Kiev Preparing Provocation at Zaporozhye?

August 19th, 2022 - by Oleg Burunov / Sputnik International

Russian MoD: Kiev Planning Provocation at
Reactor During UN Secretary General’s Visit

Oleg Burunov / Sputnik International

MOSCOW (August 18, 2022) — Earlier this month, the Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the Ukrainian army’s shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as an “act of nuclear terrorism”.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has stated that Kiev is preparing a provocation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP) during the UN Secretary General’s visit to Ukraine on Friday.

“On August 19, the Kiev regime is preparing a false flag attack at the Zaporozhye NPP during a visit to Ukraine by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. As a result of this provocation, Russia will be accused of creating a man-made disaster at this power plant,” Russian MoD spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Thursday.

He added that on August 19, units of the 44th Artillery Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine plan to launch artillery strikes on the territory of the Zaporozhye NPP from firing positions located in the city of Nikopol.

“The blame for the consequences of the strikes will be laid on the Russian Armed Forces,” Konashenkov said.

According to him, to prepare the provocation, the command of a Ukrainian operational-tactical group is deploying radiation monitoring posts in the Zaporozhye area by August 19, also organizing military units training in conditions of radiation contamination of the area, the official said.

The MoD underlined that the goal of Ukraine’s provocation at the Zaporozhye ZNPP is to create a 18-mile (30-km) exclusion, accuse Russia of nuclear terrorism and prompt the deployment of international observers to the area.

According to the Russian MoD, “the Ukrainian side, together with their US handlers, tries to play the card and cause, in their opinion, a minor accident at the Zaporozhye NPP, disrupting its normal and safe operation and pointing the finger at Russia”.

Commenting on the remarks, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, for her part, stressed that it is “not just a provocation, this is what we have called nuclear blackmail”.

“What else is it? A protracted provocation concerning a nuclear facility, where a direct threat to nuclear energy is being posed. What other words can be used?” Zakharova said.

This followed Volodymyr Rogov, a member of the main council of the regional administration, telling Sputnik that no one was hurt after Ukrainian forces launched missile and artillery attacks on Wednesday on the city of Energodar, where the Zaporozhye NPP is situated.

Earlier this month, Ivan Nechaev, deputy director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, warned of catastrophic consequences from Kiev’s shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP).

“Over the past few days, Ukrainian forces have shelled the territory of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant several times, which is an act of nuclear terrorism. Such actions by the Kiev regime can lead to a catastrophe of a scale much greater than the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant [in April 1986],” Nechaev said at a news briefing.

He spoke after Zakharova told reporters that “the Russian side has long been calling on the international community to condemn the incessant strikes which the Kiev regime has been inflicting on the Zaporozhye NPP, including attacks using increasingly destructive weapons systems.”

“The station came under fire again on August 5-6, and a major disaster was averted thanks only to the skillful and prompt actions of the NPP’s employees, as well as the Russian forces providing comprehensive protection to the facility,” she said.

The developments unfold amid Russia’s ongoing special operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, which was launched on February 24 following a request from the Donbass republics to protect them from Kiev’s atrocities.

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