This file photo dated May 1, 2022, shows a Russian soldier guarding an area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in territory under Russian military control, southeastern Ukraine. (PHOTO / AP)
KIEV/MOSCOW – A Ukrainian official said on Thursday that the Zaporizhzhia region has been left without power supply, but the Russian side later said power supply to the region has been restored.
Energodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov posted a message on Telegram that Energodar, a satellite city of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP) in southern Ukraine, has been left without electricity and water following a shelling carried out by Russian forces.
Yevgeny Balitsky, the Russian official in charge of the military-civilian administration of the Zaporizhzhia region, said that as a result of a strike by the Ukrainian army on power lines in the Zaporizhzhia NPP area, the security zone of the 750 kV overhead line caught fire, which was caused by a short circuit
The Zaporizhzhia NPP has been disconnected from the power grid for the first time in history, Ukraine's state-run nuclear energy operator Energoatom confirmed on the same day.
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Separately, Ivan Fedorov, mayor of the neighboring Melitopol town, said that several towns and villages in the parts of the Zaporizhzhia region controlled by Russia were also left without electricity.
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a daily report on Thursday that Ukrainian troops continue to shell the Zaporizhzhia NPP and Energodar city. In addition, the Russian side blamed Ukraine's attack for the outage.
Yevgeny Balitsky, the Russian official in charge of the military-civilian administration of the Zaporizhzhia region, said that as a result of a strike by the Ukrainian army on power lines in the Zaporizhzhia NPP area, the security zone of the 750 kV overhead line caught fire, which was caused by a short circuit.
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The relay emergency protection of the Zaporizhzhia NPP was activated and two power units were turned off, after which the Zaporizhzhia region was left without power supply, Balitsky said on Telegram.
Immediately after the fire was extinguished, one unit was put into operation. Work was underway to restore the power supply to the region and launch the second power unit, he noted, adding that at the moment, power supply to all cities and districts of the Zaporizhzhia region has been restored.
The Zaporizhzhia NPP, located on the northwestern outskirts of Energodar, is one of Europe's largest nuclear power plants. It has been controlled by Russian forces since early March, but its Ukrainian staff has continued to operate it. In recent weeks, Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations of strikes on the facility.
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