Russia-Ukraine war LIVE – Europe's BIGGEST nuclear plant hit by Russian troops as Zelensky warns of ‘nuclear disaster’

EUROPE'S biggest nuclear power plant has been attacked by Russian troops in Ukraine.

Dramatic live stream video from the site in Enerhodar showed Vladimir Putin's troops blasting away at one of the buildings during fighting with local troops early this morning, Ukrainian officials said.

The fire at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia has now been put out, officials from state emergency services confirmed today.

But the attack triggered concern that fighting could trigger a nuclear disaster 10 times the size of Chernobyl.

“Europe must wake up,” Zelenskyy said in a video message early Friday about the situation.

“If there is an explosion, it is the end of Europe,” Zelenskyy added. “Only urgent Europe actions can stop Russian troops.”

In the aftermath of the Russian assault, there were conflicting reports about the radiation levels.

A Ukrainian government official said elevated levels of radiation had already been detected at the plant – but later the plant's authorities said its safety had been secured.

In a chilling warning, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said: "If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chernobyl.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up to the minute updates…

  • John Hall

    How is Putin trying to spin the conflict in Russia?

    Russia's president said the Ukrainians have been "brainwashed" and insisted his soldiers are the "real heroes".

    Denying Ukrainian claims Russian forces are deliberately targeting civilians, Putin instead blamed the 2,000 civilian casualties so far on "neo-Nazis" holding the people of Ukraine hostage.

    In his first address since the start of the conflict eight days ago, Putin admitted his forces had lost "some small towns", and acknowledged that some Russian forces, including a senior commander, had died in the fight.

    But he claimed the officer had blown himself up in a heroic act of sacrifice, taking out several Ukrainian troops.

    He gave no indication of when the war might end.

  • John Hall

    No end in sight

    Russia launched a large scale invasion of Ukraine one week ago today and the bloodshed has not ceased since.

    More than 2,000 civilians are believed to have been killed in the attack which has seen cities become warzones.

    And the conflict shows no signs of stopping, despite ongoing peace talks.

    Putin himself issued a ferocious defence of his invasion of Ukraine, bizarrely claiming the war has been a "success", despite the Russian army suffering heavy losses.

    Russia also admitted had suffered casualties during its invasion for the first time it earlier this week – saying 500 soldiers have been killed and around 1,600 have been wounded.

    Hopes of a quick victory have evaporated as harrowing images have emerged of burnt out Russian vehicles and sobbing soldiers after they surrendered.

  • John Hall

    'Putin will pay the price'

    Towns and villages in the wider Kyiv region also bore the brunt of the attacks – with pictures showing an apartment block totally destroyed in nearby Borodyanka.

    Zelenskyy – a former comedian turned politician, who has been hailed as a hero for his leadership during the crisis – pledged to strike back against Russia.

    "We will rebuild every single house, every single street, every single city," he said.

    "And we are telling Russia – learn the words 'reparations' and 'contributions'.

    "You will pay back fully to us for what you've done against our state, against our every single Ukrainian."

  • John Hall

    What's the latest on Russia's invasion?

    Russian forces are getting even closer to the city of Kyiv in the north of Ukraine.

    As this map shows, they've also been able to link the Donbas pro-Russian breakaway areas in the east of the country with the annexed region of Crimea in the south.

  • John Hall

    Death from above

    Terrifying dashcam footage has caught the moment Russian bombs flew overhead and slammed into a block of flats.

    The horror unfolded in the city of Chernihiv, where 33 civilians have pulled from the rubble of apartment blocks destroyed by Russian air strikes.

    The car with the dashcam turns a corner and began driving along a road before around a dozen bombs rained down from the sky about 100 yards ahead.

    The sound of the bombs falling at speed can be heard – followed by a loud boom and flames as they slam into the flats.

    Terrified civilians can be seen fleeing from the inferno as smoke rises and the wailing of a car alarm pierces the air.

  • John Hall

    The Russian invasion of Ukraine explained

    Here are a list of essential explainers to help you get a better grasp of the ongoing situation in Ukraine

    • Why is Russia invading Ukraine?
    • Will the UK go to war?
    • How can I join the Ukraine foreign legion?
    • What can I do to help Ukraine?
    • Who is Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy?
    • How much gas does the UK get from Russia?
    • Is Russia a part of Nato?
    • Does Russia have nuclear weapons?
    • Why is Ukraine not in Nato?
    • How big is the Russian army?
    • What is Article 5 of the Nato treaty?
    • What is the Minsk agreement?
    • Which countries were in the Soviet Union?

    Plots foiled

    Ukraine’s national security secretary has already revealed that the country recently foiled a plot by the FSB to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

    Vladimir Putin is a former chief of the FSB, the main successor of the Societ Union’s feared KGB.

    Public execution fears

    RUSSIAN spooks have reportedly drawn up plans to carry out public executions in Ukrainian cities.

    The Federal Security Service, Russia’s intelligence agency, is said to be ready to carry out summary justice if its invasion is a success.

    Key political leaders from the Ukrainian administration are likely to be targeted.

    The agency is also planning to detain rebel leaders and ruthlessly suppress public protests, a security official who has seen intercepted FSB reports told Bloomberg.

    What's been happening overnight?

    Here's a quick recap of everything that's been going on while you were asleep.

    • Russian troops shelled Europe’s biggest nuke plant overnight
    • Zelenskyy accused Russia of "nuclear terror" and said Putin wanted "another Chernobyl"
    • The brother of tragic Ukrainian girl Polina has also passed away
    • One of Putin’s top generals was shot dead by a sniper
    • Putin’s spies reportedly drew up plans for public EXECUTIONS in Ukraine’
    • Putin’s cronies have superyachts worth £605million seized
    • John Hall

      Good morning

      This is John Hall taking over The Sun's live coverage of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

    • Milica Cosic

      Korean Air to cancel passenger flights to Moscow

      Korean Air Lines Co Ltd has announced today its plans to cancel passenger flights to and from Moscow for the next two weeks.

      The South Korean carrier said it also plans to reroute cargo flights that originally passed through Moscow until March 18. 

    • Milica Cosic

      Calls for NATO no-fly zone in Ukraine 'irresponsible'

      Any calls for NATO to enforce a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be irresponsible and could drag the military alliance into direct conflict with Russia, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said today.

      "I believe that all encouragements for NATO to get involved into the military conflict now are irresponsible," Simonyte told a news conference in Vilnius.

    • Milica Cosic

      China monitoring nuclear plant situation in Ukraine

      China has urged “all sides to exercise restraint” to protect Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine.

      A government spokesperson said: “We will monitor the situation and call on all sides to exercise restraint, avoid escalation and ensure the safety of relevant nuclear facilities”.

    • Milica Cosic

      London Stock Exchange suspends more Russian firms

      The London Stock Exchangesaid today it had suspended the trading of several Russian companies, including Sistema and Magnit, as exchanges scale back their exposure to Russia.

      "The London Stock Exchange notes the ongoing deterioration of market conditions since March 2 2022, and in order to maintain orderly markets, the exchange has suspended the admission to trading of the instruments," it said in a statement.

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    • Milica Cosic

      NATO should 'consider all options'

      Latvia's foreign minister has said that Nato should "consider all options" when asked about entering direct conflict with Russia.

      Edgars Rinkevics told the BBC's Today programme that governments "should not exclude" any recourse to stop the invasion.

      Mr Rinkevics said: "I think we should consider all options but we should also understand, let's say, some Nato policies can be implemented only if those countries that have necessary assets agree on that."

      Asked whether Nato may instead be forced to broker an "uncomfortable" settlement with Russia, the minister replied: "Well, I think we must do everything that we can. That's why I'm saying that we should not exclude any options."

    • Milica Cosic

      Nato foreign minister arrive for meeting on Ukraine

      NATO foreign ministers are meeting today to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    • Milica Cosic

      PM: Putin's 'reckless actions threaten safety of Europe'

      The British prime minister, Boris Johnson, spoke with Ukrainian President Zelenskiy early this morning, after news broke about a fire at the nuclear power station in Zaporizhzhia.

      PA Media reports a Downing Street spokeswoman 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. Both leaders agreed a ceasefire was crucial.”

    • Milica Cosic

      Raab: Attack on nuclear power plant ‘affront to the world’

      Dominic Raab has said that the world must “come down hard on Putin” following the Kremlin’s attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station.

      Speaking to Times Radio, the British deputy prime minister said the Russian forces’ actions were “clearly reckless”.

      “It is an affront to the world at large,” he added.

    • Milica Cosic

      Russian casualties

      Russian casualties are approaching 10,000, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, however this number is yet to be confirmed.

      As of today, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Russia losses include 33 planes and 37 helicopters – but these statistics are yet to be confirmed.

    • Milica Cosic

      Ukraine’s Okhtyrka without heat & electricity

      A Russian air strike has destroyed the power plant in Okhtyrka, a city located between Kharkiv and Kyiv, leaving residents without heat or electricity, according to head of the region.

      “We are trying to figure out how to get people out of the city urgently, because in a day the apartment buildings will turn into a cold stone trap without water, light or electricity,” Dmytro Zhyvytskyy said on Telegram.

      The raid took place on last night.

    • Milica Cosic

      Latest refugee figures

      Around 624,500 people have crossed into Poland from Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on Feb 24, the Polish border guard said this morning.

      It said that on Thursday around 99,200 people entered, and that on Friday about 25,200 people had crossed as of 06:00 GMT.

    • Milica Cosic

      UK's MoD says Mariupol still in Ukrainian control

      The Ministry of Defence has released an intelligence update today on the war in Ukraine.

      It said Mariupol "remains under Ukrainian control but has likely been encircled by Russian forces". 

      The MoD added that the city has been "subjected to intense Russian strikes".

    • Milica Cosic

      Damage to compartment of reactor 1 at nuclear power plant

      A fire at Europes biggest nuclear plant ignited by Russian shelling has been extinguished, Ukrainian authorities confirmed earlier, as Russian forces have taken control of the site.

      There was damage to the compartment of reactor No. 1 at the Zaporizhzhia plant in the city of Enerhodar, but it does not affect the safety of the power unit, the regional military administration said in a statement.
      It added that operational personnel are ensuring its safety.

      No information is immediately available about casualties, however Ukrainian officials said that radiation levels in the area are not at dangerous levels.

    • Milica Cosic

      What you need to know right now

      • Russian forces seized Europe's biggest nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine after fierce fighting which set an adjacent training facility on fire, a local authority said.
      • No sign of radiation leak from essential equipment at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was unaffected after the fire, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
      • 'Europeans, please wake up' – Ukrainian President Zelenskiy records video message and says Russian tanks had shot at the reactor plants, though there was no evidence cited that they had been hit.
      • U.S. President Biden and British Prime Minister Johnson spoke separately with Zelenskiy about the fire. The White House said Biden urged Russia to "cease its military activities in the area and allow firefighters and emergency responders to access the site."
      • Russia's communications watchdog restricted access to BBC Russian service as well as Radio Liberty and the Meduza media outlet, the RIA news agency reported.
      • Google pulls ads in Russia Google said it had stopped selling online advertising in Russia, a ban that covers search, YouTube and outside publishing partners.

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