Russia, Ukraine trade claims of nuclear plant attacks



SLOVIANSK, Ukraine — Russia and Ukraine traded claims of rocket and artillery strikes at or close to Europe’s largest nuclear energy plant on Sunday, intensifying fears that the preventing may trigger a large radiation leak.

Ukraine’s atomic power company painted an ominous image of the menace Sunday by issuing a map forecasting the place radiation may unfold from the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Energy Plant, which Russian forces have managed since quickly after the struggle started.

Assaults had been reported over the weekend not solely in Russian-controlled territory adjoining to the plant alongside the left financial institution of the Dnieper River, however alongside the Ukraine-controlled proper financial institution, together with the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets, every about 10 kilometers (six miles) from the power.

Russian Protection Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov mentioned Sunday that Ukrainian forces had attacked the plant twice over the previous day, and that shells fell close to buildings storing reactor gas and radioactive waste.

“One projectile fell within the space of the sixth energy unit, and the opposite 5 in entrance of the sixth unit pumping station, which supplies cooling for this reactor,” Konashenkov mentioned, including that radiation ranges had been regular.

The U.N.’s Worldwide Atomic Power Company additionally reported Sunday that radiation ranges had been regular, that two of the Zaporizhzhia plant’s six reactors had been working and that whereas no full evaluation had but been made, current preventing had broken a water pipeline, since repaired.

In one other obvious assault Sunday, Russian forces shot down an armed Ukrainian drone focusing on one of many Zaporizhzhia plant’s spent gas storage websites, an area official mentioned. Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-installed regional official, mentioned on the Telegram messaging app that the drone crashed onto a constructing’s roof, not inflicting any important harm or injuring anybody.

Close by, heavy firing in the course of the evening left components of Nikopol with out electrical energy, mentioned Valentyn Reznichenko, the Dnipropetrovsk area’s governor. Rocket strikes broken a dozen residences in Marhanets, in response to Yevhen Yevtushenko, the administration head for the district that features the town of about 45,000.

The town of Zaporizhzhia, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) up the Dnieper River from the nuclear plant, additionally got here underneath Russian fireplace, damaging dozens of house buildings and houses and wounding two folks, metropolis council member Anatoliy Kurtev mentioned. Russian forces struck a Zaporizhzhia restore store for Ukrainian air pressure helicopters, Konashenkov mentioned.

Neither facet’s claims could possibly be independently verified.

Downriver from the nuclear plant, Ukrainian rockets hit the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant and adjoining metropolis thrice on Sunday, mentioned Vladimir Leontyev, the top of the Russia-installed native administration.

The plant’s dam is a significant roadway throughout the river and a probably key Russian provide route. The dam varieties a reservoir that gives water for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

The radiation map Ukraine’s nuclear company Energoatom issued confirmed that primarily based on wind forecasts for Monday, a nuclear cloud may unfold throughout southern Ukraine and southwestern Russia. Launch of the map might have been meant to warn that if Russian forces had been liable for a radiation leak, their very own nation would endure. Within the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear energy plant accident, the world’s worst atomic power disaster, radiation unfold from Ukraine to a number of neighboring nations.

Authorities final week started distributing iodine tablets to residents who stay close to the Zaporizhzhia plant in case of radiation publicity. A lot of the priority facilities on the cooling programs for the plant’s nuclear reactors. The programs require electrical energy, and the plant was quickly knocked offline Thursday due to what officers mentioned was fireplace harm to a transmission line. A cooling system failure may trigger a nuclear meltdown.

Periodic shelling has broken the facility station’s infrastructure, Energoatom, mentioned Saturday.

“There are dangers of hydrogen leakage and sputtering of radioactive substances, and the hearth hazard is excessive,” it mentioned.

The IAEA has tried to work out an settlement with Ukrainian and Russian authorities to ship a group to examine and safe the plant, nevertheless it remained unclear when the go to may happen.

In japanese Ukraine, the place Russian and separatist forces try to take management, shelling hit the massive and strategically important cities of Kramatorsk and Sloviansk, with no casualties reported, mentioned Pavlo Kyrylenko, the Donetsk area’s governor. Konashenkov mentioned Russian missile strikes killed 250 Ukrainian troopers and reservists in and close to Sloviansk. Ukrainian officers didn’t touch upon the declare, in step with their coverage of not discussing losses.

Sloviansk resident Kostiantyn Daineko advised The Related Press that he was falling asleep when an explosion blew out his house home windows.

“I opened my eyes and noticed how the window body was flying over me, the body and items of damaged glass,” he mentioned.

Russian and separatist forces maintain a lot of the Donetsk area, one among two Russia has acknowledged as sovereign states.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vowed once more Sunday to re-take the separatist areas.

“The invaders introduced degradation and demise and so they imagine that they’re there endlessly,” Zelenskyy mentioned Sunday in his nightly video tackle. “However it’s a short lived factor for them. Ukraine will return. For certain. Life will return.”

Comply with AP’s protection of the struggle in Ukraine at

Andrew Katell contributed to this report from New York.

A earlier model of this story was corrected to point out that the primary title of the Sloviansk resident is Kostiantyn, not Konstiantyn.

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