Ukraine warns of new “provocations” and bombardments near the occupied nuclear power plant

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KYIVAug 13 – Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency warned of further Russian “provocations” on Saturday at an occupied nuclear plant in southern Ukraine, while the exiled mayor of the city where the plant is located said he had been targeted. of new bombings.

Enerhodar Mayor Dmytro Orlov, who evacuated to kyiv-controlled territory in April, wrote on Telegram that local residents had informed him of new Russian shelling in the direction of the city’s industrial zone and the Zaporizhia nuclear plant on Saturday. It was unclear if any shells had hit the plant grounds.

A local Russian-based official, Vladimir Rogov, wrote on Telegram that Ukrainian forces were shelling the plant.

“According to witnesses, explosions are heard in the city again,” said Rogov, adding that the shells had fallen in the immediate vicinity of the plant, without specifying whether they had hit the territory of the plant.

Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over multiple recent bombing incidents at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, while the G7 group of nations has called on Moscow to withdraw its forces from the plant.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak accused Russia of “hitting the part of the nuclear power plant where the energy that feeds southern Ukraine is generated.”

“The goal is to disconnect us from the (plant) and blame the Ukrainian military for it,” Podolyak wrote on Twitter.

Earlier on Saturday, Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency said Russia was preparing new “provocations” at the plant, saying Russian troops had stationed a Pion self-propelled howitzer on the outskirts of the nearby town and put up a Ukrainian flag. in the. The agency shared a photo that appears to show the barrel in question.

The agency also said Thursday’s attacks on the territory of the Zaporizhia plant, which Ukraine says damaged water pumping infrastructure and a fire station, had been carried out from the Russian-controlled town of Vodiane to about seven kilometers east of the plant.

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