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Russia attacks Ukraine nuclear plant as invasion advances

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Passengers rush to board a train leaving to Slovakia from the Lviv railway station, in Lviv, west Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russian forces ha...
Andrey Goncharuk, 68, a member of territorial defense, clutches a hunting rifle while coming out of a small basement of a house crowded with people se...
People from Ukraine arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Seven days into the war, roughly 874,000 p...
Local militiamen help an old woman crossing a bridge destroyed by artillery, as she tries to flee, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March...
A Czech medical team evacuates Ukrainian child patient Yaroslava Zun, 9, who they picked up from Lviv, at the border crossing in Korczowa, Poland on W...
Andrey Goncharuk, 68, a member of territorial defense wipes his face in the backyard of a house that was damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to ...
Ukrainian soldiers check people's identity cards as they flee their neighbourhoods, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2. 2022. (AP P...
People seeking shelter from Russian airstrikes and shelling sit in the small basement of a house in Gorenka, outside the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednes...
Andrey Goncharuk, 68, a member of territorial defense, walks in the backyard of a house damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to locals, in Gorenk...
Men prepare to leave Poland to fight in Ukraine, at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
Displaced Ukrainians take shelter in an auditorium in Lviv, western Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russian forces have escalated their attacks on ...
A group of women and a boy walk to the train station as they try to leave Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russian forces have escalated their...
Andrey Goncharuk, 68, right, a member of the territorial defense speaks to a man in the backyard of a house damaged by a Russian airstrike, according ...
Ukrainian children living in Panama play under a Ukrainian national flag during a protest against Russia´s invasion of Ukraine, in Panama City, Wednes...
A woman cries in the small basement of a house crowded with people seeking shelter from Russian airstrikes, outside the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesd...
A woman holds a small girl at a border crossing, up as refugees flee a Russian invasion, in Medyka, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. The U.N. refugee ...
Two women from Kyiv warm up at a border crossing, up as refugees flee a Russian invasion, in Medyka, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. The U.N. refugee...
A woman holds a small girl at a border crossing, up as refugees flee a Russian invasion, in Medyka, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. The U.N. refugee ...
A woman holds Ukrainian passports as she waits to register for a bus which will take refugees to Germany, at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Th...
Refugees, fleeing from Ukraine, sleep in a shelter designed for women and children at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. ...
A woman runs as she flees with her family across a destroyed bridge in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2. 2022. Russia renewed its as...
People gather in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russian forces have escalated their attacks o...
CAPTION CORRECTS DATE A family arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, after fleeing from the Ukraine. The U.N. ref...
A woman cries outside houses damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to locals, in Gorenka, outside the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2...
In this photo taken from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Thursday, March 3, 2022, a view from the window of a Russian ...
Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin during their meeting i...
In this photo taken from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Thursday, March 3, 2022, a Russian soldier points a gun from ...
A woman holds Ukrainian passports as she waits to register for a bus which will take refugees to Germany, at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Th...
A family from Ukraine arrives at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Seven days into the war, roughly 874,00...
Children Vlada, left, Katrin and Danilo look out from a window of an unheated train carriage of an emergency evacuation train which is travelling from...
A woman holds a child as she arrives with other displaced Ukrainians after they arrived on a train at the station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March...
Officials surround to help a woman in a wheelchair, fleeing Ukraine, after she crossed the border in Vysne Nemecke, Slovakia, Thursday, March 3, 2022....
In this image taken from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the nation in Ky...
A woman uses her mobile phone after boarding a bus which will take refugees to Germany, at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2...
Displaced Ukrainians stand in a line on the train platform after arriving from Ukraine at the station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Mo...
A woman is overwhelmed by emotion in the backyard of a house damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to locals, in Gorenka, outside the capital Kyiv...
Serhii, father of teenager Iliya, cries on his son's lifeless body lying on a stretcher at a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariu...
A displaced Ukrainian woman cries as she waits to get on a train to Poland, at the Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, ...
Displaced people queue to get on a train to Poland, inside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Lviv. (AP Photo...
Displaced people queue to get on a train to Poland, inside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia’s invasion ...
Displaced people gather around a bonfire outside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine...
Women and children, fleeing from Ukraine, sleep at a makeshift shelter in the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. More than 1 ...
A woman comforts her baby at a temporary shelter set up in a market hall for displaced persons fleeing Ukraine, in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3...
Displaced people line up for food rations outside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukrain...
Ukrainian servicemen walk as fire and smoke rise over a building following shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia has launched a w...
Ambulance paramedics move a wounded in shelling civilian onto a stretcher to a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, ...
A couple say their good-byes on a train bound for Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian men have to stay to fight in t...
A building is engulfed in flames after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russian forces have seized a strategic Ukrainian seaport an...
A man walks past an apartment building hit by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)
The lifeless body of teenager Ilya, fatally wounded by shelling, Iies on a stretcher at a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol...
A displaced Ukrainian woman cries as she waits to get on a train to Poland, at the Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, ...
A building burns after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia has launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine, hitting cities and ba...
A woman bids a man goodbye after boarding a Lviv bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's off...
Natalia, 57, cries as she says goodbye to her daughter and grandson on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3. 2022. (AP Phot...
Roman, a former Ukrainian soldier injured in combat, gives instructions on how to handle weapons and move during conflict to civilians in the outskirt...
Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov, left, the Head of the Ukrainian Servant of the People faction Davyd Arakhamia, second left, Adviser t...
A shoe covered in blood lies on the floor at an emergency surgery in a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesda...
Ambulance paramedics treat an elderly woman wounded by shelling before transferring her to a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariu...
Firefighters extinguish a building after a rocket attack in Kharkiv, destroyed in a Russian air raid in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Rus...
Children look out the window of an unheated Lviv bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's off...
A couple says good-bye before she boards on a train bound for Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3. 2022. Ukrainian men have to stay t...
Stanislav, 40, says goodbye to his son David, 2, and his wife Anna, 35, on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3. 2022. Stan...
Ukrainians cover the sculptures of the Latin Cathedral in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced more...
The remains of a Russian missile lies on the ground in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia has launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine, h...
A child clutches a man's leg before boarding a Lviv bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's ...
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday...
A girl comforts a cat before the departure of a Lviv bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's...
Ukrainians receive CPR training in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced more than a million people ...
Demonstrators hold Ukrainian and Georgian national flags in front of the Georgian Parliament during an action against Russia's attack on Ukraine in Tb...
Bogdan, 41, says goodbye to his wife Lena, 35, on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3. 2022. Bogdan is staying to fight wh...
Firefighters hose down a burning building after bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russian forces have seized a strategic Ukrainian se...
One woman comforts another in a temporary shelter set up for displaced persons fleeing Ukraine in Beregsurany, Hungary, Thursday, March 3, 2022. More ...
Ukrainians receive CPR training in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced more than a million people ...
Women hold a placard against Russian President Vladimir Putin as they attend a pro-Ukraine protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Tel Aviv, I...
Ukrainian and Georgian national flags are displayed for sale in a street near the Georgian Parliament prior to an action against Russia's attack on Uk...
Many thousands of demonstrators walk down Willy-Brandt-Strasse, a main thoroughfare in Hamburg, Germany, carrying banners reading ""No more war"." and...
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a damaged city center after a Russian air raid in Chernigiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russian force...
Zlata, 3 and half year-old, fleeing the conflict from neighbouring Ukraine with her face painted in the colours of the Ukrainian flag stands at the Ro...
A woman sits by the window of a Lviv-bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office says a s...
This image made from a video released by Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shows bright flaring object landing in grounds of the nuclear plant in Enerh...
This image made from a video released by Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shows bright flaring object landing in grounds of the nuclear plant in Enerh...
This image made from a video shows Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Enerhodar, Ukraine on Oct. 20, 2015. Russian forces pressed their attack on a crucial...

Passengers rush to board a train leaving to Slovakia from the Lviv railway station, in Lviv, west Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russian forces ha...

Andrey Goncharuk, 68, a member of territorial defense, clutches a hunting rifle while coming out of a small basement of a house crowded with people se...

People from Ukraine arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Seven days into the war, roughly 874,000 p...

Local militiamen help an old woman crossing a bridge destroyed by artillery, as she tries to flee, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March...

A Czech medical team evacuates Ukrainian child patient Yaroslava Zun, 9, who they picked up from Lviv, at the border crossing in Korczowa, Poland on W...

Andrey Goncharuk, 68, a member of territorial defense wipes his face in the backyard of a house that was damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to ...

Ukrainian soldiers check people's identity cards as they flee their neighbourhoods, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2. 2022. (AP P...

People seeking shelter from Russian airstrikes and shelling sit in the small basement of a house in Gorenka, outside the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednes...

Andrey Goncharuk, 68, a member of territorial defense, walks in the backyard of a house damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to locals, in Gorenk...

Men prepare to leave Poland to fight in Ukraine, at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Displaced Ukrainians take shelter in an auditorium in Lviv, western Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russian forces have escalated their attacks on ...

A group of women and a boy walk to the train station as they try to leave Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russian forces have escalated their...

Andrey Goncharuk, 68, right, a member of the territorial defense speaks to a man in the backyard of a house damaged by a Russian airstrike, according ...

Ukrainian children living in Panama play under a Ukrainian national flag during a protest against Russia´s invasion of Ukraine, in Panama City, Wednes...

A woman cries in the small basement of a house crowded with people seeking shelter from Russian airstrikes, outside the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesd...

A woman holds a small girl at a border crossing, up as refugees flee a Russian invasion, in Medyka, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. The U.N. refugee ...

Two women from Kyiv warm up at a border crossing, up as refugees flee a Russian invasion, in Medyka, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. The U.N. refugee...

A woman holds a small girl at a border crossing, up as refugees flee a Russian invasion, in Medyka, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. The U.N. refugee ...

A woman holds Ukrainian passports as she waits to register for a bus which will take refugees to Germany, at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Th...

Refugees, fleeing from Ukraine, sleep in a shelter designed for women and children at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. ...

A woman runs as she flees with her family across a destroyed bridge in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2. 2022. Russia renewed its as...

People gather in the Kyiv subway, using it as a bomb shelter in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Russian forces have escalated their attacks o...

CAPTION CORRECTS DATE A family arrive at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, after fleeing from the Ukraine. The U.N. ref...

A woman cries outside houses damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to locals, in Gorenka, outside the capital Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2...

In this photo taken from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Thursday, March 3, 2022, a view from the window of a Russian ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin during their meeting i...

In this photo taken from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Thursday, March 3, 2022, a Russian soldier points a gun from ...

A woman holds Ukrainian passports as she waits to register for a bus which will take refugees to Germany, at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Th...

A family from Ukraine arrives at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Seven days into the war, roughly 874,00...

Children Vlada, left, Katrin and Danilo look out from a window of an unheated train carriage of an emergency evacuation train which is travelling from...

A woman holds a child as she arrives with other displaced Ukrainians after they arrived on a train at the station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March...

Officials surround to help a woman in a wheelchair, fleeing Ukraine, after she crossed the border in Vysne Nemecke, Slovakia, Thursday, March 3, 2022....

In this image taken from video provided by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Office, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to the nation in Ky...

A woman uses her mobile phone after boarding a bus which will take refugees to Germany, at the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2...

Displaced Ukrainians stand in a line on the train platform after arriving from Ukraine at the station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Mo...

A woman is overwhelmed by emotion in the backyard of a house damaged by a Russian airstrike, according to locals, in Gorenka, outside the capital Kyiv...

Serhii, father of teenager Iliya, cries on his son's lifeless body lying on a stretcher at a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariu...

A displaced Ukrainian woman cries as she waits to get on a train to Poland, at the Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, ...

Displaced people queue to get on a train to Poland, inside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022, in Lviv. (AP Photo...

Displaced people queue to get on a train to Poland, inside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia’s invasion ...

Displaced people gather around a bonfire outside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine...

Women and children, fleeing from Ukraine, sleep at a makeshift shelter in the train station in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3, 2022. More than 1 ...

A woman comforts her baby at a temporary shelter set up in a market hall for displaced persons fleeing Ukraine, in Przemysl, Poland, Thursday, March 3...

Displaced people line up for food rations outside Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukrain...

Ukrainian servicemen walk as fire and smoke rise over a building following shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia has launched a w...

Ambulance paramedics move a wounded in shelling civilian onto a stretcher to a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, ...

A couple say their good-byes on a train bound for Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian men have to stay to fight in t...

A building is engulfed in flames after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russian forces have seized a strategic Ukrainian seaport an...

A man walks past an apartment building hit by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The lifeless body of teenager Ilya, fatally wounded by shelling, Iies on a stretcher at a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol...

A displaced Ukrainian woman cries as she waits to get on a train to Poland, at the Lviv railway station, in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, ...

A building burns after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia has launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine, hitting cities and ba...

A woman bids a man goodbye after boarding a Lviv bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's off...

Natalia, 57, cries as she says goodbye to her daughter and grandson on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3. 2022. (AP Phot...

Roman, a former Ukrainian soldier injured in combat, gives instructions on how to handle weapons and move during conflict to civilians in the outskirt...

Minister of Defense of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov, left, the Head of the Ukrainian Servant of the People faction Davyd Arakhamia, second left, Adviser t...

A shoe covered in blood lies on the floor at an emergency surgery in a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesda...

Ambulance paramedics treat an elderly woman wounded by shelling before transferring her to a maternity hospital converted into a medical ward in Mariu...

Firefighters extinguish a building after a rocket attack in Kharkiv, destroyed in a Russian air raid in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Rus...

Children look out the window of an unheated Lviv bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's off...

A couple says good-bye before she boards on a train bound for Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3. 2022. Ukrainian men have to stay t...

Stanislav, 40, says goodbye to his son David, 2, and his wife Anna, 35, on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3. 2022. Stan...

Ukrainians cover the sculptures of the Latin Cathedral in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced more...

The remains of a Russian missile lies on the ground in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia has launched a wide-ranging attack on Ukraine, h...

A child clutches a man's leg before boarding a Lviv bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's ...

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday...

A girl comforts a cat before the departure of a Lviv bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's...

Ukrainians receive CPR training in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced more than a million people ...

Demonstrators hold Ukrainian and Georgian national flags in front of the Georgian Parliament during an action against Russia's attack on Ukraine in Tb...

Bogdan, 41, says goodbye to his wife Lena, 35, on a train to Lviv at the Kyiv station, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3. 2022. Bogdan is staying to fight wh...

Firefighters hose down a burning building after bombing in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russian forces have seized a strategic Ukrainian se...

One woman comforts another in a temporary shelter set up for displaced persons fleeing Ukraine in Beregsurany, Hungary, Thursday, March 3, 2022. More ...

Ukrainians receive CPR training in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced more than a million people ...

Women hold a placard against Russian President Vladimir Putin as they attend a pro-Ukraine protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Tel Aviv, I...

Ukrainian and Georgian national flags are displayed for sale in a street near the Georgian Parliament prior to an action against Russia's attack on Uk...

Many thousands of demonstrators walk down Willy-Brandt-Strasse, a main thoroughfare in Hamburg, Germany, carrying banners reading ""No more war"." and...

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a damaged city center after a Russian air raid in Chernigiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Russian force...

Zlata, 3 and half year-old, fleeing the conflict from neighbouring Ukraine with her face painted in the colours of the Ukrainian flag stands at the Ro...

A woman sits by the window of a Lviv-bound train, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's office says a s...

This image made from a video released by Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shows bright flaring object landing in grounds of the nuclear plant in Enerh...

This image made from a video released by Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant shows bright flaring object landing in grounds of the nuclear plant in Enerh...

This image made from a video shows Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Enerhodar, Ukraine on Oct. 20, 2015. Russian forces pressed their attack on a crucial...

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces shelled Europe’s largest nuclear plant early Friday, sparking a fire as they pressed their attack on a crucial energy-producing Ukrainian city and gained ground in their bid to cut off the country from the sea.

Leading nuclear authorities were concerned — but not panicked — about the damage to the power station. The assault triggered phone calls between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and U.S. President Joe Biden and other world leaders. The U.S. Department of Energy activated its nuclear incident response team as a precaution.

The attack on the eastern city of Enerhodar and its Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant unfolded as the invasion entered its second week and another round of talks between the two sides yielded a tentative agreement to set up safe corridors to evacuate citizens and deliver humanitarian aid.

Nuclear plant spokesman Andriy Tuz told Ukrainian television that shells were falling directly on the facility and had set fire to one of its six reactors. That reactor is under renovation and not operating, but there is nuclear fuel inside, he said.

Firefighters cannot get near the flames because they are being shot at, he said, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted a plea to the Russians to stop the assault and allow fire teams inside.

“We demand that they stop the heavy weapons fire,” Tuz said in a video statement. “There is a real threat of nuclear danger in the biggest atomic energy station in Europe.”

The assault renewed fears that the invasion could damage one of Ukraine's 15 nuclear reactors and set off another emergency like the 1986 Chernobyl accident, the world’s worst nuclear disaster, which happened about 110 kilometers (65 miles) north of the capital.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm tweeted that the Zaporizhzhia plant’s reactors were protected by robust containment structures and were being safely shut down.

In an emotional speech in the middle of the night, Zelenskyy said he feared an explosion that would be "the end for everyone. The end for Europe. The evacuation of Europe.”

“Only urgent action by Europe can stop the Russian troops," he said. "Do not allow the death of Europe from a catastrophe at a nuclear power station.”

But most experts saw nothing to indicate an impending disaster.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said the fire had not affected essential equipment and that Ukraine’s nuclear regulator reported no change in radiation levels. The American Nuclear Society concurred, saying that the latest radiation levels remained within natural background levels.

“The real threat to Ukrainian lives continues to be the violent invasion and bombing of their country,” the group said in a statement.

Jon Wolfsthal, who served during the Obama administration as the senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council, said the plant's reactors have thick concrete containment domes that should protect them from tank and artillery fire.

But he too was concerned about a potential loss of power at the plant, which could imperil its ability to keep the nuclear fuel cool.

The mayor of Enerhodar said earlier that Ukrainian forces were battling Russian troops on the city’s outskirts. Video showed flames and black smoke rising above the city of more than 50,000, with people streaming past wrecked cars.

Prior to the shelling, the Ukrainian state atomic energy company reported that a Russian military column was heading toward the nuclear plant. Loud shots and rocket fire were heard late Thursday.

“Many young men in athletic clothes and armed with Kalashnikovs have come into the city. They are breaking down doors and trying to get into the apartments of local residents,” the statement from Energoatom said.

Later, a livestreamed security camera linked from the homepage of the Zaporizhzhia plant showed what appeared to be armored vehicles rolling into the facility’s parking lot and shining spotlights on the building where the camera was mounted.

Then there were what appeared to be muzzle flashes from vehicles, followed by nearly simultaneous explosions in surrounding buildings. Smoke rose into the frame and drifted away.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal called on the West to close the skies over the country's nuclear plants. "It is a question of the security of the whole world!” he said in a statement.

The U.S. and NATO allies have ruled out creating a no-fly zone since the move would pit Russian and Western military forces against each other.

Vladimir Putin’s forces have brought their superior firepower to bear over the past few days, launching hundreds of missiles and artillery attacks on cities and other sites around the country and making significant gains in the south.

The Russians announced the capture of the southern city of Kherson, a vital Black Sea port of 280,000, and local Ukrainian officials confirmed the takeover of the government headquarters there, making it the first major city to fall since the invasion began a week ago.

Heavy fighting continued on the outskirts of another strategic port, Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. The battles have knocked out the city's electricity, heat and water systems, as well as most phone service, officials said. Food deliveries to the city were also cut.

Associated Press video from the port city showed the assault lighting up the darkening sky above deserted streets and medical teams treating civilians, including a 16-year-old boy inside a clinic who could not be saved. The child was playing soccer when he was wounded in the shelling, according to his father, who cradled the boy’s head on the gurney and cried.

Severing Ukraine's access to the Black and Azov seas would deal a crippling blow to its economy and allow Russia to build a land corridor to Crimea, seized by Moscow in 2014.

Overall, the outnumbered, outgunned Ukrainians have put up stiff resistance, staving off the swift victory that Russia appeared to have expected. But a senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Russia’s seizure of Crimea gave it a logistical advantage in that part of the country, with shorter supply lines that smoothed the offensive there.

Ukrainian leaders called on the people to defend their homeland by cutting down trees, erecting barricades in the cities and attacking enemy columns from the rear. In recent days, authorities have issued weapons to civilians and taught them how to make Molotov cocktails.

“Total resistance. ... This is our Ukrainian trump card, and this is what we can do best in the world,” Oleksiy Arestovich, an aide to Zelenskyy, said in a video message, recalling guerrilla actions in Nazi-occupied Ukraine during World War II.

The second round of talks between Ukrainian and Russian delegations was held in neighboring Belarus. But the two sides appeared far apart going into the meeting, and Putin warned Ukraine that it must quickly accept the Kremlin's demand for its “demilitarization" and declare itself neutral, renouncing its bid to join NATO.

Putin told French President Emmanuel Macron he was determined to press on with his attack "until the end,” according to Macron's office.

The two sides said that they tentatively agreed to allow cease-fires in areas designated safe corridors, and that they would seek to work out the necessary details quickly. A Zelenskyy adviser also said a third round of talks will be held early next week.

Despite a profusion of evidence of civilian casualties and destruction of property by the Russian military, Putin decried what he called an “anti-Russian disinformation campaign” and insisted that Moscow uses “only precision weapons to exclusively destroy military infrastructure.”

Putin claimed that the Russian military had already offered safe corridors for civilians to flee, but he asserted without evidence that Ukrainian “neo-Nazis" were preventing people from leaving and were using them as human shields.

He also hailed Russian soldiers as heroes in a video call with members of Russia's Security Council, and ordered additional payments to families of men killed or wounded.

The Pentagon set up a direct communication link to Russia's Ministry of Defense earlier this week to avoid the possibility of a miscalculation sparking conflict between Moscow and Washington, according to a U.S. defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the link had not been announced.

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Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Chernov reported from Mariupol, Ukraine. Sergei Grits in Odesa, Ukraine; Francesca Ebel, Josef Federman and Andrew Drake in Kyiv; and other AP journalists from around the world contributed to this report.

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