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Russia plans another false-flag attack on Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Ukraine’s military warns

Ukraine’s military intelligence reveals plans by Russian forces to stage another false-flag attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, aiming to blame Ukraine.
Russian troops stand near the Zaporizhzhia NPP
Russian soldier stands near the Zaporizhzhia NPP. Illustrative photo: Energoatom
Russia plans another false-flag attack on Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Ukraine’s military warns

On 14 April, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces reported that the Russian forces occupying Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are preparing to carry out another false-flag attack on the facility to blame Ukraine once again. The General Staff refers to intelligence data.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station (NPP) in southeastern Ukraine, Europe’s largest and one of the world’s top ten, has been under Russian occupation since 2022. Captured by Russian forces during the Battle of Enerhodar in March 2022, its six nuclear reactors are shut down and no longer generate power.

Russia is the only terrorist in the world that is holding a nuclear power plant hostage and using it for blackmail of Ukraine and the whole world,” the military statement said.

The Ukrainian General Staff stated that Russia has repeatedly tried to shift blame for drone attacks on the Zaporizhzhia plant onto Ukraine in recent weeks.

“These are deliberate Russian actions that continue Russia’s own practice of blackmailing our state and the entire international community with the risk of a disaster at the Zaporizhzhia NPP,” the statement read.

The military warned that as long as Russian “terrorists” remain in control of the Zaporizhzhia plant, keeping their military equipment there and able to conduct operations, the security of the plant cannot be guaranteed. Ukraine’s General Staff emphasized that the return of the Zaporizhzhia NPP under Ukraine’s control is essential to restore real security at the nuclear facility.

Nuclear plant as military base, while false-flag attacks staged

Russia uses the area around the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant as a staging ground for its artillery, shelling the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets across the Dnipro River almost daily. This tactic exploits the nuclear facility’s presence, as Ukraine refrains from responding to avoid risking a nuclear incident.

For example, on the morning of 14 April, IAEA experts stationed at the site heard sixteen rounds of outgoing artillery fire in less than half an hour, some nearby and others clearly audible from a distance, IAEA said in its report.

A recently released video shows Russian troops deploying armored vehicles inside the occupied Zaporizhzhia plant, which they captured in March 2022, shortly after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The footage features Russian soldiers performing physical exercises and reveals five Ural and KamAZ trucks, a vehicle resembling a command and staff vehicle, and three BTR-80 armored personnel carriers equipped with anti-drone nets stationed at the plant.

A few days ago, Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) reported that Russian occupying forces had orchestrated another attack on the Zaporizhzhia NPP using FPV drones on 9 April to blame Ukraine. This was the most recent incident in the long string of Russia’s false-flag attacks.

NPP’s power units are shut down

Yesterday, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, announced that all six reactors at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant had achieved cold shutdown status for the first time since late 2022, aiming at enhancing the safety of Europe’s largest nuclear facility amidst the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war.

Cold shutdown is a low operational state of a nuclear reactor that greatly reduces the risk of accidents by minimizing heat output. This state also decreases the need for cooling water, which became critical after the destruction of the downstream Kakhovka HPP dam by the Russians in mid-2023, complicating water management at the nuclear plant.

Earlier, Grossi reported that the International Atomic Energy Agency is aware of Russian military and equipment stationed in a machine room of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. However, Russian occupation authorities did not grant IAEA experts access to the plant’s premises. Grossi also emphasized that, for over two years, nuclear safety and security in Ukraine have been under constant threat.

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