The capture of the nuclear power plant
According to international law, it is forbidden to attack nuclear power plants and other objects, the destruction of which could lead to the leakage of dangerous substances.
Since the first days of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian nuclear power plants have been targeted by Russian forces. The Russians seized the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and held the station's workers hostage from February to the end of March. During their stay, the Russians damaged the radioactive waste storage facilities, and for several days the station was completely de-energized due to the actions of the Russian military. This created a threat of release of radioactive substances into the environment due to the shutdown of the cooling system of the nuclear waste storage facility. Despite this, the Russian military built fortifications in the "red forest", which led to radiation exposure and the development of radiation sickness among the soldiers themselves.
The situation at Zaporizhzhia NPP is more complicated. The Russians captured it on March 4 and are still there. On the same day, they shelled the buildings and blocks of the station. Currently, according to the head of Enerhoatom, there are about 500 soldiers, heavy equipment and explosives at the station. In addition to the military, representatives of Rosatom are illegally staying at the NPP. Even though representatives of "Enerhoatom" claim that they control the technical situation at the station, and the staff work according to the instructions of the Ukrainian enterprise, the Russians demand that the work of the workers be coordinated with their commanders.
For a long time, the International Atomic Energy Agency did not receive data from the Zaporizhzhia NPP on the state of affairs with nuclear materials, which is why the head of the Agency was going to personally visit the plant.
Even though other Ukrainian nuclear power plants, in particular the South Ukrainian and Khmelnytskyi nuclear power plants, are located in safer territories, the Russian military fires missiles in their direction. In particular, on April 16, three Russian missiles could hit the nuclear reactor of the Southern Ukrainian NPP. On April 25, 2022, two Russian cruise missiles were recorded flying in critical proximity to the nuclear facilities of the Khmelnytskyi NPP, and on June 5, a Russian missile flew over the South Ukrainian NPP. Despite the presence of Russian units on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, on April 26, Russian troops fired two cruise missiles that flew at low altitude over the site of the plant.
Such actions of the Russians can be considered acts of terrorism, which threaten the nuclear security not only of Ukraine but also of the whole of Europe.