Ukraine accuses Russia of firing rockets at town

Ukraine accuses Russia of firing rockets at town

KYIV: Ukraine accused Russia on Wednesday of using its capture of a nuclear power plant to fire rockets at a nearby town in an attack that killed 13 people and wounded many others.

The Ukraine city says Russia targeted Marhanets - one Moscow says its foes have used in the past to shell Russian soldiers at the Zaporizhzhia plant, which they seized in March.

Ukraine and Russia accused each other of destroying the plant, Europe's largest nuclear complex, with attacks nearby.

After the UN's atomic energy watchdog sounded the alarm about a potential nuclear disaster, the Group of Seven leading industrialised countries told Russia to hand back the plant to Ukraine.

There is no indication that their demand will sway Moscow, which received a strong endorsement from China on Wednesday of its rationale for the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Beijing's ambassador to Moscow, Zhang Hanhui, accused Washington of backing Russia into a corner with repeated expansions of the Western NATO military alliance and support for Ukraine's alignment with the European Union.

As the initiator and main instigator of the Ukrainian crisis, Washington, while imposing unprecedented sanctions on Russia, continues to supply arms and military equipment to Ukraine, Zhang was quoted as saying.

Their ultimate goal is to destroy Russia with a protracted war and a cudgel of sanctions. Beijing is also involved in a standoff with the United States over Taiwan: China has been conducting huge military drills around the self-ruled island it claims to be its own since the visit of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Russia has not commented on the Ukrainian allegations of an attack on Marhanets and Reuters could not independently verify Kyiv's version. Moscow does not deliberately target civilians in a military operation aimed at safeguarding its security against NATO expansion.

Ukraine and the West accuse Moscow of waging an unprovoked imperial war of aggression.