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Russian forces use Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as military base (video)

New footage reveals Russian forces using the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as a base for armored vehicles.
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. Credit: Energoatom
Russian forces use Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as military base (video)

Russian troops deploy armored vehicles inside the occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), a recently released video indicates.

Russian forces captured the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe, in March 2022, shortly after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The video, shared online, features Russian soldiers performing physical exercises, running past firing points located in the windows of the nuclear power plant. The footage reveals five Ural and KamAZ trucks, as well as a vehicle resembling a command and staff vehicle, stationed alongside three BTR-80 armored personnel carriers equipped with anti-drone nets.

The use of ZNPP as a storage facility for Russian troops and armored vehicles is due to the impossibility of strikes against it, given the risk of a technological disaster and radioactive contamination. This Russian tactic has been observed before; in August 2022, The Insider published a video showing Russian military trucks entering the ZNPP territory and unloading unidentified cargo.

The UK Ministry of Defense has released satellite images that also show the establishment of firing positions on the roofs of several ZNPP buildings. Equipped with sandbags, these positions were set up by March 2023 on the roofs of some of the six reactor buildings, indicating their integration into the Russian tactical defense planning in case of an attack by Ukrainian forces.

In January, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Russian troops had installed mines along the perimeter of the ZNPP. These mines, located in the buffer zone between the plant’s internal and external fences, were initially identified by the IAEA team and removed in November 2023 but reinstalled in January.

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