Another Nuclear Facility In Ukraine Is Under Attack As The War Rages On

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According to Ukraine’s national security agency, Russian forces launched rockets at a physics facility in Kharkiv that houses nuclear material and a reactor, as reported by the Independent.

The attack on the nuclear facility comes on the eleventh day of the invasion, and the security service has warned that it might result in a “large-scale ecological disaster.” It said that Moscow’s soldiers were launching missiles from truck-mounted “Grad” launchers, which lacked precision targeting, stoking fears that one might go astray.

Russian airborne troops land in Ukraine's Kharkiv, clashes erupt | Russia-Ukraine  war News | Al Jazeera

The Neutron Source, a nuclear research facility with 37 nuclear fuel cells in the active zone, is housed in the Kharkiv Institute of Physics and Technology.

Blasts were seen hitting a building – allegedly at the Kharkiv Institute in footage posted to Facebook by Ukraine’s interior minister. However, there were no initial reports of any damage to the nuclear materials within.

A man is seen through a bullet hole of a machine-gunned bus after an ambush in the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, March 4, 2022. While a small group of reservists were burying their comrade, 54-year-old Volodymyr Nezhenets, who was one of three killed on Feb. 26 in an ambush Ukrainian authorities say was caused by Russian 'saboteurs', a few kilometers away from the cemetery, the remains of the convoy Volodymyr was killed in 6 days ago still stands in the road with charred vehicles, a bus riddled with bullets, a spatter of blood on the drivers seat. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Several media organizations have confirmed the shelling; however, it is unclear whether it continues. According to sources, the army used Grad rocket launchers that lacked precise aiming abilities. It’s possible that the attack on the institution was an accident, but knowing that Russia bombed nuclear facilities during its invasion, seems deliberate.

The incident comes only two days after Russian soldiers attacked Europe’s largest nuclear power facility in Zaporizhzhia, raising concerns of a radioactive disaster akin to the 1986 Chernobyl tragedy.

This image made from a video released by Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shows bright flaring object landing in grounds of the nuclear plant in Enerhodar, Ukraine Friday, March 4, 2022. Russian forces shelled Europe’s largest nuclear plant early Friday, sparking a fire as they pressed their attack on a crucial energy-producing Ukrainian city and gained ground in their bid to cut off the country from the sea. (Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant via AP)

Given the fact that targeting nuclear facilities wasn’t the goal, Russia’s provocative moves are intensifying the war. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, expressed his worries that continued strikes will progressively implicate unarmed people and nuclear material.

“Condemned nuclear terrorism and war crimes of Russia. Discussed further strengthening of sanctions against Russia and agreed on the next joint steps,” Zelenskyy said.

There are several uncertainties about Putin’s motives. Let’s hope that either someone intervenes or that the Russian president reevaluates his actions in time.

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