Deadly Russian Bombing Near Nuclear Power Plant

Deadly Russian Bombing Near Nuclear Power Plant

Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of carrying out attacks that killed 14 civilians in areas near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, controlled by the Russians since March.

The G7, the group of the most advanced economies, affirmed that Russian control of this nuclear plant, the largest in Europe, “endangers the region.”

Dnipropetrovsk, the bombed area at dawn, is a relatively safe region in central-eastern Ukraine, to which civilians from Donbas (east) are being evacuated.

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Russia and Ukraine blame each other for these attacks in that region close to the nuclear plant.

The attacks also left 11 injured, five of them in serious condition, authorities reported.

“We have had a horrible night (…). It is very difficult to get the bodies out from under the rubble,” the governor, Valentin Reznichenko, wrote on Telegram, asking residents to take refuge in safe places. “Don’t let the Russians kill you,” he added.

Most of the deaths were recorded in Marganets, on the banks of the Dnipro River, opposite the plant.

Also included in the balance is a woman who died in the bombing of Kushugum, a village also located in the Zaporizhia area.

Regional council chief Mikola Lukashuk said the attacks had hit a local power line, leaving thousands of people without power.

G7 appeal

The current tensions revive the memory of the Chernobyl catastrophe in northern Ukraine, the worst nuclear accident in history, which took place in 1986 when this country was part of the Soviet Union.

The G7 condemned the Russian occupation of the plant and urged Moscow to return full control to Ukraine.

In addition, the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to address the crisis at this nuclear plant, diplomatic sources said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear safety regulator, said its director Rafael Grossi will brief the Security Council on the situation at that facility.

Ukrainian operator Energoatom said on Tuesday that Russian forces are trying to establish a land connection between the Zaporizhia plant and Crimea.

The bombings in Dnipropetrovsk came a day after a massive explosion at a military airfield on the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Moscow insists that the explosions were caused by ammunition and not by Ukrainian fire, without kyiv denying that version so far.

“Many Shots”

Fighting also continued in the Donbas basin, made up of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where Russian troops are gradually advancing.

The city of Soledar, in Donetsk, is under constant bombardment.

The Russian troops try to gain a foothold there to advance towards Bakhmut, a more important town.

In the latter town, six people were killed by Russian attacks on Wednesday afternoon, according to kyiv.

In Soledar, the echoes of cluster bombs and artillery reverberate through apartment buildings with broken windows. Some of the few remaining residents now live in basements used as bomb shelters.

“Most are gone. It’s very scary. There are a lot of shots,” said Svitlana Klimenko, 62. “I just want to leave to age normally, die normally, not get killed by a missile.”

Energy saving in Europe

The war has severely hampered Ukraine’s grain supply and caused an international food crisis.

But some ships have been able to leave Ukrainian ports in recent days, thanks to an agreement between Moscow and kyiv brokered by the United Nations and Turkey.

The first wheat exports should start next week under this deal, UN senior official Frederick Kenney said.

A first shipment of cereals left Odesa on August 1 for Lebanon, but did not reach the port until this Wednesday.

The Lebanese buyer canceled the order and the ship ended up docking in the Turkish port of Mersin, where they found a new customer.

The sanctions imposed by Western countries on Russia – the latest, an embargo on Russian coal that will take effect at midnight – raise fears that Moscow will end up cutting off gas supplies.

For this reason, the EU countries have begun to implement measures to save energy, with restrictions on air conditioning and lighting in public buildings and shops in Spain or the dimming of public lighting in Vienna.

AFP is a major global information agency that offers fast, verified and comprehensive coverage.

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