Russians and Ukrainians accuse each other again of a new bombardment near a nuclear power plant

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  • Russia and Ukraine accuse each other of bombing in recent days
  • Russia says it will do everything possible to allow the IAEA to visit a nuclear power plant
  • The IAEA has warned of a disaster at the plant unless the fighting stops

KYIV, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Ukrainian and Russian officials reported shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on Monday, with the two sides blaming each other days after the watchdog nuclear power warned of disaster if the fighting did not stop.

Russia and Ukraine this month swapped accusations of bombing near the plant, which dominates the southern bank of a vast reservoir on the Dnipro River, amid fears of a nuclear disaster.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has warned Russian soldiers who attack Europe’s largest nuclear power plant or use it as a base for firing that they will become a “special target”.

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The factory is in the town of Enerhodar, now under Russian control.

Yevhen Yevtushenko, head of the Nikopol district administration, which is across the river from Enerhodar, accused Russian forces of shelling the town.

Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed official at Enerhodar, said that in the past two hours about 25 heavy artillery strikes from US-made M777 howitzers hit near the nuclear power plant and residential areas.

Russian news agency Interfax, citing the press service of Russia’s Enerhodar administration, said Ukrainian forces opened fire, with explosions near the power station.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is seeking access to the plant, has warned of a possible disaster. Nuclear experts fear the fighting will damage spent fuel pools or reactors at the plant. Read more

“The Russians think they can force the world to comply with their terms by bombing the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential cabinet, wrote on Twitter. “That won’t happen. Instead, our military will punish them by hitting hard with precision on the sore spots.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for the creation of a demilitarized zone around Zaporizhzhia. The UN has the logistical and security capacity to support an IAEA visit if Russia and Ukraine agree, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Read more

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had a phone call with António Guterres to discuss conditions for the safe operation of the plant, the ministry said. Read more

A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said it would do everything possible to allow IAEA specialists to visit. Read more

“In close cooperation with the agency and its leadership, we will do everything necessary to ensure that IAEA specialists are on the spot and give a truthful assessment of the destructive actions of the Ukrainian side,” the spokeswoman said. Maria Zakharova.

DEATH SENTENCE

Ukraine, where parliament on Monday extended martial law for another three months, said for weeks it was planning a counteroffensive to retake Zaporizhzhia and neighboring Kherson province, most of the territory that Russia seized after its February 24 invasion and still stands.

Ukrainian forces reported heavy Russian shelling and attempted advances on several towns in the eastern Donetsk region, which became a key part of the nearly six-month war, but said they repelled many attacks.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces also reported the Russian bombardment of more than a dozen towns on the southern front – in particular the Kherson region, mainly held by Russian forces but where Ukrainian troops regularly resume territory.

A Russian-backed separatist court in Donetsk has charged five foreign nationals captured in combat with Ukrainian forces with being mercenaries, saying three of them faced the death penalty, Russian media reported. Read more

Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” to demilitarize its smaller neighbor and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine and Western donors accuse Moscow of waging an imperial-style war of conquest.

The conflict has pushed Moscow-Washington relations to rock bottom, with Russia warning it could sever them.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Moscow is ready to offer modern weapons to its allies, using a speech at an arms fair near Moscow to boast of Russia’s advanced weapons capabilities.

“(We) are ready to offer our allies the most modern types of weapons, from small arms to armored vehicles and artillery to combat aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles,” Putin said during the meeting. the opening ceremony of the “Army-2022” forum.

“Nearly all have been used more than once in actual combat operations.” Read more

Putin’s army has done worse than expected in Ukraine. It has been pushed back from Ukraine’s two largest cities and is slowly advancing at great expense in the east of the country, making the war an unconvincing showcase for the Russian arms industry.

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Reporting by Natalia Zinets in Kyiv, Yoruk Isik and Ece Toksabay in Istanbul, Andrea Shalal in Yuzhne, Maya Gebeily in Beirut and Jonathan Saul in London, and Reuters bureaus; Written by Lincoln Feast and Nick Macfie; Editing by Mark Heinrich, Alex Richardson and Philippa Fletcher

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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