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Shells Hit Near Nuclear Plant; Blackouts Roll Across Ukraine

A woman walks past her house that was damaged in Russian shelling in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)
A woman walks past her house that was damaged in Russian shelling in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko)

Powerful explosions from shelling shook Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region, the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, the global nuclear watchdog said Sunday, calling for “urgent measures to help prevent a nuclear accident” in the Russian-occupied facility.

A heavy barrage of Russian military strikes — almost 400 on Sunday alone — also hit Ukraine’s eastern regions, and fierce ground battles shook the eastern Donetsk province, Ukraine’s president said in his evening update.

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said multiple explosions near the plant — on Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning — abruptly ended a period of relative calm around the nuclear facility that has been the site of fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces since Russia invaded on Feb. 24.

The fighting has raised the specter of a nuclear catastrophe ever since Russian troops occupied the plant during the early days of the war.

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