Internally displaced Ukrainians seek shelter at Zaporizhzhia centre

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The Ukrainian city of Enerhodar has been at the centre of international attention since Russian troops occupied its nuclear power station in March, shortly after the war began on February 24. The Russian occupation and fears of nuclear disaster have forced thousands of people to flee the city and seek refuge at a centre for displaced persons in Zaporizhzhia. FRANCE 24’s special correspondents Robert Parsons, Pauline Godart and Raid Abu Zaideh went to this centre to meet some of the people there.

For several months, Ukraine and Russia have been accusing each other of launching strikes around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, raising fears that a major accident could occur. 

After the Russians arrived at the site in the town of Enerhodar, 70% of the town’s inhabitants fled. Some of them found refuge at a centre for displaced persons in the town of Zaporizhzhia, located about 100km to the north, where they regularly seek help. 

The centre has become an important place for thousands of refugees. They come here to find food, warm clothing, and psychological help. However, some basic necessities, such as sanitary products and blankets, are in short supply due to a lack of donors. 

Our reporters met an employee from the nuclear power station who escaped at the beginning of July when he was warned that the Russians were going to arrest him.

“They’re putting workers at the nuclear plant under psychological pressure to sign contracts with the Russian nuclear authority. Most don’t want to sign. But the Russians are arresting workers at the plant randomly. Some disappear for a couple of weeks, others are still in prison,” he says. 

Click on the player above to watch the report from Robert Parsons, Pauline Godart and Raid Abu Zaideh.

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