Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivers his nightly address on September 5 from Kyiv, Ukraine. (President of Ukraine)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of intentionally deteriorating the situation around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (ZNPP) after the power plant lost connection to the country’s energy grid on Monday.

A spokesperson for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told CNN that the transmission line connecting Zaporizhzhia to the Ukrainian energy grid had been intentionally disconnected due to a fire. The spokesperson also said the line had not suffered any damage and would be reconnected as soon as the fire was extinguished.

Ukraine blamed Russia for the shelling, which, it said, caused the fire.

“I consider the fact that Russia is doing this right now, right on the eve of the IAEA conclusions, very eloquent. Shelling the territory of the ZNPP means that the terrorist state does not care what the IAEA says, it does not care what the international community decides,” Zelensky said in his nightly address on Monday.

“Russia is only interested in keeping the situation at its worst for the longest time,” he added, explaining this was the second time the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had been disconnected from the Ukrainian grid, bringing it “one step away from a radiation disaster.”

“This can only be amended by enhancing sanctions, only by officially recognizing Russia as a terrorist state — at all levels,” Zelensky concluded. “This requires an international response — starting with the UN to every normal state.”

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