Ukrainian cities shelled including one near nuclear power plant

4 August 2022, 16:24

Russia Ukraine War
Russia Ukraine War. Picture: PA

At least four civilians were killed and 10 more wounded over the past 24 hours.

Powerful explosions have rattled the southern Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv, and a city close to the country’s biggest nuclear power plant sustained a barrage of shelling amid Russian attacks in several regions, Ukraine’s presidential office said.

At least four civilians have been killed and 10 wounded over the past 24 hours, with nine Ukrainian regions coming under fire, the office said in its daily update.

Two districts of Mykolaiv, which has been targeted frequently in recent weeks, were shelled.

Russia Ukraine War
Residents in Mykolaiv (Kostiantyn Liberov/AP)

Russian forces reportedly fired 60 rockets at Nikopol, in the central Dnipropetrovsk region.

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

Nikopol is across the Dnieper river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which was taken over by Russian troops early in the war.

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

“Either Ukraine returns fire, risking international condemnation and a nuclear incident (which Ukrainian forces are unlikely to do), or Ukrainian forces allow Russian forces to continue firing on Ukrainian positions from an effective ‘safe zone’,” the institute’s latest report said.

Russia Ukraine War
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station (AP)

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog agency earlier this week voiced alarm over the situation at the Zaporizhzhia plant.

In northern Ukraine, the country’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, was being shelled from Russia, the presidential office said.

Several industrial facilities were hit in the city, which has been a frequent target.

In the nearby city of Chuhuiv, a rocket hit a five-storey residential building.

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

The region is struggling without gas supplies and many are without power and water supplies. Residents are being evacuated.

Russia Ukraine War
Ukrainian soldiers in Donetsk (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

In the town of Toretsk, artillery shells hit a bus stop, a church and apartment buildings, killing at least eight people and wounding four, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko said.

In the city of Donetsk, Russian-backed separatist authorities blamed Ukrainian forces for shelling of the central part of the city on Thursday. The area hit was near a theatre holding a farewell ceremony for a prominent separatist officer killed a few days ago.

Donetsk mayor Alexei Kulemzin said six people were killed and seven more wounded.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, denied Ukrainian involvement, claiming Russian or separatist forces were responsible for the shelling.

Russian forces have already seized the neighbouring Luhansk region. Its Ukrainian governor Serhiy Haidai said local residents are being mobilised to fight against Kyiv’s forces and that “even indispensable mine workers are being taken”.

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

The reported kidnapping of Serhiy Lyakhno, the mayor of the village of Hornostaivka, came as Russia massed more troops in the area in anticipation of a counter-offensive by Kyiv and ahead of a planned referendum on the region becoming part of Russia.

By Press Association

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