Europe’s largest nuclear plant in Ukraine narrowly avoided a catastrophic meltdown after Putin launched a devastating hypersonic missile blitz on the nation.
The Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant (ZNPP) has now been reconnected to the grid after it had lost all external power supplies and relied on diesel generators to survive the disaster.
A barrage of Russian missiles – including six deadly Kinzhal hypersonic ballistic missiles – were fired at various regions of Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed that the “massive retaliatory strike” includes the Kinjal, which can be loaded with up to 1,000 pounds of explosives or even a nuclear warhead.
The Ukrainian military said a total of 81 missiles and eight drones were fired during the morning attacks – the biggest in weeks.
People woke up to the terrifying sound of an air raid warning as explosives rained down on the streets.
Moscow said it launched the blitz last week in retaliation for Kiev’s pumped-up “terrorist attack” near the border.
Last Thursday Moscow made the bizarre claim that Ukrainian saboteurs had stormed the border and taken hostages in the Bryansk region.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement: “High-precision long-range air, sea and land-based weapons, including the Kinzhal hypersonic missile system, key elements of Ukraine’s military infrastructure, military-industrial complex enterprises, as well as energy facilities who serve him.”
It claimed that the target was met and that “all specified objects have been hit.”
Some of the missiles appear to have been fired from the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov, the Caspian Sea and Moldovan airspace.
Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valery Zaluzny said the air defense shot down about 34 Russian cruise missiles from various positions.
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Spokesman Colonel Yuri Ihnat said Russia used a variety of aircraft and ships to hurl “a broad spectrum of weapons” at the war-torn country.
He said: “I don’t remember multiple Kinjal missiles being launched simultaneously during this war.
“The enemy does not have a very high number of these missiles, we are talking about dozens. The enemy has also launched six Kh-22 missiles of the most destructive capacity.
“As of now, we have no capability to counter these weapons.”
Ukraine’s air defenses have no chance of intercepting the missiles – which travel at up to 12 times the speed of sound and have a range of about 2,000 miles.
Residential buildings were affected in the horrific explosions, which killed at least 11 people, officials said.
The attacks crippled the country’s power supply, with the UN nuclear watchdog warning that an overheating reactor at the ZNPP could trigger fuel chaos.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said the generators only had enough fuel to last 15 days.
Director General Raffaele Mariano Grossi said he was “appalled by the complacency” in preventing a serious incident at the plant.
He told the board of governors: “What are we doing to prevent this from happening? Every time we are rolling a dice. And if we allow this to continue time after time then one day our luck will run out “
He called for setting up a security zone around the Russian-occupied nuclear power plant.
Ukrainian grid operator Ukrainergo announced Thursday afternoon that disaster had been averted.
“Ukrainergo’s specialists have restored the power supply to Zaporizhia NPP, which was disrupted by today’s missile strikes,” the company said.
“ZNPP is switching from diesel generators to receive electricity for its needs from the Unified Electricity System of Ukraine.”
Energoatom said it was the sixth time the plant was offline since it was acquired by Russia last year, forcing it to rely on 18 diesel generators, which can run the station for 10 days.
I do not remember that many Kinjal missiles were fired simultaneously during this war.
Colonel Yuri Ihnat
The damage followed a series of missile attacks that rocked several regions of Ukraine.
Attacks were also reported on power plants in other parts of Ukraine, including the region of Kharkiv in the northeast and Odesa in the southwest.
Ukrainian President Zelensky condemned the new wave of missile attacks and said that Moscow “will not shirk responsibility” before critical infrastructure and residential buildings were damaged in ten regions.
Lviv Governor Maxim Kozitsky said four people were killed in a missile attack on a residential area.
He said three buildings were destroyed in the fire that followed the strike, and rescue workers were searching the rubble for more possible victims.
Another person was killed and two others were wounded in multiple attacks in the Dnipropetrovsk region, Governor Serhiy Lysak said.
Three civilians were killed in Russian attacks on the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Thursday.
According to regional officials, two people waiting for a bus were killed in the shelling. The picture after this can be seen in the picture below.
Another tragically lost his life when he was hit by cannons while buying goods at a local shop.
The attacks sent air raid sirens across cities, including the capital Kiev.
Air defense systems were activated in several areas of the country.
Officials said Kiev was attacked with both missiles and exploding drones and many were intercepted but its energy infrastructure was damaged.
It has called on allies to ramp up arms supplies to Ukraine in hopes of bringing down Putin once and for all.
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said an explosion was reported in the city’s Holosivsky district, and two people were injured in the Svyatoshinsky district.
Oleh Sinihubov, governor of the northeastern Kharkiv region, reported more than 15 attacks in Ukraine’s second largest city.
“Critical infrastructure items are again in the crosshairs of occupiers,” he said in a social media post.
Maxim Marchenko, governor of the southern Odessa region, said energy facilities and residential buildings in the region were affected.
“The second wave is expected now, so I ask residents of the area to stay in shelters!” Marchenko wrote, adding that the area had been hit by a “massive missile strike”.
Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Hlushchenko called the missile attacks “another barbaric large-scale attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure” and said in a Facebook post that facilities in the Kiev, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhya, Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk and Zhytomyr regions would be shut down. was targeted.
Supplier DTEK said preventive emergency power cuts had been implemented in the Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk and Odessa regions.
More explosions were reported in the northern city of Chernihiv and the cities of Dnipro, Lutsk and Rivne.
Ukrainian media also reported explosions in the western regions of Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil.
These missile attacks have come from Russia since last October, initially targeting the country’s energy infrastructure on a weekly basis.
This brought the entire city into darkness, however, over time it was speculated that Moscow was saving on ammunition.
The last major barrage took place on 16 February.
According to the Ukrainian military, Russia has lost 590 more soldiers in the last 24 hours.
This brings the total number of losses to 156,120.
13 APVs and 5 tanks were reportedly destroyed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the past in resistance to the illegal Russian aggression.
The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, claimed control of the eastern side of Bakhmut this week, according to the leader of the Wagner mercenary group.
Ukrainian forces are now holding positions and inflicting as many casualties as possible on enemy forces in a desperate attempt to reduce their combat capability.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said: “The enemy, despite significant losses, continues to storm the city of Bakhmut.”
Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as Putin’s chef and Wagner’s chief, claimed that his mercenaries had captured the east of the city.
He said via telegram: “Everything east of the Bakhmutka River is completely under Wagner’s control.”
If the warlord’s claims are true, Russian forces now control about half of Bakhmut.
The chilling update comes as the leader of NATO predicted that the rest of the city could fall on the rest of the city in the next few days.
Speaking before a conference of EU defense ministers, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Russia was throwing more troops into the war.
He said: “They have suffered great losses, but at the same time we cannot rule out that Bakhmut may collapse in the coming days.
“It won’t necessarily be a turning point in the war, he said, but it shows ‘we shouldn’t underestimate Russia’.”
On Tuesday, the chief medic of the Ukrainian National Guard told Reuters that all roads in the area were under heavy shelling.
He said: “Ambulances and other vehicles get hit by shelling and because of this it is very difficult to evacuate people.
“There are high casualties, and especially among medics.”
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