Russia seizes nuclear power plant in Ukraine and gains ground in the south

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Mr Putin “must stop this madness, and stop it now”, she said.

Britain’s Ambassador Barbara Woodward said the firefight was “the first time a state has attacked a powered and working nuclear power station”.

Russian Ambassador Vasily A. Nebenzya denied that the country’s military had targeted the plant, and he accused Ukraine and its Western allies of inciting “artificial hysteria”.

Mr Nebenzya claimed that Russian forces patrolling outside the nuclear power plant came under fire from Ukrainian militants inside a training building and returned fire. He said the Ukrainians then set fire to the building. Ukraine’s UN ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya, accusing Mr Nebenzya of lies, said Russian shelling started the fire, calling it “nuclear terrorism”.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael M. Grossi, who is pushing for access to occupied Ukrainian nuclear facilities, said that “from a technical point of view the Zaporizhzhia plant was working” normally” after the fire.

But he added: “As I pointed out to the IAEA board of governors, there is no normalcy in the situation when there are military forces in charge of the site.”

At a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels, the alliance’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said that Russia had used anti-personnel cluster bombs and that he had seen reports of “other types of weapons that would be in violation of international law”.

But Mr Stoltenberg has rejected calls from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, warning it could drag the alliance, which does not include Ukraine, into a war wider with Russia.


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