Ukraine is reportedly “preparing for a nuclear explosion” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, heightening tensions in the wake of Russia’s first overnight drone attack on Kyiv in 12 days.
Worries over a potential blast have prompted training to prepare residents for what might occur, according to Kira Rudik, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament.
“I still cannot process that in the 21st century, this is what is happening. We are preparing for a nuclear explosion and the whole world is watching and there is nothing that can be done,” Rudik told Sky News.
It is “unprecedented” that Russia has not allowed UN officials into the power plant to carry out checks, according to Rudik, who noted Ukrainian officials called several times to make the plant a neutral zone, but “Russia never agreed to that.”
Russian troops have been ordered to leave the power plant — which has been under Russian control since March 2022 — by July 5, according to the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine.
“The latest data indicates that the occupying forces are gradually leaving the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Three employees of Rosatom, who led the Russians’ actions, were among the first to leave the facility,” DIU said on Telegram.
Rosatom is a Russian state corporation specializing in nuclear energy.
“Ukrainian employees who have signed a contract with Rosatom have also been advised to evacuate. Under the instructions received, they should leave by 5 July,” DIU said.
Russian troops ordered to remain in the area have allegedly been instructed to “blame Ukraine in the event of any emergency,” Ukrayinska Pravda reported.
As the Zaporizhzhia region readies for the situation to possibly go nuclear, Russia launched an overnight drone attack on Kyiv and the surrounding region, Ukrainian military officials said Sunday.
The attack — the first after a 12-day break — included eight Iranian-made Shahed drones and three cruise missiles, which were shot down.
“Another enemy attack on Kyiv,” Serhiy Popko, a colonel general who heads Kyiv’s military administration, said on Telegram.
Three homes were damaged by falling drone debris and one person was injured, Ruslan Kravchenko, the military head of the region, said on Facebook. No other information about the attack was immediately available.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky congratulated marines in the Black Sea port city of Odesa on the country’s Navy Day — celebrated the first Sunday of July.
“If Russian warships are still in the Black Sea, they will be afraid to approach our Ukrainian Crimea and Azov Sea coast. This will definitely happen,” Zelensky said, according to the Kyiv Independent.
Russia currently has nine warships in the Black Sea, including four Kalibr cruise missile carriers with up to 24 missiles on board, according to the Ukrainian Navy Command.