The city of Nikopol in southeastern Ukraine, located across the Dnipro river from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, came under attack again by Russian rockets overnight, according to Ukrainian authorities.
Valentyn Reznichenko, head of the Dnipropetrovsk regional military administration, said the Russian army hit two districts of the city with Grad rockets and artillery, while up to 40 rockets landed in nearby Marganets, injuring three people.
The Nikopol area has been hit almost every night by Russian rockets and artillery based close to the nuclear power plant, Ukrainian officials say.
Some context: The Zaporizhzhia plant, the largest of its kind in Europe, has continued operating at reduced capacity since Russian forces captured it early in March. The head of the UN nuclear watchdog on Thursday warned that parts of the plant had been knocked out due to recent attacks, risking an “unacceptable” potential radiation leak.
“Any military action jeopardizing nuclear safety, nuclear security, must stop immediately,” said International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. “These military actions near to such a large nuclear facility could lead to very serious consequences.”
Russia and Ukraine have so far been unwilling to agree to an IAEA inspection of the plant and have accused each other of shelling the facility — action the IAEA has said breaches “indispensable nuclear safety and security pillars.”