Russia’s aim is to reroute Zaporizhzhia NPP to supply occupied Crimea – Ukrainian intel


Russo-Ukrainian war 2022

In an interview with RBC, Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR) representative Vadym Skibitskyi told about what Russia aims to achieve at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, whether Russia is ready to conduct sham referendums on occupied territories in Ukraine, and if Russia is running out of missiles.

Here are his main theses.

About the pseudo-referendums in the occupied territories

  • Preparations are 90% finished; Russians want to hold them in all occupied regions on 11 Sep, but need to create picture of mass support;
  • Final questions will be determined at last moment, “voting” will be offline and online;

On the situation with Zaporizhzhia NPP

  • Their goal is to reroute it to Russian power grid to supply Crimea with electricity; plans for this were unsuccessful in early August
  • Russians say they need to guard it but in fact use it as a shield for their troops & launch strikes on Enerhodar

On further military actions

  • Russia turned Kherson Obl into a springboard for further military actions
  • Putin doesn’t leave idea of occupying the whole Ukraine
  • Russia needs Kherson&Zaporizhzhia obl to supply Crimea
  • It also desperately needs to hang on to right-bank Kherson Oblast

On the threat from Belarus

  • It hosts 1 Iskander division, 3 divisions of S300, S400,which are used to strike Ukraine. Also Tu-22M3 bombers which also strike Ukraine from the air
  • Risk of land invasion low: insufficient both Belarusian and Russian forces

On Wagner in Ukraine

  • There are 4-4.5k Wagnerians in Ukraine; they work as assault squads in most dangerous directions
  • Foreign Legions from Syria and Africa Russia operate under Wagner, they are not as numerous as announced

On Russian missiles

  • They have 45% of the pre-war amount of missiles. Even fewer Islanders-only 20%; not many Kalibr missiles. That’s why they use Kh-22 and S-300, but these run out too
  • They will use Uragan and Smerch (70-80 – 200km) to destroy heating infrastructure ahead of winter
  • They have 30-40 Kindzhals that they use for a power show

Other issues

  • No peace treaties, only full deoccupation and preferably denuclearization and deoccupation of Russia; there is no other way, otherwise Russia will regroup & reattack. We already had 2014&2015 “Minsk agreements,” now we have this
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