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Ukraine says it is targeting Russians shooting at, or from Zaporozhskaya nuclear plant

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows a Russian serviceman standing guard near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, Aug. 4, 2022.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky says his country's forcers are targeting the Russian soldiers, who are deployed to a nuclear plant in the south of the country, amid Moscow’s stern warnings that targeting the facility could trigger a nuclear disaster.

Zelensky made the remarks late Saturday concerning the Zaporozhskaya Nuclear Power Station, which is Europe's largest nuclear power plant.

"Every Russian soldier who either shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army," Zelensky said.

However, Vladimir Rogov, a local official appointed by Russia, wrote on Telegram that Ukrainian forces were shelling the plant.

Earlier this month, Igor Vishnevetsky, a senior nonproliferation and arms control official at the Russian Foreign Ministry, warned that the shelling of the plant risked triggering an event similar to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

He made an appeal to the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "as well as to the countries that have influence on the Kiev regime, so they would take action in order to make the shelling of the nuclear power plant stop immediately."

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier this week that “parts of the equipment” at the plant were out of power due to the shelling.

According to the ministry, a fire broke out at the facility and was quickly put out. It was only "sheer luck” that the Ukrainian shells did not cause a bigger fire and “a possible nuclear disaster," it said.

The ministry also called on the international community to condemn Ukraine for “the acts of nuclear terrorism.”

More grain-laden ships leave Ukraine for Turkey

Also on Saturday, Turkey’s defense ministry said two more grain-laden ships had departed from Ukraine towards Turkey under a United Nations-mediated deal.

The Barbados-flagged Fulmar S left Ukraine's Chornomorsk port, carrying 12,000 tons of corn to Turkey's southern Iskenderun Province, the ministry said.

It added that the Marshall Island-flagged Thoe also departed from the same port and headed to Turkey's Tekirdag, carrying 3,000 tons of sunflower seeds.

The ships brought the total number of vessels to depart the country under the deal to 16.

The agreement, signed by Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, and the United Nations in July amid warnings of possible outbreaks of famine, allowed grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports to resume after being stalled due to military conflict.

Following the deal, Zelenskiy said in less than two weeks, Ukraine had managed to export the same amount of grain from three ports as it had done by road for the whole of July.

"This has already made it possible to reduce the severity of the food crisis," he said in a video address on Saturday.

Ukraine hopes to increase its maritime exports to over 3 million tonnes of grain and other agriculture products per month in near future.

Ukraine and Russia are major grains exporters, and the blockage of Ukrainian ports has trapped tens of millions of grain in the country, raising fears of severe food shortages and even outbreaks of famine in parts of the world.

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