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Ukraine war: World leaders accuse Russia of threatening all of Europe as shelling at nuclear plant sparks fire

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R

ussia has shelled a nuclear power station in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia overnight in an attack that Boris Johnson said could “directly threaten the safety of all of Europe”.

A video feed from the nuclear plant – the biggest in Europe – showed blasts lighting up the night sky in the early hours of Friday.

In an early morning phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, Mr Johnson vowed to seek an emergency UN Security Council meeting in a bid for a ceasefire.

US President Joe Biden urged Moscow to stop its military activities around the site. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the “horrific attacks” from Russia “must cease immediately”.

Workers at the plant said the fire – which has since been extinguished – broke out at a training building outside the plant’s perimeter, and that only one of the plant’s six reactors were operational.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the fire has not caused a change in the plant’s radiation level. Nor had the shelling or fire caused any damage to “essential” equipment.

A statement from Ukraine’s emergency services said: “At 06:20 the fire in the training building of Zaporizhzhia NPP in Energodar was extinguished. There are no victims.”

Downing Street earlier called the situation in Zaporizhzhia “gravely concerning”.

In a statement sent to PA News Agency, a spokeswoman for the PM’s office said: “Both leaders agreed that Russia must immediately cease its attack on the power station and allow unfettered access for emergency services to the plant.

“The Prime Minister said the reckless actions of President Putin could now directly threaten the safety of all of Europe. He said the UK would do everything it could to ensure the situation did not deteriorate further.

“The Prime Minister said he would be seeking an emergency UN Security Council meeting in the coming hours, and that the UK would raise this issue immediately with Russia and close partners.

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