Ukraine, Russia trade blame over nuclear plant shelling

© Ihor Tkachov, AFP

Kyiv and Moscow on Sunday blamed each other for shelling on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that Russia controls in southern Ukraine. A key adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky has called the West’s reported attempts to persuade Ukraine to negotiate with Russia ‘bizarre’, given Ukrainian forces’ recent advances in the northeast and south of the country. Read our live blog for the latest developments. All times are in Paris time (GMT + 1).

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9:15pm: Ukraine says Russians pounding frontline positions with artillery

Russian forces are pounding Ukrainian positions with artillery fire and in the eastern region alone launched almost 400 strikes on Sunday, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address.

Russia withdrew its forces from the southern city of Kherson this month and moved some of them to reinforce positions in the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, an industrial area known as the Donbas.

"The fiercest battles, as before, are in the Donetsk region. Although there were fewer attacks today due to worsening weather, the amount of Russian shelling unfortunately remains extremely high," Zelenskiy said.

"In the Luhansk region, we are slowly moving forward while fighting. As of now, there have been almost 400 artillery attacks in the east since the start of the day," he continued. Zelensky also said troops in the south were "consistently and very calculatedly destroying the potential of the occupiers" but gave no details.

Despite the shelling, radiation levels "remain normal", the army added.

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