RUSSIA-UKRAINE LIVE: Battle to stop fire at Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, refugees could hit four million, shoppers search for Ukrainian vodka after Russian products are pulled off shelves over Vladimir Putin’s invasion
Russian forces today shelled Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky accusing the country of unleashing ‘nuclear terror’.
Mr Zelensky said he feared that an explosion at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant would be ‘the end for everyone, the end for Europe, the evacuation of Europe’.
The assault triggered phone calls between Mr Zelensky and world leaders, with the US Department of Energy activating its nuclear incident response team.
Vladimir Putin‘s forces have launched hundreds of missiles and artillery attacks on cities and other sites around Ukraine and made significant gains in the south.
The Russians announced the capture of the southern city and Black Sea port of Kherson, which was the first major city to fall since the invasion began last week.
Heavy fighting continued on the outskirts of another strategic port, Mariupol, on the Azov Sea – which has knocked out the city’s electricity, heat and water systems.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Russia’s shelling of the nuclear power station in Zaporizhzhia could ‘directly threaten the safety of all of Europe’.
And the West fears the Russian president will unleash an overwhelming assault on Ukraine’s major cities, potentially inflicting devastating civilian casualties.
Meanwhile the exodus from Ukraine continued, with the UN saying more than a million people having fled so far, a figure which could soon rise to four million.
And British supermarkets are committing to stop selling Russian-made vodka because of the war, with UK shoppers now searching for Ukrainian alternatives.
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