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US warns Russia not to trigger second Chernobyl at Ukrainian nuclear power plant

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration on Friday urged Russia to hand over Europe's largestnuclear power plantto avoid a possible repeat of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster Did. Speculation is rife that Moscow is considering shelling the facility. In "False Flag Operation".

The Russian military has held the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant since his March. These days, the factory has served as a base for several Russian artillery units, putting out constant fire on the nearby Ukrainian front.

"We are very concerned about military operations at or near Ukrainian nuclear facilities," a senior US defense official said on Friday. "It is very clear that fighting near a nuclear power plant is dangerous and irresponsible, and warplanes and Russia must act with extreme caution and avoid potential radioactive releases.

The sarcophagus covering the Chernobyl nuclear power station's damaged Reactor No. 4 crumbles nearly 20 years after it's explosion.
Efrem Lukatsky/AP

Russia's State Atomic Energy Agency announced an unscheduled holiday at a factory on Friday as tensions rose, sparking fears of bombings blamed on Ukrainian fighter jets.

Russia and Ukraine have previously held accountable for previous shelling of the facility. On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron that Ukraine was shelling factories. territory.

A senior U.S. military official last week denied Putin's allegations, saying that from Chernobyl's experience, Kyiv was fully aware of the consequences of such an attack.

"I don't think the Ukrainians, who are well aware of the impact of an attack on a power plant, would be interested in attacking a power plant," the official said. "It makes no sense."

The International Atomic Energy Agency last week asked Russia to allow experts to inspect the safety of the factory after recent shelling and nearby fighting.

"We are demanding that Russia regain full control of this plant, comply with International Atomic Energy Agency technical protection measures, and provide access to the plant. We have made it very clear that we expect to comply," the defense official said.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Monday that Russia would "necessarily do everything" to facilitate the visit and that "the truth about the subversive actions on the Ukrainian side." I will give a rating of .

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Maxim Shemetov/REUTERS

US officials said Friday that Washington is particularly concerned said. Reports of damage to power lines [at the power plant].

"We have all witnessed Russia's complete disregard for the safety of Ukraine's nuclear facilities," the official said. "Russia's current behavior, both inside and outside nuclear power plants, is the height of irresponsibility, especially given its responsibility as a nuclear power."