fear of a cold and dark winter is growing in Ukraine

Russian forces begin a “census” in a town near a nuclear power plant

This photo taken on September 11, 2022 shows a general view of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Enerhodar (Energodar), amid ongoing Russian military action in Ukraine. (Photo by STRINGER/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian forces and “collaborators” have begun a census in the southeastern city of Enerhodar, according to Ukrainian authorities.

For the second day in a row, Russian forces “together with associates of the so-called police are conducting door-to-door searches and intercepting people in yards,” said Dmytro Orlov, the deposed mayor of Enerhodar.

“This was reported by local residents who had to participate in the “census”.

“In many cases, the list ends with searching and navigating mobile phone apps. Stay tuned,” he added.

Before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in February, Enerhodar had a population of around 50,000. The city has been under Russian occupation since the beginning of March.

It is next to the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which was cut off from Ukraine’s power grid by the bombing of Moscow earlier this week as the Kremlin stepped up its attacks on critical energy infrastructure.

Russian shelling some 50 kilometers from the plant disabled two high-voltage transmission lines, according to state-run nuclear power company Energoatom.

The power plant went into “total blackout”. “All 20 diesel generators have started working,” Energoatom said.

“Units 5 and 6 are going into cold shutdown mode,” he added. The other four units were already disconnected.

The plant is run by Ukrainian technicians, but is controlled by Russia’s state nuclear operator Rusatom.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Thursday that power was cut late Wednesday night and “is now receiving standby power from its emergency diesel generators, further highlighting the extremely dangerous nuclear safety situation.” unsafe to install”.

IAEA Director General Mariano Grossi said the cut underscores the “urgent need to establish a buffer zone” around the plant.

“Despite the best efforts of the valiant staff of the plant to stabilize the external power situation in recent weeks, Zaporizhia NE has once again lost all access to external power,” Grossi said.

“For now, it gets the necessary power from the plant’s diesel generators. But it is clear that this is not a sustainable way to operate a large nuclear plant. Measures are needed to prevent a nuclear accident at the site. The establishment of nuclear safety protection zones is urgent.”

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