War in Ukraine: Signs that Russia may leave Zaporizhia | War in Ukraine
< p class="styled__StyledLegend-sc-v64krj-0 cfqhYM">The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is the subject of intense tension between Ukrainian and Russian forces.
There are signs that Russian forces may be preparing to leave the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which they seized last March, the chairman of Ukraine's state nuclear power company said on Sunday.
Such a withdrawal would be a major change in the partially occupied region of Zaporizhia, in the south-east of the country, where the front line has hardly moved for months.
Repeated shelling around the plant has raised fears of a nuclear disaster.
In recent weeks, we have indeed received information about signs that indicate that they [the Russians] may be preparing to leave the [power plant], said Petro Kotin, president from Energoatom, on national television.
First of all, there is a huge amount of information in the Russian media that it would be worth leaving the [power plant] and perhaps handing over control of it to the x27;International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA], he added in reference to the United Nations nuclear watchdog.
We have the impression that they pack their bags and steal everything they can.
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant is considered the largest installation of its kind in Europe.
For months, Russia and Ukraine, which was the scene of the worst accident nuclear power in history at Chernobyl in 1986 accuse each other of bombing the Zaporizhia power plant, which no longer produces energy.
Petro Kotin clarified that it was too early to talk about leaving: We don't see it now, but they are preparing [to leave].
All [Ukrainian] staff have a ban on passing through checkpoints and entering [controlled] Ukrainian territory.
The head of the IAEA met with a Russian delegation in Istanbul on November 23 to discuss the establishment of a protection zone around the plant, the largest in Europe, in order to avoid a nuclear disaster.
Zaporizhia supplied about one-fifth me of Ukrainian electricity.