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14 dead in Russian attacks near nuclear power plant in Ukraine

#dead #Russian #attacks #nuclear #power #plant #Ukraine

Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of carrying out rocket attacks that killed 14 civilians in areas near a nuclear power plant, as the G7 warned that Russian control of the plant “endangers the region”.

Night strikes in central Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region have killed 13 and injured 11, five of whom are in serious condition, regional governor Valentin Reznichenko wrote on Telegram.

Most of the victims were in the town of Marganets, just across the Dnipro River from the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.

“It was a terrible night,” Reznichenko said, urging residents to take shelter if they hear air raid sirens.

“I beg and beg of you… Do not let the Russians kill you,” he wrote.

Another woman died after Russian missiles hit a village in the Zaporizhia region on Wednesday morning, local governor Oleksandr Starukh wrote on Telegram.

Regional council chairman Mykola Lukaschuk said the strikes had hit a local power line, leaving thousands of people without electricity.

– Call of the G7 for the nuclear power plant –

Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of recently shelling the six-reactor Zaporizhia power plant.

Ukraine says Russia has stationed hundreds of troops and stocked munitions at the facility since taking over on March 4, shortly after the start of its invasion.

Tensions have revived memories of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Soviet Ukraine, which killed hundreds and radioactively contaminated much of Europe.

The Group of Seven Industrialized Nations condemned the Russian occupation and called on Moscow to immediately return full control of the plant.

Ukrainian personnel running the plant must be able to work “without threats or pressure” and Russian control of the plant “endangers the region,” G7 foreign ministers said in a statement.

The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to address the nuclear power plant crisis, diplomatic sources said.

The UN’s nuclear safety watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a statement that its director-general, Rafael Grossi, will brief the Security Council meeting “on the nuclear safety situation” at the plant, as well as its “efforts to agree and so soon.” direct an IAEA expert mission to the site as possible”.

The attacks came a day after heavy explosions at Saki airfield, a key military base on Russia’s annexed Crimea peninsula.

Moscow insisted the explosions were caused by detonating munitions rather than Ukrainian fire, and Ukraine has not accepted responsibility.

– “There’s a lot of shooting” –

Fighting also continues in eastern Ukraine, where Russian troops are gradually advancing.

At least six people were killed and three others injured in strikes in the city of Bakhmut, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said on Telegram, adding that 12 residential buildings were damaged.

AFP reporters saw that the town of Soledar was under constant fire as Russian troops tried to drive off Ukrainian forces and gain a foothold towards Bakhmut.

Echoes of cluster bombs and artillery ricocheted off apartment buildings with shattered windows, while streets were cratered and businesses were boarded up or destroyed.

The city was shrouded in black and white smoke rising from artillery and air raids.

Some of those who remain now live underground in basements ill-suited for use as bomb shelters.

“Most left. It’s very scary. There’s a lot of shooting,” said 62-year-old Svitlana Klymenko.

“I just want to go to grow old the normal way, die a normal death and not get killed by a missile.”

– EU ban on Russian coal –

The war has severely hampered grain supplies from Ukraine, leading to an international food crisis as it is one of the largest producers in the world.

Some ships have been able to leave Ukrainian ports in recent days following a deal with Russia brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

The first wheat exports under the deal should begin next week, senior UN official Frederick Kenney said on Wednesday.

The first shipment of grain on the Sierra Leonean-flagged ship Razoni left the Ukrainian port of Odessa on August 1 and was due to dock in the Lebanese port of Tripoli over the weekend.

However, the Ukrainian embassy said a new buyer was being sought for the delivery after the original Lebanese buyer canceled the order.

Maritime locations showed the Razoni was docked in Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Mersin after a new buyer was reportedly found for her cargo.

Spain on Wednesday launched a pilot project to import Ukrainian grain by train to bypass blocked sea routes. A freight train left Madrid for the Polish city of Chelm late Tuesday.

Western countries, meanwhile, have imposed increasingly stringent sanctions on Moscow and fear Russia may cut off gas supplies.

EU countries have started adopting various energy-saving measures, with curbs on air conditioning coming into effect in Spain on Wednesday and streetlights being dimmed in Vienna.

A total EU ban on imports of Russian coal was to come into force overnight.

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#dead #Russian #attacks #nuclear #power #plant #Ukraine

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