Damage to nuclear plant would be suicide – UN chief

UN Secretary General António Guterres has said he is “gravely concerned” about fighting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine.

He made the comments during a summit with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Lviv.

“Any potential damage to Zaporizhzhia is suicide,” Mr Guterres warned.

It was Mr Zelensky and Mr Guterres’ first meeting since April, when Kyiv was hit by rockets during the visit.

Mr Erdogan echoed the UN chief’s concerns, telling reporters that he was worried about the danger of “another Chernobyl” disaster erupting at the plant.

In recent weeks the area around the facility, which Russia seized in March, has come under heavy artillery fire, with both Kyiv and Moscow blaming each other for the attacks.

Ahead of Thursday’s meeting Mr Zelensky criticised “deliberate” Russian attacks on the power plant.

Moscow is accused of turning the facility into an army base, with all three leaders urging the Russians to demilitarise the zone as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, local sources in the Russian occupied Crimean Peninsula reported a number of large explosions near the Belbek military airport.

Mikhail Razvozhayev, the Russian installed governor of Sevastopol, denied that anyone had been injured in the blasts and said no damage was done, despite videos circulating on social media appearing to show huge explosions lighting up the night sky.