Vladimir Putin’s forces have ‘undermined the security and safety’ of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

R

Britain’s defense chief warned on Friday that Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant had “potentially compromised the security and safety”.

The Defense Ministry has confirmed that the Zaporizhzhia plant is likely being used by Moscow “to reduce the risk of overnight Ukrainian attacks to their equipment and personnel.”

His assessment comes after the US said Russia was using the facility in the country’s southeast, which it dismantled in March, as a military base to launch attacks against Ukrainian forces. .

Secretary of State Antony Blanken accused President Vladimir Putin of using the facility as a “nuclear shield” to protect his troops, while the head of the UN nuclear agency said the situation is “totally out of control” and the facility needs an inspection. and repair.

“After five months of occupation, Russia’s intentions regarding the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remain unclear. However, the actions they have taken at the facility have undermined the safety and security of the plant’s normal operations,” ” said the MoD in its latest intelligence update on Twitter.

“Russian forces are likely operating in areas adjacent to the power station and have used artillery units stationed in these areas to target Ukrainian territory on the west bank of the Dnipro River.

“Russian forces have potentially expanded the facility area, particularly the adjacent city of Anrudar, to rest their forces, using the safe status of the nuclear power plant to protect their equipment and personnel from overnight Ukrainian attacks. has been used to reduce the risk to

Meanwhile, in the fighting in the east of the country, Ukrainian forces recaptured two villages around the city of Slavyansk, but after being forced to abandon a coal mine seen as a key defensive position. They were pushed back to the outskirts of Avdiivka.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky hit back at Amnesty International after the human rights group accused Ukraine of putting civilians at risk by deploying troops in residential areas in a report.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

/ A.P

Speaking in a video address last night, Mr Zielinski criticized the organisation, claiming it was trying to “shift responsibility from the attacker to the victim”.

Three more ships loaded with grain left Ukraine today as Kyiv pushed for a deal with Russia to expand exports.

Turkey – which helped broker a deal to end a Russian blockade of Black Sea ports to resume grain exports – said three ships carrying about 58,000 tonnes of corn had been allowed to leave. .

Among them was the Maltese-flagged Rosen, which had left the port of Chornomorsk, bound for Britain, with 13,000 tonnes of corn. Another was going to Ireland from Odessa.

The departure of the ships comes after the first grain shipment left Odessa on Monday since the start of the war.

It follows a deal between Ukraine and Russia, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey, to reopen Black Sea ports to resume grain exports — needed as global food shortages rise. needed to end the crisis.

The deal cleared the way for Ukraine – known as Europe’s breadbasket – to export 22 million tonnes of grain and other agricultural goods that have been stuck in ports.

Fighting along Ukraine’s east coast has prevented grain ships from leaving safely – Russia has also been accused of “weaponising” food by halting exports.

As a result, the United Nations warned of a global hunger crisis with a “real risk” of multiple famines this year.

Ukraine Ukraine’s deputy economy minister told the Financial Times that the grain deal should be expanded to include other products, such as metals.

“This agreement is about logistics, the movement of ships through the Black Sea,” he said. “What is the difference between grain and iron?”