Live: IAEA team set to inspect Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after ‘madness’ of attacks

Issued on: 21/11/2022 – 07:17

File photo of a Russian all-terrain armoured vehicle is parked outside the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant during an IAEA team visit on September 1, 2022. © Alexander Ermochenko, Reuters

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A team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts on Monday are set to conduct an assessment of the shelling impact on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as the head of the UN’s atomic watchdog denounced the “madness” of the weekend’s attacks near Europe’s largest nuclear plant, and warned Russia and Ukraine that they were “playing with fire”. Follow FRANCE 24’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. All times Paris time (GMT+2).


12:05pm: Zelensky promises victory on ‘Day of Dignity and Freedom’

President Volodymyr Zelensky marked Ukraine’s annual Day of Dignity and Freedom on Monday by celebrating the sacrifices made by Ukrainian people since Russia’s invasion and saying his country would endure and prevail.

In a video address to the nation, Zelenskiy hailed the contributions made by Ukrainians – from soldiers, firefighters and medics to teachers giving online lessons, villagers cooking for the military, tailors sewing uniforms and farmers ploughing their fields despite the risk.

12:02pm: Germany discusses air policing with Poland after stray missile crash

Germany discussed air policing with Warsaw in addition to the Patriot missile defence system following last week’s stray missile crashed in Poland, said a German defence ministry spokesperson.

Earlier Monday, Poland said it would propose deploying additional Patriot missile launchers near its border with Ukraine, following an offer from Germany, Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said on Twitter.

“During today’s conversation with the German side, I will propose that the system be stationed at the border with Ukraine,” he wrote on Twitter.

Germany has offered Warsaw the Patriot missile defence system to help it to secure its airspace after a stray missile crashed in Poland last week, Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht told a newspaper on Sunday.

The German government had already said it would offer its neighbour further help in air policing with German Eurofighters after the incident, which initially raised fears that the war in Ukraine could spill across the border.

11:12am: Kremlin vows to ‘find and punish’ those responsible for soldiers’ ‘murder’

The Kremlin has said it would bring to justice people responsible for the “murder” of Russian soldiers in Ukraine after footage surfaced online and spurred mutual war crime allegations from Kyiv and Moscow.

The footage which appeared on social media last week showed the bodies of Russian servicemen killed after surrendering to Kyiv’s troops, Moscow has said.

Ukraine has denied that its forces had killed prisoners of war, saying the soldiers were shot following a false surrender.

“Without a doubt, Russia will itself search for those who committed this crime. They must be found and punished,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Russia “will do everything within the framework of international mechanisms to draw attention to this crime”, he added.

7:12am: ‘Playing with fire’ UN chief warns Russia and Ukraine

As Russia and Ukraine traded blame over the weekend’s shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi has warned that whoever fired artillery at the plant was “playing with fire”.

A team of IAEA inspectors is set to visit the plant on Monday to assess the damage.

Grossi has denounced the “targeted” strikes in a released Sunday night. “The news from our team yesterday and this morning is extremely disturbing,” he said. “Explosions occurred at the site of this major nuclear power plant, which is completely unacceptable … Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately,” he added.

“As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!”

There were more than a dozen blasts over the weekend near the site, said the IAEA statement.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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