Ukraine says a Russian missile struck close to a nuclear power plant

by | Sep 19, 2022 | Top Stories

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A crater left by a Russian rocket is seen 300 meters from the South Ukraine nuclear power plant, in the background, close to Yuzhnoukrainsk, Mykolayiv region, Ukraine, on Monday.

South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant Press Office via AP

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South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant Press Office via AP

KYIV, Ukraine — A Russian missile struck close to a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine without damaging the three reactors but hit other industrial equipment in what Ukrainian authorities denounced Monday as an act of “nuclear terrorism.”The strike followed warnings from Russian President Vladimir Putin of possible stepped-up attacks on key Ukrainian infrastructure after his forces suffered humiliating battlefield setbacks.The missile struck 328 yards from the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear plant, also known as the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, according to Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom.Black-and-white CCTV footage released by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense showed two large fireballs erupting one after the other in the dark, followed by incandescent showers of sparks. A time stamp on the video read 19 minutes after midnight.

The ministry and Energoatom both called the strike “nuclear terrorism.” The Russian Defense Ministry had no immediate comment. The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the attack.The nuclear plant is Ukraine’s second-largest after the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power station and has repeatedly come under fire during the war. The two plants have reactors of the same design.

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This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows the Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant, also known as the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, in the southern Mykolaiv region of Ukraine in May. A Russian missile strike hit a facility close to the nuclear power plant on Monday.

Planet Labs PBC via AP

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Planet Labs PBC via AP

Russian forces have occupied the Zaporizhzhia plant since the early days of Moscow’s nearly seven-month invasion. Repeated shelling cut off its transmission lines, forcing operators to shut down its six reactors to avoid a radiation disaster. Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for the strikes.The International Atomic Energy Agency said a main transmission line was reconnected on Friday, providing electricity that the the Zaporizhzhia plant needs to cool its reactors. The IAEA has monitors at the plant.While warning Friday of possible ramped-up strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure, Putin claimed that his forces had so far acted with restraint in reacting to Ukrainian attempts to hit Russian facilities.”If the situation develops this way, our response will be more serious,” Putin said.”Just recently, the Russian armed forces have delivered a couple of impactful strikes,” he said, referring to attacks last week. “Let’s consider those as warning strikes.”As well as infrastructure, Russian forces also continue to pound other sites. The latest shelling killed …

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