By Kevin Zhang
The Russian army has taken full control of a nuclear plant and Enerhodar and Berdyansk, two cities in the Zaporizhzhya region, according to a Russian Defense Ministry statement on Monday.
The plant continued to operate normally, it said, and added that Russian air forces have gained full air superiority over all of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s state-run nuclear company Energoatom denied that Russia had taken over the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, the largest plant in Europe, according to Interfax Ukraine news agency.
“Currently, all four nuclear power plants are under the control of Ukraine and are operating normally. Energoatom is taking all necessary measures to protect the nuclear power plants,” Energoatom said.
Last week, Russian forces took control of the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where the world’s worst nuclear disaster occurred in 1986.
Meanwhile, according to the British Ministry of Defense, the Russian advance in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv has been slowed by logistical failures and fiercer Ukrainian resistance than expected. Heavy fighting continues around the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, and the northeastern city of Kharkiv, according to the defense ministry in an intelligence report posted on Twitter. According to the ministry, both cities remain under Ukrainian control.
Ukrainian forces said on Monday that Russian troops had slowed down the attack as the Russian invasion entered its fifth day.
“The Russian occupiers have reduced the pace of the offensive, but are still trying to develop success in some areas,” the general staff of the armed forces said.
The Ukrainian military has accused Russia of launching strikes on civilian districts of the cities of Zhytomyr and Chernigiv, in northwest and north Ukraine respectively.
Ukrainian forces have also said that Russian forces are demoralized and suffering from heavy losses.