The shooting at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant caused outrage in the international community, forcing the UN Security Council to urgently meet. Kyiv is still resisting the invaders, but several other Ukrainian cities are being shelled or besieged.
This Friday in Ukraine, the nuclear threat took on a new dimension. One of the country’s power plants and, by the way, the largest in Europe, was bombed by Russia. If, fortunately, no serious incident occurs, Europe and the United States will be outraged and worried about Moscow’s maneuvers. Let’s go back to this ninth day of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
• Zaporizhzhya NPP came under fire from Russia.
Clashes between Russian and Ukrainian forces continued on Friday. Although Kyiv remains under Ukrainian control despite intense bombardment, a Russian army convoy is approaching the capital, near Gostomel airport.
Fighting continued in Chernihiv, north of Kyiv, where Ukraine accused Moscow of bombing a residential area and schools on Thursday, killing 47 people, according to the latest report. The city of Zhitomir, located 150 kilometers west of Kyiv, also came under Russian fire.
In Zaporozhye, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant was attacked and taken over by the Russian army, an event that caused fear and outrage throughout the world. Early in the morning, however, the Ukrainian regulator reported that the fire caused by artillery fire had been extinguished and no radioactive leak had been found. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged him to strengthen Western sanctions against Moscow in the aftermath of the attack.
• Emergency meeting of the UN Security Council
At the request of the UK, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council was held this Friday after the explosion of the Zaporozhye power plant. US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the Russian attack posed “an enormous threat to all of Europe and the world.”
However, Russia, through its ambassador to the UN, called the accusation “a lie”, accusing Ukraine of setting fire to the facility.
Emmanuel Macron said he was “extremely concerned about the risks” to nuclear security “caused by the Russian invasion” and would “propose in the coming hours (…) concrete measures to ensure” the security of Ukraine’s five nuclear facilities.
• Appeal of Volodymyr Zelensky to the Europeans
Nine days after the invasion began, Vladimir Zelensky is still holding out. The President of Ukraine spoke briefly this Friday from Kyiv. Observing a minute of silence in memory of the fallen soldiers, and then another in memory of the civilians affected by the war, he appealed to the Europeans.
“I ask you not to be silent, to take to the streets, to support Ukraine, our efforts and our struggle. If Ukraine does not hold out, Europe will not hold out,” he said. “If we fall, all of Europe will fall.”
This weekend in Europe, in particular in Paris, there will be several demonstrations in support of the Ukrainian people. According to the latest UN count, 331 Ukrainian civilians have died since the start of the war, including 19 children.
• Ghost of censorship in Russia
On the Moscow side, Vladimir Putin signed a law on Friday providing for harsh jail terms for anyone who publishes “false information” about the military in the midst of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
This text, adopted shortly before by the deputies, also provides for penalties for “calls to impose sanctions on Russia,” which has faced tough Western response.
On Friday evening, Russian Internet regulator Roskomnadzor began “restricting access” to Twitter after blocking Facebook shortly before. The decision is based on a request from Russian prosecutors dated February 24, the day the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
• Putin is open to dialogue if “all Russia’s demands” are accepted
The President of Russia said in an interview with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz that a peaceful dialogue with Ukraine is possible only if “all the demands of Russia” are accepted.
“Russia is open to dialogue with the Ukrainian side, as well as with everyone who wants peace in Ukraine. But subject to the fulfillment of all the requirements of Russia,” the Kremlin said in a statement about the telephone conversation that took place “at the initiative of Germany.”