United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has described the recent artillery and rocket fire around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in central Ukraine as “suicidal” as Ukraine and Russia have traded blame for both attacks.

Ukraine accused Russian forces on Sunday of launching rockets at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, further ratcheting fears of an accident a day after the United Nations’ watchdog warned that fighting at the occupied complex risked a “nuclear disaster.”  

The Zaporizhzhia plant is Europe’s largest and occupies an extensive site on the river Dnipro. It has continued operating at reduced capacity since Russian forces captured it early in March, with Ukrainian technicians remaining at work. 

“Any attack on nuclear power plants is a suicidal thing,” Guterres told reporters in Tokyo.

The rockets launched on Saturday night struck near a dry storage facility, where 174 casks with spent nuclear fuel are kept, according to Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power company. Explosions blew out windows in parts of the plant, and one worker was hospitalized with shrapnel wounds.

It was the second time in as many days that the plant was hit. 

Ukrainians say multiple Russian assaults resisted in Donetsk: The Ukrainian Military said Sunday it had inflicted losses on Russian forces in several parts of Donetsk and repelled their efforts to advance in other places.

In a briefing, the General Staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said the Russian forces tried to conduct several assaults in Donetsk against multiple settlements near Sloviansk, but the Ukrainian forces pushed them back. 

Russia could be preparing to bring more forces to front line, Zelensky adviser warns: Ukrainian Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak called on Germany to help increase its weapons supply Sunday in an interview with German newspaper Tagesspiegel, according to the president’s office.

Podolyak said in the interview that Ukraine needs “the supply of as many modern weapons as possible” and asked for the participation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. 

“The more and faster we get heavy weapons, the sooner we will be able to stop this war,” he said, warning he believes Russia wants to “freeze the conflict for six months in order to bring new troops and weapons to the front line,” though there has not been official indication of this from the Russian side.

Zelensky rules out future negotiations if Russia holds referendums in Ukraine: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he would not hold future negotiations if Russia conducts referendums in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine – something officials in Russian-held territories of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region have previously said they would do.

“Every week there are more and more reports that the occupiers are preparing for pseudo-referendums in the occupied areas of the south of our country,” Zelensky said in his nightly address Sunday. “I want to say a very simple thing, everyone who helps the occupiers in any way realize their intention will be held accountable. They will bear responsibility to Ukraine.”

Ships loaded with Ukrainian grain are headed to international markets: The export of grain from Ukraine through Black Sea ports continued Monday, with the first ship to leave the southern port of Yuzhnyi under a UN-brokered deal to help ease the global food crisis sparked by war.

The Ukrainian Infrastructure Ministry said the bulk carrier Sacura had become the first vessel to leave the port since the early days of the war in February.

The Sacura and the Arizona, which left the southwestern city of Chornomorsk Monday, are carrying 60,000 metric tons of agricultural products to international markets. Meanwhile, one of the first vessels to leave the Black Sea loaded with Ukrainian grain, the Polarnet, has reached Turkey, according to Ukrainian officials.

Quoted from Various Sources

Published for: Mr Blow Up