Europe’s largest nuclear plant hit with explosions as officials warn attackers are ‘playing with fire’
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The largest nuclear plant in Europe, which is based in Ukraine, has been hit with numerous explosions.
A global nuclear watchdog is calling for 'urgent measures' to help prevent a nuclear accident after shells hit the Russian-occupied facility.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said reports of shelling were 'extremely disturbing.'
Confirming reports of a disturbance in the area, Grossi said two explosions near the Zaporizhzhia plant abruptly ended a period of relative calm around the nuclear facility.
He warned: "Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you're playing with fire."
The Russian-occupied nuclear plant has been a site of constant unrest between Russia and Ukraine since invasions first began.
People reported hearing over a dozen blasts near the plant on Sunday morning (20 November).
Several buildings, systems and equipment at the power plant were damaged in the shelling, although none of the explosions were critical to the safety of the plant and there were no reports of casualties.
Grossi has appealed to Russian and Ukrainian forces to agree on a set nuclear safety zone around the facility.
Meanwhile, Ukraine representatives are calling out Russia for the damage.
Ukraine's nuclear energy agency Energoatom said in a statement after the attack: "This morning... as a result of numerous Russian shellings, at least 12 hits were recorded on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant."
Meanwhile, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov is blaming Ukrainian forces, claiming they shelled the power plant twice. He also said two shells hit near the power lines supplying the plant with electricity.
It has not been made clear yet which side was ultimately responsible.
The nuclear plant once supplied electricity to about a fifth of Ukraine before it was taken over by Russian forces.
Elsewhere across the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine officials claim that Russia has destroyed at least 30 homes.
Meanwhile, the capital city of Kyiv is facing a 'critical situation' with blackouts and power shortages thanks to Russia's attacks on Ukraine's energy infrastructure.
President Zelenskiy confirmed over the weekend that supply issues were the worst around Kyiv, but that officials were 'working throughout the country to stabilise the situation'.
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Topics: News, World News, Ukraine