A Russian-appointed leader of an occupied town in Ukraine is in the hospital following an explosion outside of his home.
Andrei Shevchik, whom the Kremlin named the mayor of Enerhodar after Russian forces captured the city in early March, is reportedly in intensive care after an explosion injured him and his bodyguards.
"We have accurate confirmation that during the explosion, the self-proclaimed head of the 'people's administration' Shevchik and his bodyguards were injured," Dmytro Orlov, the Ukrainian mayor of the town, wrote on Telegram.
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Orlov and Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency both reported news about Shevchik’s injuries. RIA Novosti cited emergency services sources in the city.
It’s unclear what caused the explosion.
Enerhodar is home to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. The town was built by the Soviet Union to house workers at the plant. At its height, Enerhodar was home to more than 53,000 people.
Russia quickly took control of several nuclear power plants in Ukraine after it invaded the former Soviet state in late February.
Earlier this week, Ukraine shot down a plan Russia announced in which it would use the power plant in Enerhodar as “wishful thinking.” Russia had floated the idea of connecting the plant to its own electricity grid.
Ukrainians are still operating the Zaporizhzhia plant, though Russian forces control it and have their own experts overseeing the day-to-day operations.
Russia appeared to have wanted to take advantage of running the massive plant by supplementing energy for itself, as well as selling energy to Ukraine. Oil and gas exports make up the largest portion of Russia’s economy, and their export has been degraded due to a raft of sanctions from Western countries.
Despite Russia’s grand plans, a spokesman for Ukraine's state nuclear agency told the BBC it would take years to connect the plan to Russia’s grid.
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"The plant only works in Ukraine's energy grid," Leonid Oliynyk told the BBC. "The Russians can build a power line theoretically, but it will take a long time, like their Crimean bridge - several years.”
Shevchik was transported to the Russian-controlled city of Melitopol. The city was the site of “several” reported deaths of high-ranking Russian officials last week.