1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Nuclear plant worker hurt in Ukraine attack

August 7, 2022

A worker has been injured in fresh shelling at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant, Europe's largest. Meanwhile, an official of the Russian-backed administration in Kherson died after being shot. Follow DW for the latest.

A Russian serviceman guards an area of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station
The Russian-occuppied Zaporizhzhia atomic power complex has in recent days been the scene of military strikes Image: AP/picture alliance

Ukraine's state nuclear power company Enerhoatom said on Sunday that one worker had been wounded in Russian shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. 

The power company said on Telegram Russia late Saturday shelled the plant's dry storage facility with 174 containers of spent nuclear fuel stored in open air.

Meanwhile, pro-Russian officials blamed the Ukrainian military for the shelling. Both sides have previously accused each other of "nuclear terrorism."

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), once again raised his grave concerns about safety at the plant on this weekend.

The Zaporizhzhia facility is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

Strikes near Ukraine nuclear power plant: What we know so far

On Friday, shells struck a high-voltage power line at the facility. Operators disconnected one reactor as a precaution despite no leak detected.

In the initial phase of the war, Russian forces captured the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. However, the plant continues to be maintained by Ukrainian technicians who work in perilous circumstances.

Here are the other main headlines from the war in Ukraine on August 7.

UN chief gives stark warning over fighting at nuclear plant in Ukraine

Any attack on a nuclear plant is "suicidal," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Monday after shelling hit an atomic complex in Ukraine.

Moscow and Kyiv have blamed each other for the latest strike at the Zaporizhzhia plant, Europe's largest nuclear power site. 

The atomic power complex in southern Ukraine has been under Russian control since the early days of the conflict.

The fighting on Friday there prompted the UN to warn of "the very real risk of a nuclear disaster."

Zelenskyy calls for Russia's nuclear industry to be sanctioned

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter that he called for sanctions to be imposed on Russia's nuclear fuel and its nuclear industry in a phone call with European Council President Charles Michel. 

He wrote the two discussed "the situation on the battlefield, in particular at the Zaporizhzhia NPP," and added, "Russian nuclear terror requires a stronger response from the international community."

Amnesty says it regrets 'the pain caused' after backlash over report

Rights group Amnesty International said it regretted the "distress and anger" that resulted from a report it had issued Thursday. The report sparked anger as it accused the Ukrainian army of putting civilians at risk by using locations in residential areas following Russia's invasion.

"While we fully stand by our findings, we regret the pain caused," the rights group said in an email to Reuters.

The report led to the resignation of the Ukraine director Oksana Pokalchuk. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had also accused the non-governmental organization of victim blaming.

Russia continues to bolster forces in Belarus

Ukraine's General Staff said Russia has continued to transfer additional forces as well as technology and equipment for air defense into Belarus.

While Belarus has not officially joined the war on Russia's side, authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko said shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine that missiles had been fired from Belarus into Ukraine.

With limited explanation, the General Staff said Russia continues to use radio-electronic warfare to complicate aerial reconnaissance in eastern and southern Ukraine, where fighting continues to be concentrated.

"Four sea-based cruise missile carriers are ready to use high-precision weapons," the update said.

Additionally, "Ukrainian aviation and missile and artillery units continue to fire at concentrations of manpower, military equipment of Russian occupiers, and warehouses with ammunition." 

"As a result of the losses, the enemy's personnel in some areas refused to go into battle and resorted to sabotage," the General Staff update concluded.

Russian occupation authority deputy dies after assassination attempt

Vitaly Gura, the deputy head of the Russian occupation administration in the city of Nova Kakhovka in the Kherson region, died after "an assassination attempt," Russian-appointed representatives said.

Katerina Gubareva, a spokesperson for Russian-backed authorities, confirmed Gura had "succumbed to his injuries," on Telegram.

Vladimir Leontyev, the Russian-backed head of the Kakhovka district administration, told Russian state-run Interfax that Gura was shot with an automatic weapon as he was going to work on Saturday morning. 

Russian-held Nova Kakhovka is located 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of the city of Kherson along the Dnieper River. Several officials appointed by Moscow in the region have become targets for assassination in recent months.

Since Russia took the Kherson region and part of Zaporizhzhia, occupation officials have launched a policy of Russification in what could be seen as preparations for Russia to annex the regions.

Moscow has introduced the ruble as currency and begun a policy of handing out passports. Some residents have reportedly been abducted or suffered other abuses.

Ukraine's army is attempting to retake Kherson, the city of 290,000 people, pushing a counter-offensive in recent weeks and making up ground but not yet managing to pierce through Russian lines.

US' Blinken starts Africa trip in bid to counter Moscow's influence

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has arrived in South Africa on the first leg of a three-nation trip that comes on the heels of last month's visit to the continent by his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.

Many African nations, including South Africa, have declined to take sides over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, Pretoria said Blinken would hold talks on Monday with his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor, where they would "discuss ongoing and recent developments relating to the global geopolitical situation."

Blinken would also make an announcement on Washington's new Africa strategy, the statement said.

The top US diplomat is also to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda during his trip.

Lavrov used his four-nation visit last month to present Russia as a friend to Africa that opposed what he depicted as the "colonial mindset" of many Western countries. He also pushed the narrative that Western sanctions, and not Russia's invasion of Ukraine, were responsible for the current global food crisis.

Four ships carrying food sail from Ukrainian ports

Four cargo ships full of 160,000 tons of corn and other foods departed from Black Sea ports in Ukraine, officials in Ukraine and Turkey said.

Grain exports from Ukraine are being managed and supervised by the Joint Coordination Center in Istanbul, which is staffed by Turkish, Ukrainian and Russian officials.

Last month, the UN and Turkey helped broker the deal amid UN warnings of famine in regions of the world where food shortages are already acute and the reliance of the population on food aid is greatest. The halt in grain shipments from Ukraine sent food prices soaring worldwide.

Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the two countries together combined accounted for nearly one-third of global wheat exports.

Late Saturday, the Joint Coordination Center authorized the departure of five ships through the Black Sea. Four vessels were given permission to sail from Chornomorsk and Odesa and one was granted authorization to make its way to Ukraine.

Turkey's Ministry of Defense said the ships departing from Ukraine include Glory, loaded with 66,000 tons of corn, that is headed for Istanbul and the Riva Wind with 44,000 tons of corn traveling to Iskenderun, Turkey.

The other two ships are the Star Helena with 45,000 tons of meal bound for China and the Mustafa Necati with 6,000 tons of sunflower oil destined for Italy.

UK intelligence update points to high cost of war for Russia

In its daily morning defense intelligence briefing, the UK pointed to the high cost of war for Russia's armed forces, as evidenced by the dismissal of at least six senior defense officials since the war began.

"The commanders of Russia's Eastern and Western Military Districts have highly likely lost their commands," UK defense officials have said.

"These dismissals are compounded by at least 10 Russian Generals killed on the battlefield in Ukraine. The cumulative effect on consistency of command is likely contributing to Russian tactical and operational difficulties," UK intelligence concludes.

More on the war in Ukraine:

DW looks at whether the war in Ukraine is really at a turning point as Ukraine looks toward retaking Kherson.

Turkey will pay for some Russian gas in rubles following a meeting between the leaders of the two countries in Sochi.

German residency permits for foreign students who fled the war in Ukraine are set to expire. DW  takes a closer look.

jsi, ar/dj (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Government HQ in Chisinau, Moldova, with large banners of Moldova and the EU
Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage