KYIV: Ukraine is aiming Russian soldiers who shoot at Europe's largest nuclear power station or use it as a base to shoot from, as G 7 nations fearing a nuclear catastrophe have called for Moscow to withdraw its forces from the plant.
Ukraine and Russia have been accused of several incidents of shelling at the Zaporizhzhia facility in southern Ukraine. Russian troops captured the station early in the war.
In an evening address on Saturday August 13, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Russian soldiers who shoots at the plant or shoots using the plant as cover must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, our special services, and our army.
The plant dominates the south bank of a vast reservoir on the Dnipro River. Ukrainian forces that control the towns and cities on the opposite bank have been under intense bombardment from the Russian-held side.
Ukrainian president Mykhailo Podolyak accused Russia of attacking the part of the nuclear power plant where the energy that powers the south of Ukraine is generated. The goal is to disconnect us from the plant and blame the Ukrainian army for this, Podolyak wrote on Twitter.
The International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA, which is trying to inspect the plant, warned of a nuclear disaster if the fighting stops. Nuclear experts fear that fighting could damage the plant's waste fuel pools or reactors.
The UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for the establishment of a demilitarised zone around the Zaporizhzhia facility, which is still run by Ukrainian technicians.
The largest part of the territory that Russia seized after its Feb 24 invasion is still in Russian hands, Kyiv has said for weeks it is planning a counteroffensive to recapture Zaporizhzhia and neighbouring Kherson provinces.
Russian and Ukrainian forces earlier fought for control of Chornobyl, the still-radioactive site of the world's worst nuclear accident, raising fears of a disaster.