VYSCHETARASIVKA - Anastasiya Rudenko clutches the gleaming gold medal her late husband Viktor was awarded for working in the Chernobyl nuclear disaster zone.

He died in 2014 from bladder cancer -- perhaps a result of radiation, she thinks. Now she mourns his loss in the Ukrainian village of Vyschetarasivka, across the river from the Zaporizhzhia atomic power plant.

Kiev and Moscow accuse each other of shelling near the facility. Rockets have struck a radioactive waste storage area and monitors warn of a “grave” crisis with potential for catastrophic fallout.

Across a 14-kilometre (nine-mile) stretch of the Dnipro River, the station’s hulking silhouette is clearly visible from the village where Rudenko handles paperwork proving her partner’s fateful role in history’s greatest nuclear calamity.

“We could have the same fate as the people of Chernobyl,” the 63-year-old told AFP.

“There’s nothing good in what’s going on, and we don’t know how it will end.”