Ukrainians form human shield to block road to nuclear plant

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Crowds had gathered to block the road leading up to the Zaporizhzhya plant outside the city of Enerhodar. Russian military forces have taken control of the territory around the plant, which contains six of the country’s 15 nuclear reactors.

Footage from Wednesday showed hundreds of people blocking the road using piles of tyres and sandbags to prevent access. Lorries can also be seen parked across the route.

Dmytro Orlov, mayor of Enerhodar, warned that Russian forces were “approaching” and called on residents to head to the city entrance to prevent armed forces from advancing.

He said on his Facebook page that the nuclear plant “is under reliable protection”, and added that “workers and residents of Enerhodar are under Ukrainian flags”.

He added: “Nobody is going to surrender the city. People are determined.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Ukraine has requested help in safeguarding its nuclear plants.

The agency said: “The Director-General (of the IAEA) has repeatedly stressed that any military or other action that could threaten the safety or security of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants must be avoided.

“He also said that operating staff must be able to fulfil their safety and security duties and have the capacity to make decisions free of undue pressure.”

Radiation levels have remained normal and there have been no reports of nuclear or radiological incidents, it said.

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