Russia says it has struck several of Ukraine’s positions in the wake of the shelling by the Ukrainian side of spots near Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday its forces had conducted the strikes in the regions of Kherson, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv and Donetsk.
According to the ministry, Ukrainian forces had carried out an unsuccessful offensive near Pravdyne in Kherson.
The ministry said two incidents of Ukrainian shelling had been recorded near the plant on Saturday, but the radiation situation at the station remains normal. “The Kiev regime has resumed its provocations threatening to create a man-made disaster at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power plant,” said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
“In total, 15 shells were fired from the Nikopol area of the Dnepropetrovsk region. Artillery units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were suppressed by return fire.”
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has denied Moscow’s narrative.
Earlier this month, Russia accused Ukraine of repeatedly shelling the vicinity of Zaporizhzhia.
Ukraine and its Western allies, however, accuse Russia of using the plant as a military base to fire at Ukrainians. President Volodymyr Zelensky has also accused Russia of committing acts of "nuclear terrorism."
Russia took control of the plant in March. It says its armed forces "don't damage Ukraine's nuclear safety in any way and cause no obstacles to the plant's operation."
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has already called for the establishment of a security and safety zone around the plant.
Russia has also taken control of the Chernobyl plant, which was the site of the world's worst nuclear crisis in April 1986.