Kharkiv has seen some of the worst bombardments (Picture: Getty/Reuters/Rex)
Russian troops are firing at a nuclear research facility in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s parliament has claimed.
Quoting the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate, the nation’s parliament wrote on Twitter: ‘It is currently impossible to estimate the extent of damage due to hostilities that do not stop in the area of the nuclear installation.’
Earlier this month, the grounds of the Institute of Physics and Technology were hit by Russian shells.
Officials warned radiation could be released if certain equipment inside was damaged, but the facility’s director general said the core housing nuclear fuel remained intact.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) previously cautioned that any attack leading to the potential destruction of the facility would lead to a large-scale environmental disaster.
Russian forces have already seized control of two nuclear power plants in Ukraine, including Zaporizhzhia, the largest in Europe.
Earlier, they took over Slavutych, the city where workers at the defunct Chernobyl nuclear plant live.
Map of the Russian invasion (Picture: Metro Graphics)
Destruction of a building in Kharkiv (Picture: Rex/Shutterstock)
Ukrainian police inside an ampartment destroyeed by a Russian airstrike in Kharkiv (Picture: Rex/Shutterstock)
The governor of Kyiv region, Oleksandr Pavlyuk, announced the capture in an online post. The Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted him as saying three people had died.
Slavutych sits just outside the exclusion zone of Chernobyl – site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 1986.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said the town had become a new hotspot of the war.
On Friday, Ukraine said Russian troops had drawn close to the town, which had a pre-war population of around 25,000, and had launched an unsuccessful first attack.
Russia-Ukraine war: Everything you need to know
Moscow calls its actions in Ukraine a ‘special military operation’ to disarm its neighbour. Kyiv and its Western allies call it an unprovoked war of aggression.
US President Joe Biden called Vladimir Putin a ‘butcher’ during a visit to Poland, in which he also warned ‘this battle will not be won in days or months’.
The United Nations has confirmed 1,104 civilian deaths and 1,754 injuries in Ukraine since the invasion but says the real toll is likely higher. Ukraine says 136 children have been killed.
Russia’s defence ministry said 1,351 Russian soldiers had been killed and 3,825 wounded, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday.
Ukraine says 15,000 Russian soldiers have been killed. Reuters could not independently verify the claims.
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