Putin's Attack On Ukraine Nuclear Plant Triggers Worldwide Alarm

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Putin’s Attack on Ukraine Nuclear Plant Triggers Worldwide Alarm

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In the most chilling turn yet in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian troops seized the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe. This was after an overnight attack set it on fire and briefly raised fears of a catastrophe.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze, and no radiation was released, United Nations and Ukrainian officials reported. As Russian forces continued to press forward on multiple fronts, they appeared not to have gained much ground in fighting Friday.

The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine now exceeds 1.2 million.

Vladimir Putin silences critics

As world condemnations mounted, President Putin clamped down on the flow of information at home, banning Facebook, Twitter, the BBC and Voice of America, a U.S. government-funded service.

In addition, Putin signed a law making it a crime to spread so-called fake news, including anything opposing the official government line on the war.

Several news outlets announced they would cease reporting inside Russia while evaluating the situation. Bloomberg temporarily suspended its journalists’ work in Russia while CNN and CBS News also announced they would stop broadcasting there.

Putin’s military has launched hundreds of missile and artillery attacks on cities and other sites throughout Ukraine. While the vast Russian armoured column threatening Kyiv remains stalled outside the capital.

Rafa Mariano Grossi, head of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency, says a Russian “projectile” destroyed a training center at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in the city of Enerhodar, but it did not hit the reactor.

Global alarm followed the attack, with fears of a catastrophe dwarfing the world’s worst nuclear disaster, at Chernobyl in 1986.

Europe Would Come to an End

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an emotional nighttime speech he feared that an explosion would be “the end for everyone.” Europe would come to an end. A European evacuation would have to take place.

Nuclear officials from Sweden to China, as well as Grossi, both said no radiation spikes had been reported.

Officials said that Russian troops had taken control of the site, but that the plant staff continued to operate it. In the aftermath of the attack, Grossi reported that only one reactor was operating at 60% capacity.

It is an unexpected and highly dangerous situation for a war to be fought near nuclear reactors, nuclear safety experts said.

In the aftermath of the attack, President Zelenskyy appealed to the West to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg ruled out such a scenario, citing a much wider war in Europe.

He said for a no-fly zone to be enforced, NATO planes would have to shoot down Russian aircraft.

Ukraine’s government reports that more than 840 children have been injured in the war, and 28 have been killed. Approximately 331 civilians were killed in the invasion, but the true toll is probably much higher, the U.N. human rights office reported.

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