Guterres sees “warning signs” in Zaporiyia, warns of potential “self-destruction”

The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has taken advantage of the day on which Ukraine reaches the “tragic” milestone of six months of war to warn of the “dangerous escalation” in certain areas, including the nuclear power plant of Zaporiyia, where there are already “warning signs” that anticipate “self-destruction” in the event of an accident.

Guterres, who last week visited Ukraine and saw first-hand progress on key issues such as grain exports, has told the UN Security Council that progress on humanitarian issues does not hide the fact that “the fighting shows no signs of ending.”

The UN chief has expressed “deep concern” about the situation in the Zaporiyia power plant, controlled by Russian forces. “Any action that could endanger the physical integrity or security of the plant is unacceptable,” he said.

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The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) aspires to send a mission to these facilities and Guterres is confident that it will be “as soon as possible”, for which it is necessary that Ukrainians and Russians reach some kind of agreement which, as of today, is still being resisted.

Guterres has also expressed his concern about the treatment of prisoners of war and has advocated clarifying what happened in Olenivka, Donetsk, where at the end of July fighters from the Azov battalion, Kiev’s ally in this conflict, were executed.

The UN has announced the dispatch of a mission to “establish the facts,” as the secretary general has put it. “This mission must be able to carry out its work freely,” said Guterres, who hopes that his envoys will be able to visit all the places and gather all the testimonies they consider appropriate.

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Guterres congratulated Ukraine on its Independence Day and pointed out that its population “needs peace now”. A peace, he added, “in line with the United Nations Charter, in line with international law”, after half a year of “serious” abuses.

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