Kiev receives high-precision “Brimstone-2” missiles… and disaster looms near Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

Today, Tuesday, marks a new day of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, where units of the Russian army are trying to establish control and strike the positions of the Ukrainian forces, while Kiev is trying to regain its lands with military assistance from the West.

In the latest developments, the Telegraph newspaper reported that the British authorities had handed over high-precision Brimstone-2 missiles to the Ukrainian side. These missiles are laser-guided and their launch range is double that of the previous series.

It is known that the “Brimstone-2” missiles entered in service with the British Royal Air Force in 2016. ‘Brimstone’ missiles were primarily designed to be anti-armor and over time evolved to be able to destroy a wide range of targets.

Earlier, the British Ministry of Defense announced that it would soon complete the delivery of about a thousand anti-aircraft missiles to Ukraine. He noted that Britain will deliver launch platforms to Ukraine with missiles in capable of shooting down targets in air, including drones and cruise missiles.

Russia and Ukraine on Monday accused each other of being responsible for at least 12 explosions near Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which has been under Russian control since the early days of the Feb. 24 military operation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on NATO members to ensure protection from “Russian sabotage” of nuclear facilities.

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The attack came as battles erupted in the east after Russian forces moved into the industrial region of Donbass from the vicinity of Kherson, which Ukrainian forces in the south of the country recently recaptured.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said whoever shot up the station “is taking a big risk and gambling with many people’s lives”.

It has not yet been possible to determine which party was responsible for the bombing. The attacks also hit a cooling pond, a cable to a reactor and a bridge to another reactor, according to a team of the IAEA in the field which relied on information provided by the facility management.

Repeated bombings of the plant during the war raised fears of a major catastrophe in the country, which suffered the worst nuclear accident in the world, the explosion at the Chernobyl plant in 1986.

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The International Atomic Energy Agency said radiation levels remained normal and no injuries were reported. Grossi said that while there was no direct impact on nuclear safety and security systems, “the bombing came perilously close.”

Russia’s response to its military setbacks in recent weeks has included launching a barrage of rocket attacks, many of them on power plants, causing power outages in most of the country as winter sets in and the temperatures that drop below the zero.

Zelensky said Russian missiles have shut down half of the country’s electricity generation capacity.

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The IAEA said Grossi spoke to world leaders and stressed to them the need to create a nuclear safety buffer zone around Zaporizhia.

Rosatom has controlled the plant through a subsidiary since President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia in October to formally take over the plant and transfer Ukrainian employees to a Russian entity.

Kyiv controls the territory off the Zaporizhia station, on the other bank of the Dnipro River.

Russia’s defense ministry said Ukraine fired on power lines supplying the station. The Ukrainian nuclear energy company, Energo Atom, said the Russian military bombed the site, accusing it of nuclear extortion and carrying out actions that “put in danger to the whole world”.

The Ukrainian military said late Monday evening that Russian forces had been trying to make advances around Bakhmut and Avdiivka in Donetsk and shelling nearby towns.

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