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Blast hurts Russia-backed mayor in Ukraine

The Russian-appointed head of the occupied Ukrainian town next to Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been injured in an explosion, a Ukrainian official and a Russian news agency say.

Andrei Shevchik, who was appointed mayor of Enerhodar following the Russian army’s occupation of the town, was in intensive care following the attack, Russia’s RIA news agency reported, citing a source in the emergency services.

“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, who Ukraine recognises as mayor of the town said in a post on the Telegram messaging app.

Orlov wrote on Telegram on Sunday evening that Shevchik had been taken to the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol to recover from his injuries and that he would be temporarily replaced as leader of the town.

Reuters could not immediately establish what caused the explosion.

Enerhodar had a pre-war population of more than 50,000.

Many residents work at the two power plants located next to the town, one of which is the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear power station in Europe.

Ukraine last week said it had attacked an armoured train carrying Russian troops in Melitopol.

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