KYIV, Ukraine — A Ukrainian official on Saturday accused Russian forces of opening fire on peaceful demonstrators, injuring four with “severe burns,” in the southern city of Enerhodar occupied by Moscow’s forces.
Russian troops took control of Enerhodar, the site of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, in early March.
“Today in Enerhodar, city residents gathered again for a rally in support of Ukraine, singing the anthem,” Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova said on Telegram.
“The occupiers used light and noise grenades and opened mortar fire on the residents, four people were injured and severely burned,” she said.
Videos circulating on social media showed people fleeing from a square in Enerhodar amid explosions and clouds of white smoke.
Denisova said some of the protesters were “forcibly put in paddy wagons and taken away in an unknown direction.”
russian occupation troops open fire at peaceful resistance rally in occupied enerhodar, home to europe’s largest nuclear plant pic.twitter.com/q5qZ7AKG0f
— maksym.eristavi ????????????️???? (@MaximEristavi) April 2, 2022
She accused Russian forces of “terrorizing the local population.”
Ukraine has previously accused the Russian army of firing on peaceful protesters in Kherson, the first major city to fall to the Russian army since Moscow invaded in late February.
Denisova said there was no information on Enerhodar’s “abducted” mayor, Ivan Samoiydyuk, “who did not agree to cooperate with the occupiers.”
Fighting around the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Enerhodar last month led to international outrage, with memories of Ukraine’s Chernobyl disaster still fresh.
Denisova said staff at the plant are under the control of the Russian army and “forced to coordinate all technical decisions with their commander.”
She said employees are “unable to work calmly” and that the “nuclear and radiation situation is under threat.”