- New satellite images show damage to the roof of a building at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
- The plant in southern Ukraine, which is Europe's biggest, has been occupied by Russia for months.
- It has also been the site of recent fighting, which has led watchdog agencies to voice concern.
Satellite images published on Monday show local fires and damage to a building at southern Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which occupying Russian troops have been using as a shield.
One image captured by Maxar Technologies and obtained by Insider shows a handful of holes in the roof of a building at the power plant, which has suffered damage from fires and explosions amid ongoing fighting and shelling in the area. A few of the holes appear to have darkened scorch marks around them, but it is unclear exactly what caused them.
Russian forces have occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant — which is the biggest in Europe — since early March. Since then, international watchdogs have constantly voiced concerns that any fighting near the plant could spark a major disaster.
In recent weeks, hostilities and shelling around the plant have caused damage to the facility and disconnected it from the local power grid. Ukraine's state energy operator last week blamed the disconnection — which it said was the first in its decades-long history — on Russia. Shelling earlier in August also triggered a partial power shutdown at the plant.
The British defense ministry, among others, has said in intelligence updates that Russian forces appear to be using the plant's protective status as a shield, leaving Ukraine reluctant to attack because it doesn't want to risk a nuclear accident. Nuclear watchdogs, meanwhile, have been sounding the alarm that the plant's safety and security needs to be secured.
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said on Monday that the "day has come" for a mission to travel to the nuclear plant, to ensure and inspect its stability. He said the mission will arrive later this week.
The following are some other images of the Zaporizhzhia plant that Maxar captured on Monday, which show armored personnel carriers and smoke from nearby fires.