Russian forces have occupied the facility since at least March, and have since traded accusations with Ukraine over whose artillery is more damaging to the plant and those inside Ukraine and Europe who rely on its energy.
Later today, United Nations officials are expected to release a report from a harrowing mission last week inside Zaporizhzhia, some of which was reported elsewhere this morning inside the Journal.
According to Ukraine’s President Volodymir Zelenskyy, fresh Russian shelling damaged “the last power transmission line connecting the plant to the energy system of Ukraine,” he said in his Monday address to the nation.
“I consider the fact that Russia is doing this right now, right on the eve of the IAEA conclusions, very eloquent,” Zelenskyy said. “Shelling the territory of the ZNPP means that the terrorist state does not care what the IAEA says, it does not care what the international community decides. Russia is interested only in keeping the situation the worst for the longest time possible.” Zelenskyy’s advice is for all the world’s leaders to officially recognize Russia as a “terrorist state,” with follow-on sanctions. “Ukraine has a very clear, transparent, and honest position,” Zelenskyy said. “While we controlled the plant, there was no threat of a radiation disaster. As soon as Russia came, the worst scenario imaginable immediately became possible.”