Russia and Ukraine blame each other for the shelling of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant site. The largest nuclear power plant in Europe is located in the part of southern Ukraine occupied by Russian troops – there have been several dicey situations there in the past months of the war.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj spoke of an “act of terrorism” by the Russian side and called for new sanctions aimed at the neighboring country’s nuclear industry. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kyiv warned: If a reactor is hit while it is in operation, the possible consequences are “tantamount to the use of a nuclear bomb”.
“Anyone who creates nuclear threats for other peoples is definitely not in a position to use nuclear technology safely,” Zelenskyj said on Saturday night. Specifically, he demanded punitive measures against the Russian state-owned company Rosatom.
Just a few days ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expressed concern about the situation around the power plant, which, with six blocks and an output of 6,000 megawatts, is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
An inspection to check technical safety is urgently needed, said IAEA boss Rafael Grossi. But it is currently very difficult for the IAEA to even get into the war zone in Zaporizhia.
In parts of the city of Enerhodar, where the power plant is located, the power and water supply failed, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced – and blamed the Ukrainian army for it. In addition, a block of the nuclear power plant had to be partially shut down.
The information could not be independently verified. The Ukrainian side, on the other hand, said the Russians had shelled the area themselves.
As a result of the Russian attacks, a high-voltage line to the neighboring thermal power plant was damaged, according to the Ukrainian state-owned nuclear company Enerhoatom. Ukraine’s foreign ministry has appealed to the international community to ensure that the Russians return control of the nuclear power plant to the Ukrainians.
At their meeting, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on expanding economic relations between their countries. At the meeting on Friday in the southern Russian tourist metropolis of Sochi, “very important decisions” were made in the area of trade and the economy, said Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
For example, the conditions for cooperation are to be made easier for Russian and Turkish companies.
What was eagerly awaited was whether Putin and Erdogan would talk about a possible acquisition of Turkish combat drones by Russia. In the course of its war against Ukraine, Moscow recently expressed interest in the Bayraktar TB2 weapons.
In the evening, however, journalists from the state news agency Ria Nowosti said that the two presidents had not addressed the issue.
Latvia has further indefinitely restricted issuing visas to Russians in light of the war in Ukraine. From now on, the Latvian embassy in Moscow will only accept visa applications from Russian citizens who have to attend the funeral of a close relative in Latvia, the diplomatic mission of the Baltic EU and NATO country announced.
After Fenerbahce Istanbul fans chanted “Vladimir Putin” during the game against Dynamo Kyiv, UEFA has fined the Turkish club. Fenerbahce has to pay a fine of 50,000 euros and has been sentenced to a partial lockout of its fans, according to the European Football Union.
Numerous Fenerbahce supporters had chanted the name of the Russian President in the second half of the match of the second Champions League qualifying round in Istanbul. Vitaly Bujalskyj (57th minute) had given the Ukrainians the lead, and then there were calls of “Vladimir Putin” from the stands.
The incident was also widely discussed on social media. Many Fenerbahce fans expressed their regret at the behavior of the supporters at the stadium.