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Russian troops seize Europe’s largest nuclear plant

Randy Mancini 1 Mar 4
FILE - A power-generating unit at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the city of Enerhodar, in southern Ukraine, is shown on June 12, 2008. Russian forces pressed their attack on a crucial energy-producing Ukrainian city by shelling Europe’s largest nuclear plant early Friday, March 4, 2022, sparking a fire and raising fears that radiation could leak from the damaged power station. Plant spokesman Andriy Tuz told Ukrainian television that shells were falling directly on the facility and had set fire to one of the facility’s six reactors. That reactor is under renovation and not operating, but there is nuclear fuel inside, he said. (AP Photo/Olexander Prokopenko, File)

FILE – A power-generating unit at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the city of Enerhodar, in southern Ukraine, is shown on June 12, 2008. Russian forces pressed their attack on a crucial energy-producing Ukrainian city by shelling Europe’s largest nuclear plant early Friday, March 4, 2022, sparking a fire and raising fears that radiation could leak from the damaged power station. (AP Photo/Olexander Prokopenko, File)

Russian forces have occupied Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in Southeastern Ukraine. Officials say radiation levels are normal as Russian forces are currently in control of the plant.

According to reports, a fire that broke out during the siege of the power plant is now extinguished. The fire was contained to the facility’s training center and did not reach any of the six nuclear reactors.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the active situation amid reports that Russian troops were attacking from all sides and posing a direct nuclear threat. He warned if President Vladimir Putin moved forward with bombing the nuclear plant, the effect would be 10-times larger than Chernobyl. He asserted it would be “the end for everyone and the end of Europe.”

Терміново! pic.twitter.com/MuXfniddVT

— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 4, 2022

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it will provide temporary immigration relief to citizens of Ukraine. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said on Thursday, Ukrainians who are already in the U.S. will be granted the Temporary Protected Status or TPS. He added, this immigration relief is important to shield Ukrainian civilians from ongoing combat in their home country.

TPS provides an immigration status for up to 18-months for people whose countries are affected by extreme weather or violence. Previously, the U.S. has provided TPS to citizens of Haiti, Central American Republics and Venezuela.

I am proud to announce that we will be providing Temporary Protected Status — or #TPS — to those Ukrainian nationals who are present in the United States as of March 1, 2022. pic.twitter.com/3tiR29HFJr

— Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas (@SecMayorkas) March 3, 2022

The United Nations has said a significant number of Ukrainians have left their country after March 1. Those refugees will not be eligible for Joe Biden’s immigration relief.

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