A man who lives near the nuclear power plant that was attacked in Ukraine today has said he can't get his wife to flee the area.
Russian troops struck the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant with shells and caused a fire to break out in the early hours of this morning (4 March), prompting fears a devastating explosion would take place at the plant.
One resident in the area, Niall, explained Russian troops had been in the area 'for a while' but they had been met with a 'path of resistance' from Ukrainians.
Hear Niall speak about his experiences below:
"We were told 'go find your geiger counter'."— LBC (@LBC) March 4, 2022
This caller who lives near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant which came under attack by Russian troops says he still cannot persuade his wife to flee Ukraine.@NickFerrariLBC pic.twitter.com/YH6UMRZnRE
Speaking on LBC radio, Niall described how the invading military 'fired in the air' and 'fired one grenade to try and disperse the crowd' before they took control of the nuclear power station in the middle of the night.
In a statement on Facebook today, the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation reported the plant had been 'captured by military forces of the Russian Federation'.
Niall described the situation as 'very scary' and recalled those around him saying 'go find your geiger counter' – the devices used for detecting and measuring radiation.
It took about three hours before Niall and those around him learned the fire at the plant was restricted to an administrative building, and in the meantime he described himself 'pacing' with little else to do.
He is currently in Ukraine with his two children and wife, who is originally from the country and who 'doesn't want to leave' in spite of the threat, Niall said.
The New York Times verified videos from the firefight at Europe's largest power plant in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. It appears to show a line of military vehicles shooting at buildings inside the complex resulting in fires breaking out.— Brenna T. Smith (@brenna__smith) March 4, 2022
Read more here: https://t.co/IqtD7ydd1R pic.twitter.com/TTQ8XFUot0
'I'm still trying,' he told the show host, adding, 'I hope she comes to her senses. We can still leave, it's still possible.'
The attack at the nuclear power plant appears to have done little to persuade Niall's wife to flee as he explained she was 'still pretty against leaving' this morning.
'People don't want to leave. They want to stay in their homes, they want to stay where they're from,' he said.
Niall expressed belief the war in Ukraine was 'predictable', though said 'nobody' in Ukraine believed the same and that they were all 'just going about their daily business'. 'Why would they attack us? They're basically our brothers,' he said.
It was at least four hours before the fire at the plant was extinguished, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has since assured the blaze has not affected essential equipment or caused radiation levels to change.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information
Featured Image Credit: @maura_resister/@visegrad24/Twitter
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