Russian Defense Ministry says it may close Zaporizhia nuclear power plant if shelling continues

Soldiers with Russian flags in their uniforms stand guard near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant during the course of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhia region of Ukraine on August 4, 2022. is doing. (Alexander Ermochenko) /Reuters)

MOSCOW—Russian Defense Ministry said on Thursday that the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine could be shut down if Ukrainian forces continue to shell the facility.

In a briefing, Igor Kirillov, head of Russia’s Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces, said the bombardment had damaged the plant’s backup support system. He said the radioactive material would cover Germany, Poland and Slovakia.

The Zaporizhia factory was seized by Russian forces in March. It remains close to the front lines and has been under repeated shelling in recent weeks. Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of striking factories.