SUMMARY 5-Ukraine accuses Russia of using nuclear power plant for deadly rocket attack

Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russia of exploiting its capture of a nuclear power plant to fire rockets at a nearby town in an attack that left at least 13 people dead and scores injured. The town Ukraine says is targeted by Russia – Marhanets – is one Moscow says its enemies have used in the past to bomb Russian soldiers at the Zaporizhzhia factory, which they seized in March.

Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of endangering the plant, Europe’s largest nuclear complex, with nearby attacks. After the United Nations atomic energy watchdog sounded the alarm over a potential nuclear disaster, the major industrialized nations of the Group of Seven on Wednesday called on Russia to return the plant to Ukraine .

There is no indication that their request will sway Moscow, which received strong backing from China on Wednesday over its justification for invading Ukraine on February 24. Beijing’s ambassador to Moscow, Zhang Hanhui, has accused Washington of cornering Russia with repeated expansions of the Western-led NATO military alliance and its support for Ukraine’s alignment. on the European Union.

“As the initiator and main instigator of the Ukraine crisis, Washington, while imposing unprecedented comprehensive sanctions on Russia, continues to supply arms and military equipment to Ukraine,” Zhang said. “Their ultimate goal is to wear down and crush Russia with protracted war and the cudgel of sanctions.”

Beijing is also embroiled in a standoff with the United States over Taiwan: China has been conducting huge military exercises around the self-governing island it claims as its own since the US House Speaker’s visit. United, Nancy Pelosi. Russia has not commented on Ukrainian allegations of an attack on Marhanets and Reuters could not independently verify Kyiv’s version. Moscow says it is not deliberately targeting civilians in what it calls its “special military operation” aimed at safeguarding its security against NATO expansion.

Ukraine and the West accuse Moscow of waging an imperial-style war of aggression without provocation. NEW RUSSIAN GROUND FORCE?

Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said Russia was launching attacks with impunity from Zaporizhzhia, knowing it was risky for Ukraine to retaliate. “Russian cowards can’t do anything more so they are hitting towns that are vilely hiding at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” he said on social media.

According to Ukraine, about 500 Russian soldiers equipped with heavy vehicles and weapons are at the plant, where Ukrainian technicians continue to work. Ukraine’s nuclear energy company warned containers with radioactive material could be bombed and said it was vital that Kyiv resumed the plant by winter. She accuses Russia of wanting to connect the facility to its power grid.

Russia says its forces are behaving responsibly and ensuring the security of the complex. Valentyn Reznychenko, governor of Ukraine’s central Dnipropetrovsk region, said on Wednesday that the Russian attack on Marhanets was carried out with 80 Grad rockets.

More than 20 buildings were damaged in the city across the Dnipro River from the power station, he said. Footage provided by Ukrainian officials showed the rubble-strewn hallway of a school whose windows had been blown out and a residential building pierced by a rocket.

The war has crushed Ukraine’s economy, but there was some relief on Wednesday when foreign creditors backed Kyiv’s demand for a two-year freeze on payments on nearly $20 billion in international bonds. This should avoid a messy default. Ukraine said it would save about $5 billion in managing its dwindling financial resources.

“The two-year debt freeze makes sense because even if the war ends soon, Ukraine’s situation is not going to improve overnight,” said Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist at the firm. London studies Tellimer. “Creditors were even surprised that the country decided to be up to date on obligations so far.” In another rare positive for Ukraine, the United Nations said it expected to see a surge in requests from ships to export its grain under a mediated deal designed to unblock exports and mitigate global shortages and price spikes.

Britain, which is helping Ukraine with arms, intelligence and training, said Wednesday it believed Russia had “almost certainly” established a major new ground force to support its war. The new 3rd Army Corps was based in the town of Mulino, east of Moscow, the British Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence bulletin. However, Russia would struggle to build up the necessary manpower and the new force is unlikely to influence the war, he added.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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