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U.S. accuses Russia of 'war crime' with nuclear power plant attack

(CBS News) -- The war in Ukraine took a perilous turn on Friday as Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces were accused of shelling a huge nuclear power plant before taking control of the facility. Ukraine's nuclear energy agency said a fire sparked by Russian shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, about 400 miles southeast of Kyiv, was extinguished with no risk of radiation leaks.

Russia blamed Ukraine for the fire, calling it a "monstrous provocation," but the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv accused Putin of "a war crime" with what it said was the "shelling of Europe's largest nuclear plant."

Putin's brutal invasion entered its ninth day with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accusing him of "nuclear terror" and officials in the northeast city of Chernihiv reporting dozens of civilian deaths from indiscriminate Russian shelling.

In a Thursday night video address, Putin claimed his "special military operation" to rid Ukraine of what he labels a "neo-Nazi" regime was going according to plan. But with ground forces making slow progress toward the capital and pressure from unprecedented international sanctions mounting fast, Russia's military has relied increasingly on heavy artillery in a bid to pummel Ukrainians into submission. They're putting up a fierce resistance.

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