Over the past day, there have been increasing indications of a potential attack against the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Enerdohar, Ukraine, planned for this Friday, stoking fears of a catastrophic nuclear accident. This comes as both Ukrainian and Russian officials have accused each other of preparing to stage a false flag attack on the nuclear facility. The past several weeks have seen numerous rocket and artillery strikes within and around the NPP, in which Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of carrying out. Ukraine, however, has taken responsibility for a handful of explosive drone strikes on Russian military targets within the NPP.
What Russia is Saying:
On Thursday, the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) accused Ukraine and “their US handlers” of staging “a provocation of a man-made disaster at the Zaporozhye NPP, which consists in a radiation leak, the destruction of the integrity of the nuclear waste storage facility and the withdrawal of the NPP reactor into a state of emergency operation.” The Russian also claimed that the goal of such an attack is to create “an exclusion zone up to 30 km, the introduction of international forces and foreign observers into the territory of the ZNPP, as well as the accusation of the Russian Armed Forces of nuclear terrorism.”
I reported a few days ago the RIA Novosti had started officially pushing the narrative of a Ukrainian false flag attack on Zaporizhzhia NPP
Today the Russian State media and the MoD have begun making statements that the shelling of the NPP may turn into a large nuclear incident pic.twitter.com/6hvYhVjM7D
— Oliver Alexander (@OAlexanderDK) August 18, 2022
The Russian MoD also claimed, citing its own nuclear “specialists,” that “if the backup diesel generators and mobile pumps fail, in the event of an emergency, the core will overheat and, as a result, the reactor installations at the largest nuclear power plant in Europe will be destroyed with the release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere and carrying them hundreds of kilometers away,” adding that “Such an emergency will cause mass migration of the population and will have more catastrophic consequences than the impending gas energy crisis in Europe, which is confirmed by the forecast of a number of European specialized organizations.”
— Doge (@IntelDoge) August 18, 2022
The statement also went on to add that Russia will consider shutting down the NPP, stating that “if the negative development of the situation related to the shelling of the nuclear power plant by Ukraine continues, the issue of putting the 5th and 6th power units into the “cold reserve” may be considered, which will lead to the shutdown of the Zaporozhye NPP.”
What Ukraine is Saying:
On Thursday, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate told NBC News that Russian officials told staff at the NPP to not show up for work tomorrow, adding that “We do not rule out the possibility of massive Russian provocations on the territory of the ZNPP tomorrow. This is confirmed by their propaganda, information from our sources, and the behavior of the Russians at the station.”
In the course of its war on Ukraine, Russia has turned to nuclear terrorism. Russians shelled and occupied Europe's largest nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia. Now they use it as a military base, stuff it with military hardware, and threaten the world. @United24media explains ?? pic.twitter.com/LuupKy61KC
— Ukraine / ??????? (@Ukraine) August 18, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that “This deliberate terror on the part of the aggressor can have global catastrophic consequences for the whole world,” adding, “Therefore, the U.N. must ensure the security of this strategic site, its demilitarization and complete liberation from Russian troops.”
In case a nuclear disaster at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant occurred on Aug 15-18, this is how the released airborne radioactive contaminants would probably get dispersed – Ukrainian hydrometeorological institute pic.twitter.com/1dQLcCtt1u
— Myroslava Petsa (@myroslavapetsa) August 18, 2022
He later tweeted “The world is on a verge of nuclear disaster due to occupation of world’s third largest nuclear power plant in Energodar, Zaporizhzhia region. How long will it take the global community to respond to Russia’s irresponsible actions and nuclear blackmailing?”
What will happen in case of an accident at a #nuclear plant?@EuromaidanPress reports from the Ukrainian emergency and rescue team drills in #Zaporizhzhia, with the Minister of Energy and Minister of Internal Affairs of #Ukraine in attendance.
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) August 17, 2022
Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces in the Zaporizhzhia Oblast have begun nuclear disaster drills to “prepare for all scenarios,” according to Ukrainian media.
Zelensky’s statements came as he was meeting UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who called for a demilitarized zone around the NPP and for allow for International Atomic Energy Agency monitors to inspect the site. Russia has rejected the proposal for demilitarization, calling it “unacceptable” and saying that such a move would leave the NPP vulnerable.
Russian Equipment in the NPP:
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— Wooly_Mammoth (@ShaggyMammoth) August 18, 2022
Russia has denied accusations by Ukraine that it is storing heavy military equipment and ammunition within the NPP. Recent Ukrainian drone footage has shown Russian military trucks entering buildings adjacent to the nuclear reactors. Likewise, newly released footage from inside the plant’s turbine hall connected to one of the nuclear reactors.
Video evidence Russia's hiding military equipment, ammo & hardware in Europe's largest nuclear power plant at #Zaporizhzhia. With Russian armoured vehicles & trucks entering buildings, ?? ill trained troops risk setting off a catastrophic nuclear explosion https://t.co/5wNZIU6NIT pic.twitter.com/pET7dt3kuu
— Glasnost Gone (@GlasnostGone) August 6, 2022