Ukraine, Russia blame each other for nuclear plant shelling - GulfToday

Ukraine, Russia blame each other for nuclear plant shelling


Ukrainian firefighters work at a site of a power substation hit by a missile strike. File/Reuters

Ukraine and Russia accused each other on Friday of risking catastrophe by shelling Europe's largest nuclear power plant, occupied by Russian forces in a region expected to become one of the next big front lines of the war.

Western countries have called for Moscow to withdraw its troops from the Zaporizhzhia plant, but there has been no sign so far of Russia agreeing to do that. The plant was captured by Russian forces in early March but is still run by Ukrainian technicians.


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The plant dominates the south bank of a vast reservoir on the Dnipro river that cuts across southern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces controlling the towns and cities on the opposite bank have come under intense bombardment from the Russian-held side.

Three civilians, including a boy, were wounded in overnight shelling of one of those towns, Marhanets, the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Valentyn Reznichenko, said.

A Russian army service member fires a howitzer in the southern Rostov region. File/Reuters

Kyiv has said for weeks it is planning a counteroffensive to recapture Zaporizhzhia and neighbouring Kherson provinces, the largest part of the territory Russia seized after its Feb. 24 invasion and still in Russian hands.

Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said there was more shelling of the eastern town of Kramatorsk on Friday. Video posted on his Telegram channel showed major damage to private homes. Three people were killed, the town's mayor said in a Facebook post.

Ukraine's military said its artillery destroyed a Russian ammunition depot near a bridge about 80 miles (130 km) down the Dnipro river from the nuclear plant and said it could now strike nearly all Moscow's supply lines in the occupied south.

Ukrainian forces struck a fourth bridge spanning the Dnipro River, Serhiy Khlan, an official in the mostly Russian occupied Kherson region, wrote on Facebook on Friday.

"Today the Ukrainian armed forces struck the last, the fourth, bridge linking the left and right banks. This means the Russians no longer have any possibility of bringing in new equipment," Khlan said.

There was no comment from Russian authorities on the reports.

Reuters could not confirm the reports independently.



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