Aug 15, 2022 - World

U.S. and EU demand Russia leave Ukraine nuclear plant as shelling intensifies

In this photograph taken on August 13, 2022 a local resident works in a garden in Vyschetarasivka as Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (Background-R) is seen across the Dnipro river.
A local resident working in a garden in Vyschetarasivka as Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (Background, R) is seen across the Dnipro River in Ukraine on Saturday. Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Sunday any Russian soldier who shoots at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station or fires from it will become a "special target" for Ukrainian forces.

Driving the news: Days of heavy shelling in the area around Europe's largest nuclear power station intensified Sunday — as Russian and Ukrainian officials continue to blame each other for the strikes that have forced hundreds of civilians to flee in the past week.

  • Energoatom, Ukraine's nuclear power operator, reported Sunday that at least six Russian strikes on the nearby city of Enerhodar had killed one person and injured another. Russia's military is occupying Enerhodar.

The big picture: United Nations chief António Guterres has called for a demilitarized zone at the plant in southern Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the European Union released a joint statement with the U.S. and 41 other countries on Sunday demanding that Russian forces "immediately withdraw" from the nuclear power station and the surroundings areas.

  • It is "undeniable that Russia's invasion and its continued presence at Ukraine’s nuclear facilities significantly raise the risk of nuclear incidents and accidents," the statement warned.

Go deeper: UN chief condemns shelling of Ukraine nuclear plant as "suicidal"

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