| 24 February 2024, Saturday |

U.S. Embassy in Ukraine calls nuclear power plant attack ‘war crime’

On Friday, the US Embassy in Ukraine said that bombing a nuclear power station constituted a war crime, following Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s largest nuclear facility in Europe.

The statement on the embassy’s Twitter account went farther than any US portrayal of Russia’s activities in Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24.

“An attack on a nuclear power station constitutes a war crime. Putin’s bombing of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant extends his reign of terror even further “The US Embassy in Kyiv stated in a statement.

Russian invasion forces seized Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant on Friday in heavy fighting in southeastern Ukraine, triggering global alarm, but a huge blaze in a training building has been extinguished and officials said the facility was now safe.

Russia’s defense ministry blamed a fire at the plant on a “monstrous attack” by Ukrainian saboteurs and said its forces were in control.

Rights groups have alleged violations of international war crimes law in Ukraine, including the targeting of civilians, as well as indiscriminate attacks on schools and hospitals.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden stopped short of calling Russia’s actions war crimes, saying, “It’s too early to say that.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Friday declined to answer the question, saying he would leave that determination to the International Criminal Court.

“This just underscores how reckless the Russian invasion has been and how indiscriminate their targeting seems to be. It just raises the level of potential catastrophe to a level that nobody wants to see,” Kirby said in an interview with CNN.

“It is certainly not the behavior of a responsible nuclear power.”

  • Reuters