Shelling of Ukraine's Sievierodonetsk plant causes oil leak and fire, governor says

Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk
Smoke rises after a military strike on a compound of Sievierodonetsk's Azot Chemical Plant, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Lysychansk, Luhansk region, Ukraine June 10, 2022. Picture taken June 10, 2022. REUTERS/Oleksandr Ratushniak

KYIV, June 11 (Reuters) - Russian shelling of the Azot chemical plant in the embattled Ukraine city of Sievierodonetsk caused a powerful fire to break out after a leak of tonnes of radiator oil, Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said on Saturday.

Speaking on national television, Gaidai did not say if the fire at the plant, where hundreds of civilians are sheltering, had been extinguished. Reuters could not independently verify the report.

Gaidai said was non-stop fighting was underway in Sievierodonetsk, a small city in Luhansk province that has become the focus of Russia's advance in eastern Ukraine.

"Unfortunately, the enemy's artillery is simply taking apart, floor by floor, buildings that are being used as shelters," Gaidai said.

Russia denies targeting civilians.

The city lies on the eastern bank of the Siverskyi Donets River, whose falling water levels are making Ukrainian defences further along the front more vulnerable to attack by Russian forces who have made repeated attempts to cross, Gaidai said.

"The river has dropped by about 3 metres, maybe more, and therefore maybe there will be further attempts to cross the river and make a new enclave," he said,

Reporting by Max Hunder; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Angus MacSwan

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