Video Shows Russian Missile Exploding 900 Feet From Nuclear Plant

A video released to the public Monday showed the moment where a Russian missile exploded just over 900 feet from a nuclear power plant in Ukraine's southern Mykolaiv region, according to Ukrainian military staff.

The brief video, which is in black and white, shows an empty night sky suddenly lit up with bright light due to an explosion in the distance. It was shared on Twitter early Monday by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which said that the alleged Russian missile fell 300 meters, about 984 feet, from the Pivdennoukrainsk Nuclear Power Plant, also referred to as the South Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant.

The explosion came as fears have already been mounting that Ukraine could face a nuclear disaster amid its ongoing war with Russia. Both Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling near the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia facility in southeastern Ukraine that is currently controlled by Russia but operated by Ukrainians. Concerns over the plant's security prompted a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations' atomic watchdog, to visit the site last month.

Since the trip, the IAEA's Board of Governors has adopted a resolution that, among other things, called on Russia to "immediately cease all actions against, and at, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and any other nuclear facility in Ukraine, in order for the competent Ukrainian authorities to regain full control over all nuclear facilities within Ukraine's internationally recognized borders...to ensure their safe and secure operation."

Video Shows Strike Near Mykolaiv Nuclear Plant
Ukrainian flags fly on flagpoles near the sign “Mykolaiv” on the riverbank on August 12, 2022 in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. A video released to the public Monday showed the moment in which a Russian missile exploded just over 900 feet from a nuclear power plant in Ukraine's southern Mykolaiv region, according to Ukrainian military staff. Oleksii Samsonov/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

Ukraine's state nuclear enterprise, Energoatom, also reported the Pivdennoukrainsk blast, saying in a statement that it took place on the plant's industrial site in the early morning hours on Monday.

Energoatom's statement said that while the explosion occurred less than 1,000 feet from its reactors, all three reactors continued to operate normally and none of the plant's staff had been injured. The blast did break over 100 windows on the nuclear plant's buildings, while one of its hydropower units and three power lines were downed, Energoatom said.

"Acts of nuclear terrorism committed by the Russian military threaten the whole world," the statement said. "They should be stopped immediately to prevent a new disaster!"

Russian officials did not immediately address Ukraine's accusations of being behind the missile explosion, according to Reuters. Newsweek reached out to Russia's Defense Ministry for comment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also shared the video of the Pivdennoukrainsk explosion on Telegram Monday and condemned the strike.

"The invaders wanted to shoot again, but they forgot what a nuclear power plant is," he wrote. "Russia endangers the whole world. We have to stop it before it's too late."

When a Russian missile struck a residential building in the Mykolaiv region last month, Energoatom suggested that it may have actually been aimed at the Pivdennoukrainsk plant and alleged that it was "another act of Russian nuclear terrorism."