Russia has put Europe one step away from "radiation disaster," says Zelensky
"The world must understand what a threat this is."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has claimed that Russia has put Europe "one step away from a radiation disaster" due to an incident at Ukraine's largest power plant.
In a Telegram post, Zelensky stated that the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station - which has been under Russian control since March - stopped for the first time in history on Thursday, which he blamed on Russian shelling.
"The emergency protection of the power units worked - after the last working line of the plant's power return to the Ukrainian power system was damaged by Russian shelling," he said.
"Diesel generators were immediately activated to provide energy to the plant itself, to support it after the shutdown.
"The world must understand what a threat this is: if the diesel generators hadn’t turned on, if the automation and our staff of the plant had not reacted after the blackout, then we would already be forced to overcome the consequences of the radiation accident.
"Russia has put Ukraine and all Europeans in a situation one step away from a radiation disaster."
Zelensky assured Ukrainians that his Government is doing everything it can to prevent such an emergency scenario, before adding that it depends not only on Ukraine.
"The key thing is that such international pressure is needed that will force the occupiers to immediately withdraw from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP," he added.
"The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and other international organisations must act much faster than they’re acting now because every minute the Russian troops stay at the nuclear power plant is a risk of a global radiation disaster."
The Ukrainian President also said he has spoken to US President Joe Biden about the matter.
"I am grateful to him for understanding and fully supporting the need to return the plant under Ukraine control and provide IAEA access immediately," Zelensky said.
"This can be done in a matter of days, before the occupiers bring the situation to an irreversible point."