On Thursday, February 24, 2022, smoke rises from the air defense base after a clear Russian strike on Mariupol, Ukraine. Russian troops have launched an expected attack on Ukraine. Before dawn, big bombings erupted in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Odessa as world leaders condemned the start of a Russian invasion that could lead to mass casualties and overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected government. (Photo by AP / Eugene Malaletko)

(The hill) – Russian military threatens nuclear power plant in Ukraine amid ongoing invasion of the country.

Russia’s military presence has increased near the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is located in a city in the Zaporozhye region, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

Russian troops have sent one of their deadliest weapons to the nuclear power plant – the Hail multiple rocket launcher, the ministry said.

Ukraine has appealed to the international community about the danger, while the Interior Ministry says Ukrainian troops are heading to the region to protect the plant.

“The armed forces, the National Guard and the civilian police will do everything to prevent a catastrophe, we are ready to destroy the enemy. But we need to be ready for everything, ”adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs Vadzim Dzenisenka said.

The attack on Ukraine’s nuclear fleet, one of the largest in the world, could potentially have catastrophic consequences.

The nuclear fleet includes four power plants and 15 reactors and provides about half of the country’s electricity.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine reported that Ukrainian forces intercepted a Russian missile heading to the Kiev reservoir.

“The destruction of the reservoir could create a cascading effect that could destroy other dams and even damage the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” – said in a statement the Ministry of Infrastructure.

Formerly Russian troops took control The Chernobyl nuclear power plant on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the start of the invasion of Ukraine.

Chernobyl is known as the site of the largest nuclear incident in history. In 1986, several explosions occurred in the reactor, the core of which survived the melting, and the radioactive material was released into the atmosphere. Dozens died, thousands were evacuated from the area.

After Ukraine gained its independence after the fall of the Soviet Union, it inherited one of the world’s largest nuclear arsenals.

However, Ukraine renounced its nuclear arsenal after signing an agreement with Russia and the United States. In exchange for giving up their nuclear arsenal, the United States, Britain and Russia have assured security that Ukraine will not attack.

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