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The head of the United Nations asked for international access to the Ukrainian nuclear plant after the new attack According to Reuters

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© Reuters. A soldier with a Russian flag on his uniform stands guard near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant during the Ukraine-Russia conflict outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine August 4, 2022. REUTERS/Al

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(Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called for international inspectors to be allowed access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia raised accusations of shelling of the major nuclear plant. Europe at the weekend.

“Any attack on a nuclear plant is an act of suicide,” Guterres told a news conference in Japan, where he attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial on Saturday to commemorate 77 years since the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped.

Ukraine said a new round of Russian shelling on Saturday damaged three radiation sensors and injured a worker at the Zaporizhzhia power plant, the second attack in consecutive days at the site.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accused Russia of carrying out “nuclear terrorism” that subject Russia to further international sanctions, this time against Moscow’s nuclear sector.

“There is no such country in the world that can feel safe when a terrorist state fires a nuclear plant,” Zelenskiy said in a televised address on Sunday.

Russian forces captured the plant in southeastern Ukraine in early March but it is still run by Ukrainian technicians.

The Russian-installed regional authority said Ukrainian forces hit the site with multiple rocket launches, damaging administrative buildings and an area near a storage facility. The Russian Embassy in Washington also released a statement about the damage.

“Ukrainian nationalists carried out an artillery attack on the territory of the specific target on August 5. Two high-voltage power lines and a water mains were damaged in the aftermath of the incident. Only thanks to the effective and timely actions of the Russian military, the embassy said that in covering the nuclear power plant, its vital infrastructure was not affected.

Reuters could not verify which party version.

The events at the Zaporizhzhia site – where Kyiv alleges that Russia hit the power lines on Friday – sent shockwaves across the world.

Guterres said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needed access to the plant.

“We fully support the IAEA in all its efforts related to the creation of plant-stabilizing conditions,” Guterres said.

IAEA Director Rafael Mariano Grossi on Saturday warned that the latest attack “underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster”.

Elsewhere, an agreement to halt Ukraine’s food exports and alleviate a global shortage was quickly struck as four other ships sailed Ukraine’s Black Sea ports while the vessel carrying First cargo since the February 24 invasion of Russia to dock.

The four ships set sail with nearly 170,000 tons of corn and other foodstuffs. They are following an agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to try to help alleviate rising global food prices caused by the war.

Before Moscow’s February 24 invasion, which Russian President Vladimir Putin called a “special military operation,” Russia and Ukraine together accounted for nearly a third of global wheat exports. The disruption since then has threatened famine in some parts of the world.

MATCH FOR DONBAS

Putin’s military is trying to gain full control of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Moscow separatists seized territory after the Kremlin annexed Crimea to the south in 2014.

The Ukrainian military said Russian forces intensified their attacks north and northwest of the city of Donetsk in Donbas on Sunday. The Russians attacked Ukrainian positions near the fortified settlements of Piski and Avdiivka, as well as shelling other sites in the Donetsk region, it said.

In addition to tightening its encirclement on Donbas, Russia is entrenching its position in southern Ukraine, where it has massed troops to prevent a potential counterattack near Kherson, Kyiv said.

As the fighting raged, the Russians planted after the invasion of Moscow toyed with the idea of ​​joining the occupied Ukrainian territory to Russia. Last month, a senior pro-Russian official said a referendum on such a move could be “next year.”

In his video speech, Zelenskiy said that any “fake referendum” on the occupied regions of his country with Russia would eliminate the possibility of negotiations between Moscow and its opponents. Ukrainian partners or their allies.

“They will shut down on their own any change in negotiations with Ukraine and the free world that the Russian side will obviously need at some point,” Zelenskiy said.

Also on Sunday, Ukraine’s chief war crimes prosecutor said nearly 26,000 suspected war criminals committed since the invasion were under investigation, with 135 charged, of which 15 people in custody. Russia denies targeting civilians.

Rocket and artillery attacks were reported overnight in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and around military sites in the western region of Vinnitsya, among other places, Ukrainian authorities said. There was no immediate information on casualties.

In addition to Ukraine, a proxy battle took place at the International Chess Federation where former Russian deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich won a second term as president, defeating Andrii Baryshpolets of Ukraine.

And after days of controversy, Amnesty International apologized for the “distress and anger” caused by a report accusing Ukraine of endangering civilians. That angered Zelenskiy and led to the resignation of the head of the Ukrainian human rights organization’s office.

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