Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a surprise remote address on Wednesday during a U.N. Security Council meeting, accusing Russia of putting the world on the “brink of radiation catastrophe” by taking military action near Europe’s largest nuclear plant.

The meeting, which commemorated Ukraine Independence Day and marked six months of war, also included an impassioned plea by the Secretary General to avoid an accident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

The comments come as concerns grow worldwide about the status of the plant and the risk of a devastating accident. Ukraine and Russia have repeatedly accused each other of shelling the plant, and fighting in the area has increased significantly since Russia captured it earlier this year.

“Russia should stop nuclear blackmail,” Zelenskyy told U.N. diplomats on Wednesday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Security Council earlier this month that Russia “is using this plant as the equivalent of a human shield, but a nuclear shield in the sense that it’s firing on Ukrainians from around the plant and of course, the Ukrainians cannot and will not fire back lest there be a terrible accident involving a nuclear plant.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a global nuclear watchdog, has been trying for months to broker an agreement to send investigators to the plant. Both Russia and Ukraine have said they would be open to such a visit. The IAEA has also asked to make the area a demilitarized zone to reduce the risk of future catastrophe.
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is seen as the Russian military’s presence at the plant continues, on August 11, 2022, in Zaporizhzia, Ukraine.  / Credit: Metin Aktas / Anadolu Agency via Getty
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is seen as the Russian military’s presence at the plant continues, on August 11, 2022, in Zaporizhzia, Ukraine. / Credit: Metin Aktas / Anadolu Agency via Getty

Zelenskyy said Wednesday that he believes the IAEA should take “permanent control of the situation” at the plant and that Russia should “completely withdraw” from the area.

Referring to Russia’s attempt to annex several regions of Ukraine, including the area around the nuclear plant, as “sham referendums,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield told diplomats: “Let’s be clear: The

By Tuhin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.