A Russian missile reportedly fell near a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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A Russian missile reportedly fell near a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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Images captured by surveillance cameras unveiled by the Ukrainian authorities show significant explosions near the Pivdennoukrainsk power plant.

A Russian missile fell near a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine without damaging the three reactors, but it hit other industrial equipment in what Ukrainian authorities denounced on Monday as a act of “nuclear terrorism”.

The strike followed warnings from Russian President Vladimir Putin of possible intensified attacks on key Ukrainian infrastructure, after his forces suffered humiliating setbacks on the battlefield.

The missile hit 300 meters from the Pivdennukrainsk nuclear power plant, also known as the southern Ukrainian nuclear power plant, according to Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom.

Black and white CCTV footage released by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense shows two large fireballs bursting one after another in the darkness, followed by showers of sparks incandescent. A timestamp on the video reads 19 minutes past midnight.

Both the ministry and Energoatom called the strike nuclear terrorism. The Russian Defense Ministry had no immediate comment. The United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the attack.

The reactors at the plant were not damaged despite the proximity of strikes attributed to Russian forces.

The nuclear power plant is the second largest in Ukraine after the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and has repeatedly come under fire during the war. Both plants have reactors of the same design.

Russian forces have occupied the factory in Zaporizhia since the early days of Moscow's nearly seven-month invasion. Repeated bombardments severed its transmission lines, forcing operators to shut down its six reactors to avoid a radioactive catastrophe. Russia and Ukraine swapped responsibility for the strikes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said a transmission line main line was reconnected on Friday, providing the electricity the Zaporizhia plant needs to cool its reactors. The IAEA has monitors at the factory.

While warning on Friday of a possible escalation in strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure, Putin said his forces had so far acted with restraint in reacting to Ukrainian attempts to strike Russian facilities.

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If the situation develops in this way, our response will be more serious, Mr. Putin warned.

Just recently, the Russian armed forces launched a few hard-hitting strikes, he said, referring to attacks last week. Let's consider this as warning keystrokes.

In addition to infrastructure, Russian forces also continue to shell other sites. The latest shelling killed at least 8 civilians and injured 22 others, the Ukrainian presidency announced on Monday.

Overnight, Russian forces struck two towns across the Dnieper River from the factory in Zaporizhia, damaging dozens of buildings and knocking out power to parts of Nikopol and of Marhanets, the presidential office said.

In the village of Strilecha, in the northeastern region of Kharkiv, Russian shelling killed four medical workers who were trying to get there. evacuate patients from a psychiatric hospital and injured two patients, Kharkiv Governor Oleh Syniehubov said.

Russian strikes also hit Kramatorsk and Toretsk in the eastern region of Donetsk, according to the presidential office.

Energoatom said Monday's missile explosion shattered more than 100 windows at the industrial complex that includes the Pivdennukrainsk factory. It also caused the temporary closure of a nearby hydroelectric plant, he added. Ukraine's presidential office said the attack also cut three power transmission lines.

The plant is located along the Southern River Bug, in the southern region of Mykolaiv, about 300 kilometers south of the capital, kyiv.

Ukrainian first responders attempt to control a fire at a power plant in Kharkiv on Sunday, September 11.

Patricia Lewis, director of international security research at the Chatham House think tank in London, said the attacks on the Zaporizhia power plant and Monday's strike show a tendency for Russian military planners to attempt to take Ukraine's nuclear power plants offline before winter by targeting the power supplies that keep them running safely.

This is a very, very dangerous act and illegal to target a nuclear power plant, Ms Lewis said in an interview. Only generals will know the intent, but there is clearly a pattern.

What they seem to do every time is try to shut off power to the reactor, she added. This is a very clumsy way to do it, because how accurate are these missiles?

Other recent Russian strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure have targeted power plants electricity in the north and a dam in the south. They came in the wake of a massive Ukrainian counterattack in the east of the country that hit Russian forces, reclaiming a large swath of previously occupied territory in the Kharkiv region and smashing what was in the way. much of it has become a stalemate in the war.

The Russian withdrawal marked Moscow's biggest defeat since it withdrew its forces from around kyiv after a failed attempt to capture the capital at the start of the invasion.

The setback has fueled further discussion among Russian nationalist critics in the Kremlin who question why Moscow did not plunged Ukraine into darkness at the start of the invasion by striking all of its major nuclear power plants.

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