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Russian troops are holding the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant "hostage" and its safety cannot be guaranteed until they withdraw from it.

This was stated by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky

Volodymyr Zelensky is a Ukrainian artist, screenwriter, producer and politician. Volodymyr (sometimes quoted by "Reuters", reported BTA.

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Russian troops have occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe's largest, since the first weeks of their invasion of Ukraine and have shown no desire to relinquish control of it since then.

"Holding a nuclear power plant hostage for more than a year is certainly the worst thing that has happened in the history of European or world nuclear energy," Zelensky emphasized in his evening video address and denounced Russia's presence there as "radiation blackmail."

His comment came after a meeting with the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Raphael Grossi, at the Dnipro hydroelectric plant - northeast of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.

Initiatives to restore safety and security are "doomed to failure" without the withdrawal of Russian troops from the headquarters, Zelensky warned.

Russia and Ukraine regularly accuse each other of shelling the power plant.

Fighting around it and fears that cooling systems could lose power due to water shortages have raised fears of a nuclear disaster.

Since September, an IAEA team has been stationed at the headquarters, which Kiev claims Moscow uses as a shield for its troops and military equipment.

Grossi has repeatedly called for a safety zone around the Zaporizhia NPP and is expected to visit it again this week.

He has tried to negotiate with both sides, but admitted in January that brokering a deal was becoming increasingly difficult.

Multiple explosions and air raid sirens were heard in Kyiv

Zaporizhia is one of four oblasts annexed by Russia in September after referendums the world community criticized as fraudulent.

Russia considers the plant its territory, something Ukraine denies.

Yesterday, Zelensky visited the Zaporozhye region as part of his tour of the front lines since a senior general announced that a Ukrainian counter-offensive could soon follow.

Russian invasion of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelensky