The Fort Worth Press - Fire at Ukrainian nuclear plant after Russian forces attack

USD -
AED 3.672991
AFN 70.737778
ALL 93.90921
AMD 387.684865
ANG 1.800666
AOA 855.500838
ARS 902.188398
AUD 1.511984
AWG 1.8
AZN 1.699256
BAM 1.82663
BBD 2.017344
BDT 117.416866
BGN 1.823845
BHD 0.376571
BIF 2871.819298
BMD 1
BND 1.352461
BOB 6.903798
BRL 5.350492
BSD 0.999145
BTN 83.469738
BWP 13.60306
BYN 3.269311
BYR 19600
BZD 2.013981
CAD 1.373595
CDF 2844.999892
CHF 0.89062
CLF 0.033537
CLP 925.379759
CNY 7.255298
CNH 7.270245
COP 4138.57
CRC 526.750816
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 102.982586
CZK 23.113597
DJF 177.899815
DKK 6.970801
DOP 59.324844
DZD 134.813653
EGP 47.729798
ERN 15
ETB 57.144712
EUR 0.934405
FJD 2.238696
FKP 0.784602
GBP 0.78849
GEL 2.869929
GGP 0.784602
GHS 15.038549
GIP 0.784602
GMD 67.74986
GNF 8601.728751
GTQ 7.761169
GYD 209.056565
HKD 7.81215
HNL 24.694713
HRK 7.018438
HTG 132.537603
HUF 372.329952
IDR 16486.5
ILS 3.724175
IMP 0.784602
INR 83.55205
IQD 1308.845024
IRR 42100.00005
ISK 139.470006
JEP 0.784602
JMD 155.494226
JOD 0.7089
JPY 157.334002
KES 129.376996
KGS 87.859899
KHR 4115.007262
KMF 457.498588
KPW 900.000131
KRW 1383.280182
KWD 0.30672
KYD 0.832715
KZT 451.707504
LAK 21821.866697
LBP 89484.876928
LKR 303.871712
LRD 193.833093
LSL 18.346058
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.604889
LYD 4.844426
MAD 10.040861
MDL 17.789981
MGA 4447.495365
MKD 57.545659
MMK 2612.965168
MNT 3450.000098
MOP 8.038834
MRU 39.355944
MUR 46.749769
MVR 15.409952
MWK 1732.393774
MXN 18.466494
MYR 4.719498
MZN 63.695036
NAD 18.346058
NGN 1495.494684
NIO 36.779162
NOK 10.6824
NPR 133.551879
NZD 1.629875
OMR 0.384911
PAB 0.999145
PEN 3.776262
PGK 3.89366
PHP 58.69891
PKR 278.3087
PLN 4.093431
PYG 7514.604727
QAR 3.643733
RON 4.650202
RSD 109.335818
RUB 89.003719
RWF 1310.993121
SAR 3.751599
SBD 8.4616
SCR 14.340133
SDG 586.000017
SEK 10.518975
SGD 1.353205
SHP 1.26345
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.501917
SOS 571.0203
SRD 31.57202
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.742756
SYP 2512.530426
SZL 18.335411
THB 36.69019
TJS 10.685757
TMT 3.5
TND 3.127256
TOP 2.35645
TRY 32.7952
TTD 6.789855
TWD 32.364009
TZS 2623.01396
UAH 40.655823
UGX 3711.538551
UYU 39.160748
UZS 12603.727416
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.483634
VND 25455
VUV 118.721975
WST 2.800615
XAF 612.634548
XAG 0.033909
XAU 0.00043
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.757251
XOF 612.634548
XPF 111.383515
YER 250.300789
ZAR 18.36105
ZMK 9001.203834
ZMW 26.152618
ZWL 321.999592
  • BCC

    -3.9000

    126.6

    -3.08%

  • SCS

    0.0700

    12.4

    +0.56%

  • RIO

    -0.4100

    66.51

    -0.62%

  • NGG

    0.4000

    56.55

    +0.71%

  • CMSC

    0.0400

    24.54

    +0.16%

  • CMSD

    -0.1000

    24.36

    -0.41%

  • RBGPF

    0.0000

    56.5

    0%

  • BCE

    -0.3754

    32.88

    -1.14%

  • RYCEF

    -0.1700

    5.81

    -2.93%

  • JRI

    -0.0865

    11.89

    -0.73%

  • AZN

    0.0600

    79.59

    +0.08%

  • BP

    -0.3000

    34.89

    -0.86%

  • RELX

    -0.4300

    45.22

    -0.95%

  • VOD

    -0.0100

    8.74

    -0.11%

  • BTI

    0.0300

    30.63

    +0.1%

  • GSK

    -0.4600

    40.65

    -1.13%

Fire at Ukrainian nuclear plant after Russian forces attack
Fire at Ukrainian nuclear plant after Russian forces attack

Fire at Ukrainian nuclear plant after Russian forces attack

Russian troops attacked Europe's largest nuclear plant on Friday, starting a fire at the Ukrainian facility, with the country's leader accusing Moscow of "nuclear terror".

Text size:

Local authorities reported no immediate radiation rise was detected and "essential" equipment was unaffected by the fire, but it remained unclear what the invading forces planned next.

President Volodymr Zelensky accused Moscow of trying to "repeat" the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and said he had spoken with international leaders including US President Joe Biden about the crisis at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Biden urged Russia to allow emergency responders to go to the site.

Images on a live feed from the site earlier showed blasts lighting up the night sky and sending up plumes of smoke, with the International Atomic Energy Agency urging an immediate halt to fighting there.

"No country other than Russia has ever fired on nuclear power units," Zelensky said in a video message.

"This is the first time in our history. In the history of mankind. The terrorist state now resorted to nuclear terror."

Zelensky appealed for global help.

"If there is an explosion, it is the end of everything. The end of Europe. This is the evacuation of Europe. Only immediate European action can stop Russian troops," he said.

But after several hours of uncertainty, Ukrainian authorities said the site had been secured.

"The director of the plant said that the nuclear safety is now guaranteed," Oleksandr Starukh, head of the military administration of the Zaporizhzhia region, said on Facebook.

"According to those responsible for the plant, a training building and a laboratory were affected by the fire," he added.

And the IAEA said it had been told by Ukraine's regulator that "there has been no change reported in radiation levels at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant site."

"Ukraine tells IAEA that fire at site of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has not affected 'essential' equipment, plant personnel taking mitigatory actions," the watchdog added in a tweet.

Russia has intensified strikes across the country eight days into the conflict, with fresh reports of civilian casualties and devastating damage, particularly in southern areas near the first city to fall to Moscow's troops.

In a second round of talks held Thursday, Moscow agreed to a Ukrainian request for humanitarian corridors to allow terrified residents to flee, but there was no immediate clarity on how they would work, and no sign of any move towards a ceasefire.

Zelensky called for direct talks with Putin, but also urged the West to step up military assistance and "give me planes."

- 'Just like Leningrad' -

The offensive has continued despite punishing international sanctions, and Zelensky warned other former Soviet states were now at risk of Russian invasion.

"If we are no more then, God forbid, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia will be next," he told a news conference, adding that direct talks with Putin were "the only way to stop this war".

Much of the international community has rallied behind Ukraine since Putin invaded on February 24, making Russia a global outcast in the worlds of finance, diplomacy, sport and culture.

Western analysts say the invading forces have become bogged down -- but warn that the early failures could lead to a frustrated Moscow deciding to unleash all its power on Ukraine.

Putin's comments Thursday did nothing to dispel that fear.

He said Russia was rooting out "neo-Nazis", adding in televised comments that he "will never give up on (his) conviction that Russians and Ukrainians are one people".

French President Emmanuel Macron, who spoke to Putin Thursday, believes "the worst is to come," an aide said.

While a long military column appears stalled north of Ukraine's capital Kyiv, Russian troops have already seized Kherson, a Black Sea city of 290,000 people, after a three-day siege that left it short of food and medicine.

Russian troops are also pressuring the port city of Mariupol east of Kherson, which is without water or electricity in the depths of winter.

"They are trying to create a blockade here, just like in Leningrad," Mariupol mayor Vadym Boichenko said, referring to the brutal Nazi siege of Russia's second city, now re-named Saint Petersburg.

In the northern city of Chernihiv, 33 people died Thursday when Russian forces hit residential areas, including schools and a high-rise apartment block.

And Ukrainian authorities said residential areas in the eastern city of Kharkiv had been "pounded all night" by indiscriminate shelling, which UN prosecutors are investigating as a possible war crime.

- 'Maybe it's hell' -

Many Ukrainians were digging in.

Volunteers in industrial hub Dnipro were making sandbags and collecting bottles for Molotov cocktails as they prepared for an onslaught.

In Lviv, volunteers organised food and supplies to send to other cities and produced home-made anti-tank obstacles after watching YouTube tutorials.

But for others, the worst has already come.

Oleg Rubak's wife Katia, 29, was crushed in their family home in Zhytomyr, west of Kyiv, by a Russian missile strike.

"One minute I saw her going into the bedroom. A minute later there was nothing," Rubak, 32, told AFP amid the ruins in the bitter winter chill.

"I hope she's in heaven and all is perfect for her," he said, in tears.

Gesturing at the pile of rubble, he said what remained was "not even a room, it's... maybe it's hell."

The conflict has already produced more than one million refugees who have streamed into neighbouring countries to be welcomed by volunteers handing them water, food and giving them medical treatment.

Both the EU and the United States said they would approve temporary protection for all refugees fleeing the war -- numbered by the United Nations at more than one million and counting.

"We left everything there as they came and ruined our lives," refugee Svitlana Mostepanenko told AFP in Prague.

The fear of igniting all-out war with nuclear-armed Russia has put some limits on Western support for Ukraine, though a steady supply of weaponry and intelligence continues.

The main lever used to pressure Russia globally has been sanctions, piled on by the West.

The ruble has gone into free-fall, while Russia's central bank -- whose foreign reserves have been frozen in the West -- imposed a 30-percent tax on all sales of hard currency, following a run on lenders by ordinary Russians.

And Putin's invasion has seen some eastern European countries lean even harder West, with both Georgia and Moldova applying for EU membership on Thursday.

In Russia, authorities have imposed a media blackout on the fighting and two liberal media groups -- Ekho Moskvy radio and TV network Dozhd -- said they were halting operations, in another death-knell for independent reporting in Putin's Russia.

On Friday, Facebook and multiple media websites were partially inaccessible in Russia, as authorities crack down voices criticising the war.

burs-sah/kma

X.Silva--TFWP