Sep 19, 2022 - World

Ukraine says Russian missile strike came close to nuclear reactor

A Ukrainian woman is seen with a bicycle in front of a demolished building in Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine on September 18
A Ukrainian woman with a bicycle in front of a demolished building in Izium, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine, on Sept. 18. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A Russian missile exploded less than 1,000 feet from a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine in an act that Ukraine's Ministry of Defense called "nuclear terrorism."

Why it matters: The strike, which did not cause immediate casualties, comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled his intent to escalate attacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure after his country faced one of its greatest setbacks of the war.

Driving the news: The missile struck near the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant, which is also known as Pivdennoukrainsk, just after midnight local time, per video footage released by Ukraine's Defense Ministry.

  • "Kremlin's nuclear terrorism continues," the ministry wrote on Twitter. "Russia is the threat to the whole world."
  • A building was damaged in the strike and "elements of the energy complex were turned off," an adviser to the minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine said.

The big picture: The strike landed near the country's second-largest nuclear power station, per the New York Times.

  • Putin last week warned that his troops would increase attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure if Ukrainian offensives continued, AP reports.
  • "If the situation develops this way, our response will be more serious," Putin said.

What they're saying: "A few hundred meters and we would have woken up in a completely different reality," Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president's office, said on Telegram.

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