Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy warns Europe is ‘one step away from nuclear catastrophe’ amid war with Russia

Zelenskyy spoke about the fires started by Russia on Thursday August 25 which caused the plant to be cut off from the electricity grid.

Backup generators kicked in, meaning the plant’s safety systems could be cooled, preventing a disastrous meltdown.

Volodymyr Zelensky said the world was “one step away” from nuclear disaster. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Praising Ukrainian technicians, Zelenskyy also warned that a radioactive disaster could have happened.

He said: “If our station staff had not reacted after the blackout, we would have already been forced to overcome the consequences of a radiological accident.

“Russia has put Ukraine and all Europeans on the verge of a radioactive disaster.”

The United Nations is currently seeking access to the factory and has called for the demilitarization of the area.

Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of bombing the site, with Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-appointed official in occupied Enerhodar – a town near the plant – saying the outage was caused by a forest fire triggered by Ukrainian forces.

“It was caused by the disconnection of power lines from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as a result of provocations by Zelensky’s fighters,” Rogov said on Telegram.

“The disconnection itself was triggered by a fire and a short circuit on the power lines.”

Speaking to Reuters, Paul Bracken, national security expert and professor, issued a stark warning about the damage to factories.

Zelensky warned that a radioactive disaster could have occurred.  Credit: Naeblys / Alamy Stock Photo
Zelensky warned that a radioactive disaster could have occurred. Credit: Naeblys / Alamy Stock Photo

Bracken confirmed that if the walls of the reactor were pierced by bombardment, the radiation would likely spread over a large area and be no different from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Braken said:[A failure at the plant] could kill hundreds or thousands of people and damage the environment of a much larger area reaching Europe.

He added: “Russian roulette is a good metaphor because the Russians are spinning the gun chamber, threatening to blow the brains out of the reactor all over Europe.”

Earlier this month, Zelenskyy warned: “Any radiological incident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant may affect European Union countries, Turkey, Georgia and countries in more distant regions. It all depends solely on the direction and speed of the wind.

He added: “All Russian troops must be immediately withdrawn from the factory and nearby areas without any conditions.”