Russia and Ukraine live updates: Ukrainian forces launch major counterattack

The head of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Monday that a long-awaited mission of experts to the Zaporizhzhya power plant in southeastern Ukraine is “on its way.”

“The day has come,” said Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He said in a post on Twitter.

Grossi, who leads the “IAEA Support and Assistance Mission to Zaporizhia”, has long sought access to the nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe. Russia and Ukraine blamed each other Bombing the site or near it In recent weeks, raising fears that the fighting could cause a nuclear disaster.

“We must protect the safety and security of the largest nuclear facility in #Ukraine and Europe,” Grossi wrote on Twitter, along with a photo of him with 13 other experts. “We are proud to lead this mission which will be at the #ZNPP later this week.”

Shortly after invading neighboring Ukraine on February 24, Russian forces stormed the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant near the town of Enerhodar, on the banks of the Dnipro River in the southeast of the country. Ukrainian workers It was left in place To keep the plant running, as it supplies electricity across the war-torn country.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the IAEA team will travel to the station through the territory under the control of Ukraine, the state agency TASS reported.

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Russian forces control the area around the nuclear reactor. As soon as the IAEA team enters the territory controlled by Russia, all necessary security will be provided, Peskov said.

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