Without any evidence, Ukraine accuses Russia of planning to attack the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Photos/Illustrations
KIEV – Military intelligence Ukraine claim Russia is planning a large-scale provocative attack on a nuclear power plant it occupies with the aim of disrupting a Ukrainian counterattack. However, Ukrainian intelligence provided no evidence to back up his claim.
In a statement, the Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine claimed that Russian troops would attack Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia. Russia then reported the radioactive leak to trigger an international investigation that would end hostilities and give Moscow the respite it needs to regroup ahead of a counteroffensive.
“To do so, Russia disrupted the personnel rotation of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency’s permanent monitoring mission scheduled for Saturday,” the statement said.
The statement offered no evidence to support its claim.
The IAEA, in an email response to the AP, said it had no immediate comment on the allegations, and Russian officials did not immediately comment on the Ukrainian claims.
The White House said it was monitoring the situation closely and saw no indication that radioactive material had been leaked.
The claim mirrors similar statements that Moscow frequently makes, alleging without evidence that Kiev was planning provocations involving various weapons or dangerous substances to then accuse Russia of war crimes.
It comes as Moscow’s military in Ukraine is preparing to face a counteroffensive by Kiev forces, which has not yet started but could start tomorrow, the day after or in a week, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, told the BBC in an interview on Saturday.
The Zaporizhzhia power plant is one of the 10 largest nuclear plants in the world. It is located in the partly occupied Zaporizhzhia region in southeastern Ukraine. The factory’s six reactors have been shut down for months, but still need qualified personnel and staff to operate critical cooling systems and other safety features.
Skirmishes nearby have repeatedly disrupted power supplies and raised fears of potential disasters such as that at Chernobyl, northern Ukraine, where a reactor exploded in 1986 and spewed lethal radiation, contaminating large areas in the world’s worst nuclear disaster.