New drone video shows Russian military vehicles and forces on Bucha Street littered with civilian bodies

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke about Russia and nuclear weapons while criticizing the recent operations of Russian troops at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Tuesday during a joint press conference in kyiv with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi.

“Today, on the 36th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, once again the world was just one step away from disaster because for Russian troops, the plant and the together were just another area of ​​combat action where they didn’t care about nuclear safety,” Zelensky said.

Zelensky accused Russian troops of operating without regard to nuclear danger and of looting and damaging several areas of the plant, including the system control center and the laboratory.

The Chernobyl nuclear power plant in northern Ukraine was occupied by Russian forces just weeks ago and is now back under Ukrainian control.

He warned that their negligence signals the danger of Russia using nuclear weapons.

“Given the level of the threat, we believe that Russia has no right to weaponize nuclear energy and blackmail the world with the use of nuclear weapons,” Zelensky said.

During the press conference, Zelensky personally thanked the staff members who remained to maintain the plant during the occupation by Russian troops. Staff received medals for their work.

Zelensky and Grossi discussed the current level of nuclear threat and damage to facilities.

Grossi said he agreed the IAEA would continue to work to restore capacity and infrastructure that have been damaged in recent weeks.

“Despite these difficulties, it is important to look to the future, to look to peace, when Ukraine will regain its peace, tranquility and security that all its citizens deserve,” Grossi said.

Grossi paid a working visit to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant on the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day, marking 36 years since an explosion there “spread a radioactive cloud over large parts of the Soviet Union, now the territories of Belarus, Ukraine and the Russian Federation,” as described by the UN.

Nearly 8.4 million people in the three countries are known to have been exposed to radiation, according to the UN.

The head of the IAEA said of the visit: “We are marking the day. We remember what needs to be remembered. We respect and honor those who deserve it, but we work. »

During the working visit, the IAEA delivered a first batch of equipment, including radiation monitoring equipment, Grossi said. IAEA safety inspectors work closely with their Ukrainian counterparts to monitor and compare radiation measurements at the plant and in the exclusion zone, then maintain a presence “as long as the situation requires”, Grossi added, while speaking to reporters on the spot.

Asked by a reporter how close Chernobyl was to another disaster under Russian occupation, Grossi said that although the situation was “completely different” from the 1986 explosion with a nuclear reactor then in operation, it “could have turn into an accident”. .”

All credit for avoiding a worse fate goes to the operators, said the IAEA chief.

“I think the first credit should go to the operators. To these people here, because they have continued their work despite all the difficulties. Despite the stress, despite the fact that they couldn’t work normally,” he said.


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