Russian forces who took over a Ukrainian town that houses Europe’s largest atomic energy plant have disabled a warning system that would alert civilians to any imminent air strikes, local authorities say.

Dmitry Orlov, the mayor of Enerhodar, announced the cruel twist during a tele-marathon Tuesday, saying civilians are under attack by the occupying Russian troops.

“We can’t even guess what is going on [there,] and when and where. The occupiers are driving around the city during the day, checking cars, smashing the windshields if they are tinted, and taking away mobile devices. There are already cases of attacks on civilians. Complete anarchy is happening,” Orlov was quoted saying by the UNIAN news agency.

His comments come a day after Energoatom warned that Russian forces who took control of the town’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant earlier this month planned to blow up ammunitions directly in front of the power unit.

One of the plant’s power units was already damaged by Russian forces during the violent takeover, prompting the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency to plead with Moscow to halt the shelling and prevent “severe danger.”

“If it blows up, it will be 10 times larger than Chernobyl!” Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba warned after the plant was violently seized on March 4.

In addition to the worrying developments in occupied Enerhodar, the 20th day of Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine also saw Vladimir Putin’s soldiers intensify attacks around Kyiv. Russian troops launched artillery strikes early Tuesday that struck a 15-story apartment building and left at least two dead, according to local authorities.

Ukraine’s Security Service, meanwhile, announced the arrest of a hacker it says provided Russian troops with mobile phone service on Ukrainian territory and passed along commands from the military. He was also accused of bombarding Ukrainian soldiers with text messages urging them to defect and join Russia.



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