The clocks had stopped at the exact moment Russian missiles recently ripped into the Ukrainian power plant, where workers were clearing scorched debris under a gaping hole in the roof.

Oleksandr, the 51-year-old production manager at the facility, said it had already been damaged by Russian attacks but noted a worrying difference in damage after the last barrage.

"It's a lot worse," he told journalists at the facility, whose location could not be revealed due to fears of fresh attacks.