Russia strikes nuclear plant in south Ukraine, damaging power plant buildings 

Russia strikes nuclear plant in south Ukraine, damaging power plant buildings

  • Kremlin troops hit the Pivdennoukrainsk plant in Mykolaiv this morning
  • Blast took place 300 yards away, but the three reactors were not damaged
  • Zaporizhzhia power plant has been shut down due to constant Russian shelling 

Russia has struck a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, damaging power plant buildings.

Kremlin troops hit the Pivdennoukrainsk plant in Mykolaiv region, with a ‘powerful explosion’ taking place just 300 yards away from the reactors.

The attack damaged power plant buildings, a nearby hydroelectric power plant and transmission lines.

Russia has struck a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, damaging power plant buildings

Russia has struck a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, damaging power plant buildings

Kremlin troops hit the Pivdennoukrainsk plant in Mykolaiv region, with a 'powerful explosion' taking place just 300 yards away from the reactors

Kremlin troops hit the Pivdennoukrainsk plant in Mykolaiv region, with a ‘powerful explosion’ taking place just 300 yards away from the reactors

But the three reactors at the Pivdennoukrainsk plant were not damaged and are working normally, Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom said.

‘Currently, all three power units of the PNPP (Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant) are operating normally. Fortunately, there were no casualties among the station staff,’ Energoatom said.

It published two photographs showing a crater it said was caused by the blast. In one of the pictures a man stood in the crater to give a sense of its size.

Commenting on the strike on the Telegram messaging app, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said: ‘The invaders wanted to shoot again, but they forgot what a nuclear power plant is. Russia endangers the whole world. We have to stop it before it’s too late.’

The attack damaged power plant buildings, a nearby hydroelectric power plant and transmission lines

The attack damaged power plant buildings, a nearby hydroelectric power plant and transmission lines

There was no immediate Russian reaction to Ukraine’s accusations.

The Mykolaiv region has been under constant rocket attack by Russian forces in recent weeks.

Another Ukrainian nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia – which is Europe’s largest and lies about 155 miles east of the Mykolaiv site – was shut down earlier this month due to Russian shelling, prompting concerns about a possible nuclear disaster.

Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for shelling at the Zaporizhzhia plant, which is held by Russian forces but operated by Ukrainian staff. The shelling has damaged buildings and disrupted power lines.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog said this weekend one of the four main power lines at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility had been repaired and was once again supplying the plant with electricity from the Ukrainian grid.

Some military analysts have said Russia might stage a nuclear incident at Zaporizhzhia, which is held by Russia but run by Ukrainian staff, in response to Ukraine’s sudden counter-surge which has repelled Putin’s men.

A view of an abandoned military position not far from city of Balakliya, Kharkiv region

A view of an abandoned military position not far from city of Balakliya, Kharkiv region

A soldier stands at retaken checkpoint in Shevchenkove, Kharkiv region, amid Ukraine's counter-offensive

A soldier stands at retaken checkpoint in Shevchenkove, Kharkiv region, amid Ukraine’s counter-offensive

U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for vigilance on Sunday after visiting a base in Poland aiding Ukraine’s war effort.

‘The war is not going too well for Russia right now so it’s incumbent upon all of us to maintain high states of readiness, alert,’ he said after his trip to the base, which reporters travelling with him were asked not to identify.

With its battlefield losses mounting, the Russian army is seeking contract soldiers for what it calls the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, and is offering nearly $3,000 a month as an incentive.

It comes as Zelensky vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain territory lost to Russia as Kyiv said its troops had advanced to the eastern bank of the Oskil River, threatening Russian occupation forces in the Donbas.

Crossing the Oskil is another important milestone in Ukraine’s counter-offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region as it flows south to the Siversky Donets River, which goes right through Luhansk, one of two provinces in the Donbas region.

Donbas is Ukraine’s traditional industrial heartland made up of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Ukrainian troops ‘have pushed across the Oskil. From yesterday, Ukraine controls the east bank,’ the Ukrainian Armed Forces wrote on Telegram late Sunday.

People cross a damaged bridge in Kharkiv region, northeastern Ukraine, as Russian troops are pushed back

People cross a damaged bridge in Kharkiv region, northeastern Ukraine, as Russian troops are pushed back

Serhiy Gaidai, governor of Luhansk region, wrote on Telegram: ‘Luhansk region is right next door. Decoccupation is not far away.’

Zelensky vowed to keep up the pressure on Moscow after Ukraine’s rapid gains in Kharkiv this month.

‘Perhaps it seems to some of you that after a series of victories we now have a lull of sorts,’ he said in his regular nightly address on Sunday. ‘But there will be no lull. There is preparation for the next series … For Ukraine must be free. All of it.’

Russian artillery pounded towns and villages across the frontlines in the east and south on Sunday, including civilian infrastructure in Zaporizhzhia city, Ukrainian officials said.

Britain said Russian forces had widened strikes on civilian infrastructure following battlefield setbacks and were likely to expand their targets further.

‘As it faces setbacks on the front lines, Russia has likely extended the locations it is prepared to strike in an attempt to directly undermine the morale of the Ukrainian people and government,’ Britain’s defence ministry said.

Ukraine’s southern command on Monday said strikes were also launched on a radar station near Kherson and on a pontoon crossing near Nova Kakhovka east of Kherson, where a Ukrainian counter-offensive has focused on taking out bridges across the Dnipro and Inhulets Rivers.

Separately, Ukraine general defence staff said its forces have repelled Russian attacks in the areas of Mykolaivka Druga, Vesela Dolyna and Bakhmut settlements in the Donetsk region. Kyiv also hit ‘enemy targets’ including air defence and ammunition dumps in multiple strikes, it added.

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