Ukraine is targeting Russian soldiers firing on or using it as a firing base at an occupied nuclear power plant in the south of the country, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday.
Ukraine and Russia have traded accusations over multiple recent bombing incidents at the Zaporizhia facility, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Russian troops captured the station early in the war.
“Any Russian soldier who shoots at the plant, or shoots using the plant as cover, must understand that he becomes a special target for our intelligence agents, for our special services, for our army,” Zelensky said in a late-night speech. .
Zelensky, who did not elaborate, repeated accusations that Russia is using the plant for nuclear blackmail.
The G-7 group of nations has called on Moscow to withdraw its forces from the headquarters.
Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency earlier warned of further Russian “provocations” around the plant, while the exiled mayor of the town where the plant is located said it had come under further Russian bombardment.
However, a local Russian-based official, Vladimir Rogov, wrote on Telegram that Ukrainian forces were shelling the plant.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak accused Russia of “hitting the part of the nuclear power plant where the power that feeds southern Ukraine is generated.”
“The goal is to disconnect us from the (plant) and blame the Ukrainian military for it,” Podolyak wrote on Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ).
The defense intelligence agency said Russian troops had parked a Pion self-propelled howitzer on the outskirts of the nearby town and put a Ukrainian flag on it.
The agency also said Thursday’s attacks on the territory of the Zaporizhia plant, which Ukraine says damaged water pumping infrastructure and a fire station, had been carried out from the Russian-controlled town of Vodiane to about seven kilometers east of the plant.