17 Sep, 2022 13:41
Kiev’s forces have resumed “provocations” against the Zaporozhye facility, Russia’s Defense Ministry has said
Ukraine has again shelled the area around the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in an effort to undermine the facility’s safety, Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed on Saturday.
The ministry said that “the Kiev regime has resumed provocations to create the threat of a man-made disaster” at the plant. Within the last 24 hours, the Russian military registered two Ukrainian artillery strikes, one on a suburban settlement and the other on a thermal substation in the vicinity of the facility, which has been under Russian control since March.
“In total, 15 artillery shells were fired from the Nikopol area of the Dnepropetrovsk region. The artillery units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces were suppressed by retaliatory fire,” the statement read. According to the Defense Ministry, the radiation situation at the plant remains normal.
Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the grounds of the plant, warning that the attacks could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the Chernobyl incident. Earlier this week, the head of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, accused Washington of supplying Kiev with crucial intelligence to designate targets for shelling around the facility.
“The consequences of these provocations could be very catastrophic not only for the majority of the population of Ukraine and Russia but also for Europe, and in terms of their scale they could surpass the tragedies that occurred at the nuclear power plants in Chernobyl and Fukushima,” he said at the time.
Ukraine has blamed Russia for the incidents, alleging that Moscow has been carrying out the strikes to frame Ukraine, even though its military eventually admitted to targeting the area.
Following the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission that visited the Zaporozhye plant in early September, the UN’s nuclear watchdog adopted a resolution demanding that Russia “immediately cease all actions against and at” the plant. Russian officials, however, criticized the document, saying that it failed to mention Ukraine’s attacks on the station. Blasting the resolution as “anti-Russian,” Moscow also accused Western nations of “supporting and shielding” Kiev in “every possible way.”