Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meets IAEA team ahead of its visit to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Russian soldier

Russian soldier outside the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (File image)

Photo : AP

Kyiv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday met a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The meeting was held ahead of the visit by the IAEA team to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

“We want the IAEA mission… to reach the plant and do everything possible to avoid the dangers of a nuclear disaster,” said Zelensky in a video message as quoted by AFP. The Ukrainian President called for immediate de-militarisation of the plant and its transfer to full Ukrainian control.

On late Monday night, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi arrived in Kyiv. He is heading a 14-team which will inspect the nuclear plant. The plant was reportedly targeted by fresh shelling. Both Ukraine and Russia accused each other of targetting the nuclear facility.
Also Read: Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine disconnected from power grid: State energy operator.

Moscow and Kyiv also traded blame for attacks around the complex of six nuclear reactors located on the banks of the Dnipro River over the weekend. Notably, the plant is under Russian control since March this year. It is still being operated by Ukrainian staff.

Meanwhile, the fighting has intensified in the Kherson in the southern region of the war-torn country. Ukrainian troops have launched a counter-offensive to retake the region from the Russian forces. Most of the region of Kherson bordering the Black Sea and its provincial capital is under Russia’s control since the start of the war.

Notably, the fighting in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine has reportedly stalled as Russian troops shifted their focus on the southern region. The Russian Defence Ministry claimed to have repulsed the Ukrainian attack on Kherson. Meanwhile, at least five people were reportedly killed in Russian strikes on the centre of the northeastern city of Kharkiv.