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Ukraine says Russia struck nuclear plant

Mid-Day logo Mid-Day 20-09-2022 Agencies
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Russian troops struck the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant - also known as the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant - in Ukraine’s southern Mykolaiv region early on Monday but its reactors have not been damaged and are working normally, Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said.

A blast took place 300 metres (yards) away from the reactors and damaged power plant buildings shortly after midnight, Energoatom said in a statement. The attack has also damaged a nearby hydroelectric power plant and transmission lines. “Currently, all three power units of the PNPP (Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant) are operating normally. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the station staff,” Energoatom said. It published two photographs showing a crater it said was caused by the blast.

Commenting on the strike on the Telegram messaging app, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “The invaders wanted to shoot again, but they forgot what a nuclear power plant is. Russia endangers the whole world. We have to stop it before it’s too late.” There was no immediate Russian reaction to Ukraine’s accusations. Another Ukrainian nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia - which is Europe’s largest and lies about 250 km (155 miles) east of the Mykolaiv site - was shut down earlier this month due to Russian shelling, prompting concerns about a possible nuclear disaster. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for shelling at the Zaporizhzhia plant, which is held by Russian forces but operated by Ukrainian staff.

Besides infrastructure, Russian forces continue to pound other sites. The latest shelling killed eight civilians and wounded 22 people, Ukraine’s presidential office said Monday. In Strilecha village in Kharkiv, Russian shelling killed four medical workers who were trying to evacuate patients from a psychiatric hospital, and wounded two patients, Kharkiv Gov. Oleh Syniehubov said.

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