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Ukrainian war: two dead after “Russian rockets hit residential areas” in Zaporizhzhia

At least two people were killed on Thursday when seven Russian rockets slammed into residential buildings in the southeastern Ukrainian town of Zaporizhzhia, according to the region’s governor.

At least 5 people remained trapped under the rubble.

The strikes came just hours after Ukraine announced that the country’s military had recaptured three Russian-occupied villages.

Governor Oleksandr Starukh wrote on his Telegram channel that many people were rescued from multi-storey buildings, including a three-year-old girl who was taken to hospital for treatment.

The city of Zaporizhzhia is the administrative center of the region of the same name which Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed on Wednesday in violation of international laws. It is also near the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, which is under Russian occupation.

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog is expected to travel to Kyiv this week to discuss the situation at the Zaporizhzhia facility after Putin on Wednesday signed an executive order declaring Russia taking control of the plant at six reactors.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry called it a criminal act and said it considered Putin’s decree “null and void”. State nuclear operator Energoatom said it would continue to operate the plant.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, plans to speak with Ukrainian officials about the Russian decision. He will also discuss efforts to establish a secure protection zone around the facility, which was damaged in the fighting.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “certain territories will be reclaimed and we will continue to consult with residents who would be willing to embrace Russia.”

Peskov did not specify which additional Ukrainian territories Moscow is considering, nor did he say whether the Kremlin plans to hold more “referendums” that the Ukrainian government and the West have dismissed as illegitimate.

The precise borders of areas claimed by Moscow remain unclear, but Putin has pledged to defend Russian territory – including annexed areas – with all means at his military’s disposal, including nuclear weapons.

euronews Gt

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