Macron condemned shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday condemned the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine and said other nuclear plants had been targeted.

Earlier on Monday Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged NATO members to guarantee the protection of Ukraine’s nuclear plants from Russian “sabotage”. 

There are no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine despite shelling at the weekend that caused widespread damage, the U.N. atomic watchdog said after its experts toured the site.

“They were able to confirm that – despite the severity of the shelling – key equipment remained intact and there were no immediate nuclear safety or security concerns,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement issued on Monday evening.

Residents in Kherson are being urged to leave the recently liberated city amid fresh Russian strikes that have targeted power and energy infrastructure.

“Kherson itself is still without electricity and heating,” said France 24’s Luke Shrago reporting from the city, which was occupied by Russian forces for eight months. With temperatures throughout Ukraine starting to fall many residents in Kherson and throughout the country are now preparing “for, what they are calling, the worst winter of their lives” Shrago said.

President VolodymyrZelensky on Monday urged NATO members to guarantee the protection of Ukraine’s nuclear plants from Russian sabotage.

“All our nations are interested in not having any dangerous incidents at our nuclear facilities,” Zelensky said in a video address to NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid. “We all need guaranteed protection from Russian sabotage at nuclear facilities.”

Berlin has offered to deploy anti-aircraft missile systems in Poland following a deadly rocket strike close to its border with Ukraine, the German defence minister said Monday.

“We have offered to support Poland with (the) securing of its airspace with our Eurofighter (jets) and Patriot air-defence systems,” Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said in an interview with the Rheinische Post daily.

Two people were killed last week when a missile landed in the Polish village of Przewodow, six kilometres (four miles) from the Ukrainian border.

Warsaw and NATO have said the explosion was likely caused by a Ukrainian air-defence missile launched to intercept a Russian barrage, but that Moscow was ultimately to blame because it started the conflict.

Ukrainian authorities have started evacuating civilians from the recently-liberated areas of the Kherson region and the neighbouring province of Mykolaiv, fearing that damage to the infrastructure is too severe for people to endure the upcoming winter, officials said Monday.

Residents of the two southern regions, regularly shelled in the past months by Russian forces, have been advised to move to safer areas in the central and and western parts of the country, said Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister IrynaVereshchuk.FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters

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