Live: No nuclear safety concerns at Zaporizhzhia after shelling, UN watchdog confirms

Issued on: 21/11/2022 – 07:17

Local residents inspect damage caused by a Russian military strike in the village of Komyshuvakha, in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, November 21, 2022. © Stringer, Reuters

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There are no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine despite shelling at the weekend, the U.N. atomic watchdog said Monday evening after its experts toured the site. Earlier on Monday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged NATO members to guarantee the protection of Ukraine’s nuclear plants from Russian “sabotage”. Follow FRANCE 24’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).


9:29pm: U.S. monitoring alleged executions in Ukraine, says war crimes envoy

Washington’s envoy for war crimes said on Monday the United States was monitoring allegations of Ukrainian forces summarily executing Russian troops, and said all parties should face consequences if they commit abuses in the conflict.

Russia’s defense ministry on Friday cited videos circulating on social media that allegedly showed Ukrainian soldiers executing Russian prisoners of war after they had apparently surrendered.

“We are obviously tracking that quite closely,” Beth Van Schaack, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice, told reporters during a telephone briefing. “It’s really important to emphasize that the laws of war apply to all parties equally,” she said, adding that “all parties to the conflict must abide by international law or face the consequences.”

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister has reportedly said Ukraine will investigate the incident. The country’s commissioner for human rights, Dmytro Lubinets, said the videos appeared to show “a staged capture” where Russian forces were not truly surrendering.

7:49pm: No nuclear safety concerns at Zaporizhzhia after shelling, IAEA confirms

There are no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine despite shelling at the weekend that caused widespread damage, the U.N. atomic watchdog said after its experts toured the site.

“They were able to confirm that – despite the severity of the shelling – key equipment remained intact and there were no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement issued on Monday evening.

7:07pm: Kherson residents urged to leave amid new Russian shelling

Residents in Kherson are being urged to leave the recently liberated city amid fresh Russian strikes that have targeted power and energy infrastructure.

“Kherson itself is still without electricity and heating,” said France 24’s Luke Shrago reporting from the city, which was occupied by Russian forces for eight months. With temperatures throughout Ukraine starting to fall many residents in Kherson and throughout the country are now preparing “for, what they are calling, the worst winter of their lives” Shrago said.



6:25pm: Macron condemns shelling of Ukraine nuclear plants

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday condemned the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine and said other nuclear plants at Rovno and Khmelnitski as well as the Nova Kakhovka dam had also been targeted.

Macron, in a statement after a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, also said Zelensky had thanked France for its continuous support for the Ukrainian army via the delivery of supplies, a 200-million-euro purchasing fund for Ukraine and the French conribution to European peace efforts.

Had a call with . Informed about the situation on the battlefield and at 🇺🇦 nuclear plants. Stressed the need of demilitarization of . We also discussed cooperation on ensuring Ukraine’s energy stability, in particular, protecting the system from air attacks.

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa)

5:56pm: WHO warns of ‘life-threatening’ winter for millions in Ukraine

The World Health Organization on Monday warned that the upcoming winter would be “life-threatening” for millions of Ukrainians after a series of devastating Russian attacks on the country’s energy grid.

“This winter will be life-threatening for millions of people in Ukraine,” Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, told reporters. “Put simply — this winter will be about survival,” he added.

3:20pm: UN atomic watchdog chief denounces ‘targeted strikes’ on Ukraine nuclear plant

UN atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi on Sunday denounced the “targeted” strikes at Ukraine’s Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, calling for a “stop to this madness”.

Around a dozen strikes had targeted the plant, he said, and the situation was “very serious”, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency told French broadcaster BFMTV. 


2:03pm: Ukrainian nuclear power plants need protection from Russian sabotage, Zelensky says

President Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday urged NATO members to guarantee the protection of Ukraine’s nuclear plants from Russian sabotage.

“All our nations are interested in not having any dangerous incidents at our nuclear facilities,” Zelensky said in a video address to NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid. “We all need guaranteed protection from Russian sabotage at nuclear facilities.”

1:56pm : Germany offers anti-aircraft systems to Poland

Berlin has offered to deploy anti-aircraft missile systems in Poland following a deadly rocket strike close to its border with Ukraine, the German defence minister said Monday.

“We have offered to support Poland with (the) securing of its airspace with our Eurofighter (jets) and Patriot air-defence systems,” Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said in an interview with the Rheinische Post daily.

Two people were killed last week when a missile landed in the Polish village of Przewodow, six kilometres (four miles) from the Ukrainian border.

Warsaw and NATO have said the explosion was likely caused by a Ukrainian air-defence missile launched to intercept a Russian barrage, but that Moscow was ultimately to blame because it started the conflict.

1:45pm: Ukraine says four ‘torture’ sites found in Kherson

has identified four locations where tortured detainees in Kherson before Moscow withdrew troops from the southern Ukrainian city, according to the country’s office of the general prosecutor.

Prosecutors said officials had inspected “four premises” where Russian troops “illegally detained people and brutally tortured them”.

Russian forces set up “pseudo-law enforcement agencies” in Kherson detention centres as well as in a police station, it said in a statement.

Parts of rubber truncheons, a wooden bat, an incandescent lamp and “a device with which the occupiers tortured civilians with electricity” were found, prosecutors said.

1:05pm: Ukraine evacuates civilians from Kherson, Mykolaiv

Ukrainian authorities have started evacuating civilians from the recently-liberated areas of the Kherson region and the neighbouring province of Mykolaiv, fearing that damage to the infrastructure is too severe for people to endure the upcoming winter, officials said Monday.

Residents of the two southern regions, regularly shelled in the past months by Russian forces, have been advised to move to safer areas in the central and and western parts of the country, said Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.

The government will provide “transportation, accommodation, medical care”, she said.

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

President 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, Zelensky 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

discussed air policing with Warsaw in addition to the Patriot missile defence system following last week’s stray missile crashed in , 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 and traded blame over the weekend’s shelling , 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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