A Russian missile strike narrowly missed hitting Ukraine’s second-largest nuclear power plant Monday, Ukrainian officials said, prompting new fears of nuclear catastrophe as Russia escalates attacks on critical infrastructure.
The missile hit just 328 yards from the Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant, Ukrainian officials said, damaging buildings at the facility and causing a temporary power outage.
Video showed two large fireball explosions erupting near the site shortly after midnight.
Both Ukrainian nuclear company Energoatom and Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense denounced the missile strike as an act of “nuclear terrorism.”
“Russia, in desperation, is putting the world on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe,” Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said after the attack.
Energoatom said the blast shattered some 100 windows at the site but that no one was killed.
The missile strike comes just weeks after repeated Russian shelling cut off transmission lines to Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia, on two separate occasions, forcing operators to shut down its six reactors amid fears of a nuclear catastrophe.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the latest strike in a Telegram post on Monday.
“Russia endangers the whole world,” Zelensky said. “We have to stop before it’s too late.”
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