Ukrainian and Russian-installed officials reported shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine on Monday, with both sides blaming each other days after the world nuclear watchdog warned of disaster if the fighting does not stop.
Russia and Ukraine have traded accusations this month of shelling near the plant, which dominates the south bank of a vast reservoir on the Dnipro River, amid fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned Russian soldiers who attack Europe’s largest nuclear power station or use it as a base to shoot from that they will become a “special target”.
The plant is in the now Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar.
Yevhen Yevtushenko, head of the administration of the Nikopol district, which lies across the river from Enerhodar, accused Russian forces of shelling the city.
Vladimir Rogov, a Russia-installed official in Enerhodar, said that over the past two hours about 25 heavy artillery strikes from U.S.-made M777 howitzers had hit near the nuclear plant and residential areas.
Russia’s Interfax news agency, quoting the press service of Enerhodar’s Russian-appointed administration, said Ukrainian forces opened fire, with blasts near the power plant.