Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy on Thursday warned of "catastrophic consequences" over Russia's shelling around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe's largest.
The plant has been under Russian control since March.
"This deliberate terror on the part of the aggressor can have global catastrophic consequences for the whole world," Zelenskyy said during his evening address. "Therefore, the U.N. must ensure the security of this strategic site, its demilitarization and complete liberation from Russian troops."
He also said the situation at the site could develop into a catastrophe if the plant is not defended properly.
"The consequences may also hit those who remain silent so far," he said.
"Any radiation incident at the Zaporizhzhia NPP can affect the countries of the European Union, Turkey, Georgia and countries from more distant regions," the Ukrainian leader said.
Russia on Thursday threatened to shut down the plant, warning that there was a risk of human-made disaster due to alleged shelling by Ukraine.
Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, said Russia reportedly told workers at the plant not to come in on Friday.
"There is new information, it arrived about half an hour ago, that for tomorrow, August 19, there is an order for the majority of the staff not to go to work," Yusov told NBC News.
"This is what the Russians told their people, primarily the employees of Rosatom," he said, referring to the Russian nuclear agency.
He said the move by Russia might be evidence Moscow is preparing "large-scale provocations" at the power plant.
"We do not rule out the possibility of massive Russian provocations on the territory of the ZNPP tomorrow. This is confirmed by their propaganda, information from our sources, and the behavior of the Russians at the station," he added, referring to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
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