Crime & Society

Nuclear disaster looms with Russia’s occupation of Zaporizhzhya, Zelensky warns

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday warned the international community of a new nuclear disaster similar to that of Chernobyl in 1986.
He said that Russia is a terrorist state that is holding the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant hostage and using it for blackmail, via video link at the start of a Ukraine donor conference in Copenhagen.
Russia today is even more cynical and dangerous than the Soviet Union, which once tried to hide the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, he said.
“We must protect Europe from this threat,’’ Mr Zelensky said.
Meanwhile, Zaporizhzhya is not only the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, but also the third largest on Earth, he said.
However, the response to Russian action must be comprehensive.
He added that Ukraine needs the maximum amount of weapons and ammunition to defend itself.
“No one needs new disasters,’’ Mr Zelensky said.
The donor conference was to focus on long-term support for weapons, training soldiers and helping Ukraine clear mines.
Representatives from 26 countries were present, including several defence ministers.
Denmark had  announced at the start of the conference that it would support Ukraine with a further €110 million ($113.67 million) for weapons, equipment and training.
After almost six months of war, destruction and suffering, the Ukrainians continued to fight heroically, said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
But the country cannot fight this unequal war alone, she added. “We must all continue and strengthen our support to Ukraine, with weapons, training, demining, and funding,’’ she said.
Addressing Mr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people, she stressed: “We will not abandon you.’’

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