holding all of Europe hostage and are not opposed to burning it down for their Nazi idols,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

Officials at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant urge the Russians to stop the attack

Officials at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant urge the Russians to stop the attack

Russia has for months said its military campaign in Ukraine is aimed at “denazifying” Ukraine claims dismissed by Kyiv and Western leaders, who see Moscow’s actions as an attempt to overthrow Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and parts of the territory to conquer eastern and southern Ukraine.

The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant has become the latest bone of contention in the monthslong conflict in which Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of bombing the plant in recent days.

The facility is on Russiancontrolled territory but is run by Ukrainian officials.

Moscow says it did everything it could to facilitate the IAEA’s visit to the nuclear plant, but Kyiv found it “advantageous to keep the IAEA in check.”

Zakharova, Moscow’s combative official foreign policy spokeswoman, also lashed out at the international community for refusing to criticize Kyiv for the attacks.

“Leaders of the United Nations and the IAEA repeatedly do not dare to directly identify the source of the threat. They are demonstrating their reluctance to point fingers at Kyiv,” she said.

Ukraine has called for the creation of a demilitarized area around the nuclear plant, while UN SecretaryGeneral António Guterres said attacks on nuclear sites are a “suicidal thing”.

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