Ukrainians 'fearing the worst results' after Russian troops cut power to Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant
The Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant outside the city of Enerhodar was temporarily cut off from its electricity supply for the first time on Thursday due to fires set by Russian President Vladimir Putin's invading forces that have occupied the facility and held it and its employees hostage since late February.
"Just hours before the worrying news, residents of the city released a two-minute video pleading for help to stop a brewing disaster. The video, posted on YouTube and shared in Ukrainian media, showed a group of four people with covered faces begging for intervention against Russian troops," The Daily Beast has reported.
“We, the residents of Enerhodar, appeal to you in total despair with a request for help. Today we, workers of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, are hostage to Russian troops,” who are "threatening the whole world with a nuclear catastrophe” and “taking cover with us and our children," the witness stated, according to the Beast. “The occupiers are carrying out genocide on the land of Enerhodar. We can’t go out on the street of our city, our children live in fear.… Our people are just snatched up off the street and taken in an unknown direction,” he continued, adding that “we are fearing the worst results.”
The Beast noted that "Ukrainian authorities warned this week that Russian shelling around the plant had struck ash from the plant that contains high levels of radiation, stirring up 'radioactive dust.'"
Zaporizhzhya at six times the size of Chernobyl is continental Europe's largest fission-generating complex and has been bombarded by shelling, leaving it and the surrounding region vulnerable to an accident or sabotage that could irradiate multiple countries and kill untold numbers of people. The biggest risk is a meltdown if the spent fuel tanks and cooling generators are cut off from the grid longer than the station's diesel backups can sustain power.
"Two operating units of the power plant were disconnected from the grid," the Beast learned.
While authorities in Moscow and Kyiv have exchanged blame for the attacks, Russian military commanders have threatened to escalate hostilities, sparking global fears of an unprecedented atomic calamity.
Russia has also speciously accused Ukraine of planning a "false flag" operation that it can blame on Russia, further compounding concerns that the situation is deteriorating faster than intervention by the international community can remedy.
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