KYIV, Ukraine (Fwrd Axis) — After a night of shelling sparked a fire and fears of nuclear meltdown, Russian military forces took control of the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, it was confirmed Friday morning.
The overnight shelling from Russian forces sparked a fire that was extinguished early Friday and comes as Russia’s attack on the country gets worse with missiles and rockets pelting residential areas and killing innocent civilians, including children.
“The fire at the (nuclear plant) has indeed been extinguished,” Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov announced on his Telegram channel Friday morning.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been sanctioned by much of the world, intensified his attack on the country and French President Emmanuel Macron said he fears Putin’s worst is yet to come in the next days and weeks to come.
“The real threat to Ukrainian lives continues to be the violent invasion and bombing of their country,” the American Nuclear Society said in a statement.
The state nuclear regulator said there was some damage to the compartment of reactor No. 1 and both the U.S. and Ukraine added there was no indication of an increase in radiation levels. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday following the attack on the Zaporizhzhia plant as both leaders urged Russia to stop military activities in the area so firefighters and emergency responders to gain access.
“President Biden joined President Zelenskyy in urging Russia to cease its military activities in the area and allow firefighters and emergency responders to access the site,” the White House said in a statement.
As Russia’s global isolation grows, Putin is tightening his grip on the country. The country’s parliament passed legislation early Friday introducing sentences of up to 15 years in prison for intentionally spreading “fake” information about the military invasion of Ukraine, Russian state media said.
Putin must approve the bill before it becomes law.
Additionally, Russian television network RT has been banned from broadcasting in the EU, the U.K., and the U.S. and Russia’s federal communications regulator restricted access to the BBC’s Russian Service.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that NATO is prepared to fight if they are called to do so if the situation gets worse.
“Ours is a defensive alliance, we seek no conflict, but if conflict comes to us we’re ready for it and we will defend every inch of NATO territory,” he said. “In the wake of Russia’s unprovoked and premeditated aggression against Ukraine, this alliance came together with speed and determination.”