Russia refuses to demilitarize Zaporizhia, which brings us one step closer to nuclear catastrophe

Russian military trucks bearing the ominous “Z” symbolizing Vladimir Putin’s deadly intentions in Ukraine were spotted right in the turbine halls as Russia – on Friday – rejected calls for demilitarization most dangerous nuclear power plant in Europe.

Cries for help from Ukrainian workers being held hostage at the Russian-controlled plant are ominous. “What is happening is appalling and goes beyond common sense and morality,” they wrote on Telegram. Constant shells ricochet off the reactors, causing untold damage, they say, warning that if the attacks don’t stop soon, “nuclear fuel will begin to melt, leading to the release of radioactive substances into the environment.”

Rising tensions have sparked concern across the region, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warning that Russia’s refusal to demilitarize the facility could have deadly consequences. “Military equipment and personnel should be withdrawn from the facility. A further use of forces or equipment to the place of action is to be avoided. The area must be demilitarized,” Gutteres said after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskyy, who has accused Russia of inciting fighting in the area. Russia says instead that Ukraine will shoot first. “We have to say it like it is – any potential harm to Zaporizhia is suicide.”

Images of the potentially apocalyptic decision to hide war machines and ammunition at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant surfaced on social media on Thursday. Several news organizations have geolocated the image to confirm the location, which has sparked fears of a Chernobyl-style disaster across Europe as Putin scrambles to keep his invasion on track.

Workers were told not to come to work on Friday, it said Washington Postahead of what many fear is an imminent disaster at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

The plant has been run by Ukrainians under Russian control since March. The Russian Defense Ministry said that the footage seen online “shows that weapons, especially heavy ones, are not placed on the territory of this station”.

Friday the Washington Post reported that Russia was planning a “full-scale terrorist attack” on the vulnerable facility, which is eight times the size of Chernobyl and which would send a powerful cloud across much of Europe if damaged even minimally. Several experts told the BBC that the facility “can withstand extreme external events, both natural and man-made, such as a plane crash or explosions,” but no one ever imagined a prolonged military attack.

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