(Reuters) – Local authorities in the occupied Ukrainian town of Enerhodar said Russian forces had violently dispersed a pro-Ukrainian rally on Saturday and detained some participants.
Residents had gathered in the centre of the town in the south of the country to talk and sing the Ukrainian national anthem, when Russian soldiers arrived and bundled some into detention vans, the local administration said in an online post.
“The occupiers are dispersing the protesters with explosions,” it said in a separate post on Telegram, sharing a video of what appeared to be multiple stun grenades landing in a square and letting off bangs and clouds of white smoke next to the town’s main cultural centre.
It also accused Russian forces of shelling another part of the town on Saturday and said as a result four people had been wounded and were being treated in hospital.
Reuters could not immediately verify the video or the local administration’s reports.
Moscow denies targeting civilians and describes its invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation.” Ukraine and the West say it is an unprovoked war of aggression.
Residents of some towns and villages seized by Russian troops since they invaded on Feb. 24 have staged regular rallies against the occupation.
Enerhodar lies on the Dnipro river in southern Ukraine and is home to workers of the nearby Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, which has also been occupied by Russian troops.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by David Holmes)