Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

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A view shows the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Zaporizhzhia region, on March 29.
A view shows the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Zaporizhzhia region, on March 29. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Russia has dismissed claims that it deployed military equipment and explosives at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine.

On Wednesday, Ukraine’s State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate accused Russia of placing weapons, explosives and military equipment in one of the power plant’s units. The body said it received the information during its weekly meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency representatives a day earlier.

“In the event of an emergency situation at the Zaporizhzhia NPP with a potentially possible release of radioactive substances into the environment, the consequences will be felt not only by Ukraine — but they will also have a cross-border nature,” the inspectorate said. 

It called on the international community “for a consolidated and decisive response to the actions of the aggressor country.”

Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Russian-appointed military-civilian administration in occupied Zaporizhzhia, called the claims “a lie.”

“We do not use the nuclear power plant as a military facility — this has already been proven by everyone and confirmed more than once,” Rogov told Russian state news agency TASS. 

Where things stand at the facility: Russian forces control the Zaporizhzhia plant, but it is still physically operated by Ukrainian staff. The plant has frequently been disconnected from Ukraine’s power grid due to intense shelling in the area, raising fears of a nuclear accident.

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