UPDATED 7:43 AM PT – Friday, March 4, 2022
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.”
— 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.