President Zelensky warns of ‘nasty’ Russian plans after missile attack near nuclear plant

Ukraine: Nuclear incident is 'imminent' says plant worker

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Ukraine’s Independence Day will be August 24, exactly six months after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia to invade Ukraine. The country looks to celebrate its 31 years since it became independent from the Soviet Union.

On Saturday, President Zelesky made an announcement in his nightly video address that Ukrainians must not allow Russia to “spread despondency and fear”.

He said: “We should be aware that this week Russia may try to do something particularly nasty, something particularly cruel.

“Such is our enemy. But in any other week during these six months, Russia did the same thing all the time—disgusting and cruel.”

President Zelensky also spoke of Russian-occupied Crimea – a Ukrainian region that was annexed by Russia in 2014 and has become a major fighting zone during the Russian invasion.

He said: “This year, it is literally felt in the air of Crimea that the occupation there is temporary, and Ukraine is returning,”

The Ukraine leader’s warning came at the same time it has been reported that a Ukraine drone has targeted Russia’s Black Sea headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea.

This week there have been several attacks reported in Crimea, including one on an airbase on Thursday and another at the harbour on Friday

The Russian-appointed leader of Crimea, Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev, said the drone was destroyed by the Black Sea’s air defences.

Mr Razvozhayev said: “It fell on the roof of the headquarters. There was no significant damage and no one was hurt.”

President Zelensky has also welcomed a deal that will allow UN inspectors to visit the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, located north of Crimea.

Zaporizhzhia is Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant and there has been a major concern about a nuclear accident happening due to the conflict.

The plant has been under Russian control since March but Ukrainian technicians are being allowed to operate it.

The area near the nuclear plant has come under heavy missile fire, with both Ukraine and Russia having accused each other of the attacks.

President Zelensky accused Russia of using the plant as a threat.

He said: “If Russian blackmail with radiation continues, this summer may go down in the history of various European countries as one of the most tragic of all time.”

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Russia has been accused of targeting Ukraine’s nuclear station by Energoatom, the company which operates Ukraine’s nuclear generators.

On Saturday, 12 Ukraine civilians, including four children, were injured after a Russian missile hit a residential area in Voznesensk in southern Ukraine.

The area is 19 miles (39 km) from Pivdennoukrainsk, Ukraine’s second largest nuclear power station.

Energoatom described the attack as “another act of Russian nuclear terrorism”.

A spokesperson said: “It is possible that this missile was aimed specifically at the Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant, which the Russian military tried to seize back at the beginning of March.”

Russia has not responded to the accusations, but there are currently no reports detailing any damage to the Pivdennoukrainsk power plant.

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