The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has warned that Russia is planning to simulate a major accident at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant under Russian military control, citing an expected Ukrainian counterattack to recapture Russian-occupied territories. warned that it was trying to prevent
The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant in Russia-occupied southern Ukraine, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, has come under repeated shelling, with both sides accusing each other of dangerous attacks.
Fears of a possible nuclear disaster have risen amid heightened military activity around Zaporizhia ahead of an expected Ukrainian counterattack.
“Russia is preparing a large-scale provocation and imitation of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant accident in the next few hours,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry Intelligence Directorate said on Friday.
“They are planning to attack ZNPP territory.” [Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant]. It will then announce the release of radioactive material,” the intelligence agency said in a statement and later on its social media channels.
The agency said any reports of a radioactive leak from the plant would trigger a global incident and force an investigation by international authorities, while all hostilities would cease. . Russia would then use the break in fighting to reorganize its forces and be ready to fend off a Ukrainian counterattack, the intelligence services said.
“They will clearly blame Ukraine,” it said, adding that the purpose of the attack was to “provoke the international community” to investigate the incident and force a moratorium on fighting. .
!! ️ The Russians are preparing a massive provocation and imitation of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant accident within hours.
They plan to attack ZNPP territory. After that, announce the release of radioactive material. pic.twitter.com/Vk6hRDD26v
— Ukrainian Defense Information (@DI_Ukraine) May 26, 2023
Experts say reports of radiation leaks at nuclear plants lead to immediate evacuation, which could be very complicated in combat zones. For many people, the fear of radiation contamination may be more dangerous than the radiation itself, experts say.
Witnesses said last week that Russian forces were bolstering defensive positions in and around the nuclear power plant ahead of a long-awaited Ukrainian counterattack.
In preparation for a planned radioactive material incident, Russia interfered with the replacement schedule of the inspector of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is based at the nuclear plant, according to the Ukrainian Intelligence Service.
Reports of the planned incident in Zaporizhia were repeated in a tweet by Ukraine’s representative to the United Nations in New York, Sergiy Kislisya, who said the incident could unfold “within the next few hours.”
Moscow is reportedly preparing a massive provocation to create a radiation hazard hub @DI_ Ukraine In the next few hours, Russia is preparing a large-scale provocation in the event of an accident at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. https://t.co/KuxZEGRB2i
— Sergi Kislitsa 🇺🇦 (@SergiyKyslytsya) May 26, 2023
The Secretariat’s statement offered no evidence to support its claims, and while the Vienna-based IAEA frequently posts updates on the status of the power plant, it made no mention of disruptions to the plans. not
Kiev and Moscow have repeatedly accused each other of attacking the power plant.
Russia said in February that Ukraine was planning to cause a nuclear accident on its territory and blame Russia.
The Russian government has also repeatedly accused Kiev of planning a “false flag” operation with unconventional weapons using biological and radioactive materials.
No such attacks have occurred so far.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi is scheduled to brief the UN Security Council next week on the security situation in Zaporizhia and plans for safeguards there. Mr. Grossi last visited the factory in March, stepping up efforts to reach an agreement with Ukraine and Russia to ensure its protection during the fighting.
“It’s very simple: don’t shoot at factories and don’t use them as military bases,” Grossi said in a statement last week.
“It should be in everyone’s interest to agree on a set of principles to protect factories during conflicts,” he added.
Zaporizhia, which once supplied about 20% of Ukraine’s electricity, continued to function in the early months of the Russian invasion despite frequent shelling, until it completely stopped producing electricity in September.
None of Ukraine’s six Soviet-era reactors have produced electricity since, but the Zaporizhia facility is connected to the Ukrainian power grid for its own needs, especially to cool the reactors. Stay connected.