Firing on Ukrainian cities, including one near nuclear power plant

Ukraine’s presidential office said powerful explosions shook the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine and shelling continued amid Russian attacks in several areas in a city close to the country’s largest nuclear power plant.

The office said in its daily update that at least four civilians have been killed and 10 injured in the past 24 hours, with nine Ukrainian territories coming under fire.

Two of Mykolaiv’s districts, which have been frequently targeted in recent weeks, were shelled.

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Resident in Mykolaiv (Kostiantyn Liberov/AP)

The Russian military reportedly fired 60 rockets at Nikopol in the Central Dnipropetrovsk region.

According to Ukrainian officials, more than 100,000 residential buildings in the city were damaged and some projectiles hit power lines, leaving city residents without electricity.

Nikopol is across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, which was taken over by Russian troops at the beginning of the war.

Experts at the US-based Institute for the Study of War believe that Russia is deliberately shelling the region, “putting Ukraine in a difficult position”.

The institute’s latest report said, “Either Ukraine is risking international condemnation and a nuclear incident (which Ukrainian forces are unlikely), or Ukrainian forces continue firing at Ukrainian positions from an effective ‘safe zone’.” allowed to keep.”

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Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station (AP)

The head of the UN nuclear monitoring agency earlier this week expressed concern over the situation at the Zaporizhzhya plant.

The presidential office said the country’s second largest city Kharkiv in northern Ukraine was being shelled by Russia.

Several industrial facilities in the city were affected, which have been a frequent target.

A rocket hit a five-story residential building in the nearby town of Chuhuiv.

In the eastern Donetsk region, where fighting has been the focus in recent weeks, residential buildings were shelled in all major cities and a school in the village of Ocheretyne was destroyed.

The region is struggling without gas supply and many are without electricity and water supply. Residents are being evacuated.

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Ukrainian soldiers in Donetsk (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Russian-backed separatist officials in the city of Donetsk said two people were killed and three wounded in Ukrainian shelling in the city’s central part on Thursday.

The Russian army has already occupied the neighboring Luhansk region. Ukraine’s governor, Serhi Haidai, said local residents were being mobilized to fight against Kyiv’s forces and “even the indispensable mine workers were being taken”.

Ukrainian authorities reported another kidnapping of a mayor, who reportedly refused to cooperate with the Russians in the southern Kherson region, which is almost entirely occupied.

The kidnapping of Serhi Lyakhno, the mayor of Hornostievka village, came as Russia gathered more troops in the area in anticipation of a retaliatory strike by Kyiv and a planned referendum on territory that would become part of Russia.