Russia accuses Ukraine of ‘provocation’ during UN visit, warning of nuclear disaster

Russia has warned of the risk of a man-made nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and accused Ukraine of planning a “provocation” during a visit by the United Nations Secretary-General.

The factory, near the front lines, has come under repeated fire in recent weeks, with both Ukraine and Russia blaming each other for the shelling.

Russia’s defense ministry accused Ukraine of committing a “minor accident” at the factory in southern Ukraine in order to blame Russia.

Reuters could not verify Russia’s claim.

The Zaporizhzhya nuclear reactor complex, the largest in Europe, was captured by Russian forces shortly after tens of thousands of troops entered Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what Russia calls a “special military operation.”

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters that Moscow was taking steps to ensure security in the complex and denied having deployed heavy weapons in and around the factory.

The ministry said the factory could be closed if Ukrainian troops continue to shell it.

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