Russian troops seize site of nuclear plant fire; Western leaders condemn latest attacks: Live updates

Written by on March 4, 2022

The hearth at Europe’s largest nuclear energy plant was extinguished Friday after Russian shelling lit ablaze a constructing on its website and prompted international fears of a nuclear disaster.

No radiation has been launched on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after a Russian “projectile” hit a coaching heart that’s “not a part of the reactor,” stated Rafael Mariano Grossi, the top of the United Nations’ atomic watchdog company.

The workplace of Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov advised the Related Press that Ukrainian firefighters have been allowed on the location in a single day. The plant’s Ukrainian employees stays answerable for the reactor, Grossi stated, however Ukrainian officers have stated Russian troops took management of the general website. Just one reactor is working at round 60% capability, the U.N. stated.

Enerhoatom, Ukraine’s state nuclear plant operator, stated three Ukrainian troopers have been killed and two wounded within the assault, whereas Grossi stated two individuals have been injured within the blaze.

The hearth sparked fears of a catastrophe much like the 1986 Chernobyl accident, which occurred about 65 miles north of the Ukrainian capital. Ukraine’s Minister of International Affairs of Ukraine tweeted, “If it blows up, it is going to be 10 instances bigger than Chornobyl!” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy renewed his name for a no-fly zone, calling the shelling “terror on an unprecedented stage.”

The assault got here as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was into its second week Friday. Russian troops superior on the close by strategic metropolis of Zaporizhzhia, situated on the Dnieper River. Heavy combating additionally occurred round Mariupol, a port metropolis on the Azov Sea. 

Newest developments:

►The Russian parliament has handed a invoice introducing sentences of as much as 15 years in jail for deliberately spreading “faux” details about navy motion.

Ukrainian Protection Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Facebook the nation’s navy deliberately sank its flagship frigate, Hetman Sagaidachny, which was beneath restore, to forestall Russian seize.

►China says it’s “severely involved in regards to the security and safety” of nuclear services in Ukraine following the nuclear plant blaze ignited by Russian artillery fireplace. 

►Buying and selling on the Moscow trade will probably be closed Friday as Russia’s ruble has misplaced about 5% towards the U.S. greenback, additional plunging since Western governments imposed sanctions that reduce off a lot of the nation’s entry to the worldwide monetary system.

►The Pentagon stated it established a direct communication line Tuesday with the Russian ministry of protection “for the aim of stopping miscalculation, navy incidents, and escalation.”

►Acclaimed soprano Anna Netrebko has withdrawn from her upcoming New York performances after not complying with the Metropolitan Opera’s situation that she repudiate her public help for Putin, the Met stated on Twitter.

►Heavy combating is continuous on the outskirts of a strategic port metropolis on the Azov Sea, Mariupol. The town’s regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, stated Thursday evening that energy, water, heating and meals deliveries to the town have been reduce. 

Fast hyperlinks:

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‘BOMBS, BOMBS, BOMBS’:Ukrainian refugees describe harrowing journey to Poland

WHAT IS AN ARMISTICE?:Here’s what you need to know during talks between Russia and Ukraine.

UN Human Rights Council to arrange panel for Ukraine

A 3-person skilled panel will monitor potential human rights violations in Ukraine after an awesome vote from the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.

The U.N.’s prime human rights physique voted 32-2, with 13 abstentions, to create the worldwide panel. Solely Russia and Eritrea opposed the decision, with China abstaining.

In a tweet, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised the creation of the panel, saying, “Russian struggle criminals will probably be held accountable.” 

International law experts have raised concerns about struggle crimes, together with the concentrating on of civilians, and the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which is separate from the U.N., stated earlier this week he was additionally opening an investigation.

Western leaders condemn Russian assaults after at Ukraine energy plant

The workplace of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’ll search an emergency U.N. Safety Council assembly after Russian troops in Ukraine attacked a nuclear energy plant and sparked a hearth.

Johnson’s workplace says he spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy within the early hours of the morning. He says Britain will elevate the difficulty instantly with Russia and shut companions. 

“The Prime Minister stated the reckless actions of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin may now immediately threaten the security of all of Europe,” Johnson’s workplace stated in a press release. “He stated (the UK) would do all the things it may to make sure the scenario didn’t deteriorate additional.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he additionally spoke with Zelenskyy in regards to the assaults on the facility plant. 

“These unacceptable assaults by Russia should stop instantly,” he stated on Twitter.

— Related Press

Hearth at Ukraine nuclear energy plant sparked fears of ‘Fukushima-style meltdown’

Fears of an unprecedented nuclear catastrophe unfold quickly in a single day when part of Europe’s largest nuclear plant caught on fire as Russian forces shelled the realm. 

Amid a stream of complicated, alarming, and, at instances, conflicting data in regards to the incident, The Worldwide Atomic Vitality Company quickly stated the “serious situation” had not affected essential equipment at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and that there had been no change in radiation ranges.

Jon B. Wolfsthal, former senior director for arms management and nonproliferation on the Nationwide Safety Council, tweeted that the Zaporizhzhia energy plant was “inherently extra secure and guarded than the Chernobyl.” 

James M. Acton, co-director of the Nuclear Coverage Program on the Carnegie Endowment for Worldwide Peace. echoed Jennex’s evaluation of the hazard posed by the Russian assault, saying the hearth may end in a “Fukushima-style meltdown.”

In that nuclear incident in Japan, a large earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed the Fukushima plant’s cooling programs, triggering the meltdown of three reactors and the discharge of enormous quantities of radiation, and inflicting greater than 160,000 individuals to evacuate. 

The Chernobyl catastrophe, whereas geographically shut, was brought on by a special course of, Acton advised USA TODAY. It was brought on by operator error and led to a special stage of hazard — a scenario the place the nuclear gas explodes. Read more here.

— Joel Shannon

Ukrainians in U.S. granted short-term safety from deportation

The Division of Homeland Safety on Thursday introduced short-term protected standing (TPS) for Ukrainians dwelling in america, which can protect them from deportation for the following 18 months, as Ukraine battles ongoing assaults from Russia.

“Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked assault on Ukraine has resulted in an ongoing struggle, mindless violence, and Ukrainians pressured to hunt refuge in different international locations,” Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated in a press release. “In these extraordinary instances, we’ll proceed to supply our help and safety to Ukrainian nationals in america.”

People should have repeatedly lived within the U.S. since March 1 to be eligible for TPS, DHS stated. That may apply to roughly 30,000 Ukrainian nationals. Those that try to journey to the U.S. after March 1 don’t qualify for TPS. 

— Rebecca Morin

Black and brown refugees are being turned away at European borders

As growing experiences point out individuals of shade fleeing Ukraine are going through discrimination on the border, the crisis has once again highlighted a double standard in the way in which nations deal with refugees based mostly on nation of origin, race, faith and extra, lecturers and refugees say.

Most of the similar European nations that turned away refugees from the Center East, Africa and Asia previously are actually largely welcoming refugees from Ukraine.

“It is nice that Europe is being welcoming towards Ukrainian refugees. That ought to be the response,” stated Nell Gabiam, an affiliate professor at Iowa State College who research pressured migration. “However it could be even higher if that response was utilized throughout the board towards all refugees who’re fleeing persecution and struggle.”

Filippo Grandi, United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees, counseled governments and residents for his or her “extraordinary acts of humanity and kindness” however acknowledged some refugees have confronted “a special therapy” on the border. Read more

– Grace Hauck

Contributing: The Related Press

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