Russia & Ukraine Both Accusing Each Other Of Plotting An Attack On Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Both Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of plotting an attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), prompting concerns of a potential partial meltdown…

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n Tuesday, Renat Karchaa, an advisor to Rosenergoatom, the state-owned firm that operates Russia’s nuclear power network, warned that Ukraine was planning a strike on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant with “high-precision weapons and kamikaze drones” and that Kyiv was also preparing to strike the area with a Tochka-U missile with a warhead filled with radioactive waste.

The Russian advisor did not provide specific evidence of the alleged plot, however, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov spoke in support of the assertion, claiming that the threat of sabotage at the plant — the largest of its kind in Europe — was assessed by Moscow as “high.”

“The situation is quite tense. The threat of sabotage by the Kyiv regime is really great. Sabotage, which can be catastrophic in its consequences,” Peskov said per Russian state media RIA.

Peskov went on to try to give credibility to the statement by citing the explosion that destroyed the Kakhovka Dam, which he said demonstrated that Kyiv does not have any hesitation in taking extreme actions. The claim is widely disputed, with Ukraine denying involvement and later publishing images they allege proves Russian involvement in the destruction of the dam, which was under Russian control at the time of the explosion.

Following Russia’s assertion that Kyiv was plotting an attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in turn, claimed that it was Moscow that was actually planning an attack.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine officially report that a provocation could be prepared in the near future at the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which has been occupied by Russian terrorists since March 4, 2022,” the military said per state media Ukrinform.

The Ukrainian military claimed that “operational data” indicated that Russian “invaders” placed explosive devices on the roof of the third and fourth power units of the station. While they said that such devices would not be able to damage the reactor itself, they could be used to create the impression that Ukraine had shelled the plant.

“The Armed Forces of Ukraine do not violate the norms of international humanitarian law, monitor and control the situation and are ready to act under any conditions. Any enemy provocation won’t work,” the statement said.

Although the reactors are not likely to be damaged themselves, such an attack could jeopardise the cooling pond, which if damaged could lead to a partial nuclear meltdown along the lines of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in the United States,  former senior engineer Oleksiy Kovynyev told The Guardian.

The back and forth over who is allegedly planning an attack on the nuclear power plant comes after Ukrainian forces struck a Russian ammunition dump in the town of Makiivka, which is currently occupied by Russian forces. The strike resulted in a large explosion, reportedly injuring dozens and allegedly killing one, according to the Russians.

The Ukrainian military said in a statement reported by The Telegraph: “As a result of precision firing by Defense Forces units, another formation of Russian terrorists in the temporarily occupied Makiivka ceased to exist.”

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