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Russian troops have taken control of Ukraine’s second largest power station, Vuhlehirska, near the city of Svitlodarsk, Reuters has reported.
Located in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, Vuhlehirska is a Soviet-era coal-fired Vuhlehirsk power plant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiyy’s adviser Oleksiy Arestovych has confirmed that the power station has been captured by Russian forces.
Arestovych said, however, that this is only a ‘tiny tactical advantage’ for Russia.
He added that Moscow is carrying out a ‘massive redeployment’ of its troops in Ukraine’s three southern regions.
Russian forces had previously claimed to have captured the Vuhlehirska plant intact.
Earlier this month, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director-general Rafael Mariano Grossi said that recent reports from the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) suggested an ‘increasingly alarming situation’ in the region.
Grossi called for ‘maximum restraint’ to avoid any accident that could lead to a life-threatening situation for public health in Ukraine and other regions.
The IAEA had been unable to reach the nuclear power facility in Ukraine’s southern region since before the conflict began on 24 February.
Grossi said: “These reports are very disturbing and further underline the importance of the IAEA going to the Zaporizhzya plant.
“I’m continuing my determined efforts to agree and lead a safety, security and safeguards mission to the site as soon as possible. It is urgent.
“From the beginning of the military conflict in Ukraine, the IAEA has warned about the risk of a severe nuclear accident in a country with 15 reactors at four operational NPPs.
“In view of the recent unconfirmed reports about events at or near the Zaporizhzya NPP, I am gravely concerned about this very real danger, with potentially serious consequences.”
In March this year, Grossi was notified that the Russian military had taken control of the area around the Zaporizhzhya NPP.