Shelled nuke plant shuts reactor

KYIV, Ukraine (AFP) — Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday accused Russia of using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant “for terror” after the operator of the facility reported major damage at the site.

Energoatom, operator of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the south of the country, said Saturday that parts of the facility had been “seriously damaged” by military strikes and one of its reactors was forced to shut down.

Friday’s strikes had damaged a station containing nitrogen and oxygen and an auxiliary building, Energoatom said on the Telegram messaging service.

As hostilities raged on in the east and south of Ukraine, pro-Moscow authorities in the Russian-occupied Kherson region reported the assassination of a senior official.

An official with the Russian occupying authorities in Kherson died in hospital after being shot on Saturday, Russian state media reported.

Vitalii Hura, “the deputy head of the Novaya Kakhovka administration in charge of the housing and utility sector, died from his wounds,” Yekaterina Gubareva, the deputy head of Russia’s civil-military administration in Kherson, wrote on Telegram, according to TASS.

The report said Hura had been attacked in his home and shot several times.

Another Moscow-appointed official was killed in the same region in June, reportedly by a bomb planted in his car.

There has been a spate of reported assassination attempts and attacks against pro-Kremlin officials in Ukrainian regions controlled by Russia.

One-sided report

Meanwhile, the head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine office announced she had resigned from the organization over the group’s publication of a controversial report that accused the country’s military of endangering civilians.

“If you don’t live in a country invaded by occupiers who are tearing it to pieces, you probably don’t understand what it’s like to condemn an army of defenders,” Oksana Pokalchuk said on social media late Friday.

“And there are no words in any language that can convey this to someone who has not experienced this pain.”

Pokalchuk said she had tried to warn Amnesty’s senior leadership that the report was one-sided and failed to properly take into account the Ukrainian position but had been ignored.

Amnesty secretary general Agnes Callamard expressed regret at her departure and paid tribute to her work. But the organisation stands by its report.

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