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Ukraine, Russia accuse each other of nuclear plant strikes

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Kiev and Moscow exchanged blame on Saturday for new shelling around the Zaporizhzhya plant, Europe’s largest nuclear facility, which is under Russia’s control and has come under repeated fire in the past week. Read FRANCE 24’s coverage of the day’s events as they unfold. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).

5:52 am: Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of strikes at nuclear power plants

Kiev and Moscow exchanged blame on Saturday for new shelling around Europe’s largest nuclear facility, which is under control in Russia and has come under repeated fire in the past week.

The factory in Zaporizhzhya in southeastern Ukraine has been occupied by Russian troops since March and Kiev has accused Moscow of stationing hundreds of soldiers and stocking weapons there.

During his televised address on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of nuclear “blackmail” and using the plant to “intimidate people in an extremely cynical way.”

“They are organizing constant provocations with shelling on the territory of the nuclear power plant and are trying to bring their additional troops in this direction in order to blackmail our state and the entire free world even more,” Zelensky said.

He added that Russian troops were “hiding” behind the factory to bomb the Ukrainian-controlled cities of Nikopol and Marganets.

21:21: Ukraine reports ‘heavy fighting’ in village Russia claims to control

Ukraine’s military command said on Saturday that “heavy fighting” continued in Pisky, a village to the east that Russia had said earlier in the day it was in full control.

“The occupiers are trying to break through the defenses of our troops in the direction of Oleksandropol, Krasnohorivka, Avdiivka, Maryinka and Pisky,” Ukraine’s general staff said in its nightly briefing on Facebook.

“Fierce battles continue,” it added.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and Reuters)

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