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14 Aug, 2022 18:55

One dead in Ukrainian shelling of city hosting nuclear plant

Continual strikes in the vicinity of the facility have already prompted fears of a disaster
One dead in Ukrainian shelling of city hosting nuclear plant

Ukrainian troops shelled a residential area in the city of Energodar on Sunday, a member of the local administration, Vladimir Rogov, reported in a Telegram post. A local 49-year-old resident was killed in the strike, he added. Energodar hosts the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the largest such facility in Europe.

The man was walking his dog when the shelling began, according to Rogov. A 24-year-old woman was also injured in the attack, he said, adding that she had been sent to a hospital. The Ukrainian strike also targeted an area near the city’s thermal power plant, where the shelling caused a fire close to the facility, the official said. 

Moscow has repeatedly blamed Ukraine for shelling the Russia-held Zaporozhye nuclear plant over the past week. On Thursday, Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, told the Security Council that a nuclear disaster could happen “at any moment” amid the “reckless” shelling of the plant by Kiev’s forces.

“Kiev’s criminal attacks on the nuclear infrastructure facilities are pushing the world to the brink of a nuclear disaster that would rival the Chernobyl one,” Nebenzya said at that time.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also expressed concern over the developments at the plant and suggested sending an IAEA mission to the facility to assess the situation. The initiative was welcomed by Moscow. 

Kiev, in turn, has blamed Russia for targeting the plant in an alleged plot to discredit Ukraine – an accusation Moscow dismissed by saying it had no reason to target its own troops. 

Washington, meanwhile, has sided with Kiev in its demand for a demilitarized zone around the nuclear plant and the withdrawal of the Russian troops controlling the area.