Ukraine warns of catastrophe at nuclear plant

STORY: Ukraine's President called for new sanctions against Russia on Monday, as he warned of the consequences of a potential catastrophe at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

Shelling near the plant - Europe's largest - has caused widespread alarm, with the world nuclear watchdog warning that there could be a disaster if the fighting does not stop.

New satellite imagery released by Planet Labs purports to shows the aftermath of shelling near the plant which Russia seized in March.

Ukrainian and Russian-installed officials have traded accusations over who is responsible for the attacks.

In a late Monday-night address, Volodymyr Zelenskiy called for Russia's nuclear sector to be sanctioned.

"If a terrorist state allows itself to completely ignore the international community's demands, and, furthermore, on such a sensitive topic, this clearly indicates the need for immediate action. Any radiation incident at the Zaporizhia Nuclear power plant can be a blow to the countries of the European Union, Turkey, Georgia, and countries from more distant regions. Everything depends only on the direction and strength of the wind. If Russia's actions lead to a catastrophe, the consequences may hit those who yet remain silent."

Meanwhile, a Russian-backed court in Ukraine's Donetsk on Monday charged five Europeans on Monday with being mercenaries.

The men - from Britain, Croatia, and Sweden - were captured while fighting with Ukrainian forces.

Russian media reports that three of them could face the death penalty.

All have pleaded not guilty.

Foreign governments have dismissed the trials as illegitimate.

In June, three other foreign nationals were sentenced to death on similar charges.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February, in what it calls a "special military operation" to demilitarise its neighbour.

Ukraine and its Western backers accuse Moscow of waging an imperial-style war of conquest.