Kyiv accuses Russia of shelling town by nuclear plant as IAEA team en route

AFP , Wednesday 31 Aug 2022

Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russian forces of firing on a town by the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant as IAEA inspectors were on route to inspect the facility.

Ukraine Shelling
An aerial view of a destroyed school after Russian shelling in Druzhkivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022. AP


"The Russian army is shelling Energodar," said Evhen Yevtushenko, head of Nikopol district military administration, which is located on the northern bank of the Dnipro River opposite Energodar town where the nuclear plant is located.

"These provocations are dangerous."

One of the shells hit the building where Energodar's city council is located, Mayor Dmytro Orlov wrote on Telegram, posting pictures of the damaged high-rise with a hole punched into the side and debris littering the ground.

The attack happened just a few hours after a team led by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency set off from Kyiv to visit the Russian-held power plant which is Europe's biggest nuclear facility.

Situated on the front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces, the area has been shelled repeatedly in recent days, with the two sides accusing each other of responsibility.

The situation has stoked global concern, with IAEA chief Rafael Grossi due to inspect the facility with his 13-strong team.

Speaking in Kyiv early on Wednesday before heading south to the city of Zaporizhzhia, Grossi said they planned to spend "a few days" at the plant and would report back afterwards.

The plant has been occupied by Russian troops since March and Ukraine has accused Russia of deploying hundreds of soldiers and storing ammunition there.

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