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A woman holds an LED board saying No Nukes during a vigil near the Russian embassy following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on March 4, 2022 in Tokyo

A woman holds an LED board saying No Nukes during a vigil near the Russian embassy following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on March 4, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images)

US Embassy in Kyiv Accuses Russia of 'War Crime' for Shelling Nuclear Power Plant

The statement comes as the U.N. Human Rights Council passes a resolution demanding complete Russian withdrawal from Ukraine.

Andrea Germanos

The United States Embassy in Kyiv on Friday accused Russia of committing a "war crime" following its attack on a Ukrainian nuclear power plant overnight.

"It is a war crime to attack a nuclear power plant. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's shelling of Europe's largest nuclear plant takes his reign of terror one step further," the embassy tweeted, using the hashtag #TheHague.

The embassy's post came as Ukrainian officials said that Russian forces had taken control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine. That seizure took place after a fire broke out at the plant as a result of Russian shelling that sparked global fears of nuclear catastrophe.

The fire has since been extinguished, and officials say there is no sign of radioactive leakage at this time.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the attack amounted to "nuclear terror."

"No country besides Russia has ever fired upon an atomic power plant's reactors. The first time, the first time in history," Zelenskyy said in a Facebook post, CNN reported.

The situation elicited concern from anti-nuclear campaigners, including Greenpeace E.U. "We call for an immediate ceasefire at Zaporizhzhia, and for the withdrawal of Russian forces so that emergency crews and staff at the plant can work under normal conditions, reducing the risk of human error," the group tweeted.

Also on Friday the United Nations Human Rights Council voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution condemning Russia's invasion and establishing an independent international commission of inquiry to probe alleged human rights violations as a result of Russia's invasion. The resolution called for an end of hostilities and the immediate withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukrainian territory.

The vote was 32 in favor and 13 abstentions. Only two members—Russia and Eritrea—voted against the resolution.


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