Moscow Rejects Nuclear Power Theft Claims

August 19th, 2022 - by RT News

Russia Claims US Spreading “Fake News” to Justify Ukrainian Attacks on Nuclear Plant

RT News

(August 17, 2022) — Claims by Ukrainian officials and a former US embassy employee about Moscow bombing the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in order to “steal” Ukraine’s electricity — published by the Wall Street Journal — make no sense, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Recent artillery attacks on the Zaporozhye NPP, which Moscow controls, are a “deliberate step in Russia’s wider goal: stealing [Zaporozhye’s] power by severing its connection to Ukraine’s remaining territory,” the WSJ claimed on Sunday, citing “Ukrainian leaders, international nuclear-power experts and the plant’s staff.”

Those quoted on the record include Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, and former “energy chief at the US embassy” in Kiev, Suriya Jayanti. The Journal also claims to have spoken with “plant workers, family members and colleagues who fled to safety” — meaning, Ukrainian-held territory.

Jayanti claimed that Russia wants to disconnect the ZNPP from Ukraine’s electrical grid in order to destabilize global energy markets but also leave Kiev dependent on the EU, where electricity prices are skyrocketing — while omitting to mention that this is largely due to anti-Russian sanctions.

The report is “a complete demolition of the connection between cause and effect,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, dubbing the WSJ claims “the latest spin of the wheel of disinformation.”

Ukraine has repeatedly targeted the nuclear power plant with artillery, rockets and even kamikaze drones, the ministry noted, adding that Russia has presented evidence of this to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Security Council, among others. Ukrainian forces were also accused of bombing the Kakhovskaya hydroelectic power station — also under Russian control — which supplies the ZNPP with cooling water.

On Tuesday, local administration member Vladimir Rogov told Russian TV that the latest Ukrainian attack came close to breaking a container storing spent nuclear fuel. A strike on the structure would amount to a “dirty bomb,” Rogov said.

A release from 20-30 containers would create a radiation plume that could spread as far west as the Czech Republic and as far south as Turkey, affecting Poland and the Baltic States as well, former Soviet nuclear inspector Vladimir Kuznetsov told RT on Tuesday.

“The conclusion suggests itself: by destroying the energy infrastructure, the Kiev regime is exposing the many millions of people on the European continent to the danger of a nuclear cataclysm, with the connivance of Washington,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, noting that the WSJ, located across the ocean, clearly doesn’t seem to care.

Russia and UN Discuss Crisis at Nuclear Plant
Moscow accuses Ukraine of shelling nuclear site. Kiev blames Russia

RT News

MOSCOW (August 15, 2022) — Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu held a telephone conversation with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday regarding safety at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Russia, which controls the plant, has accused Ukraine of shelling the facility, while Ukraine and its Western backers insist the Russians are attacking territory that they themselves hold.

Shoigu and Guterres discussed “conditions for the safe functioning of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant,” a statement from the Russian Ministry of Defense read.

Located in the city of Energodar in southern Ukraine, the Zaporozhye facility is the largest nuclear plant in Europe. It has been under Russian control since the beginning of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine but has been subjected to a series of attacks in recent weeks.

Russia has accused Ukraine of launching artillery and drone strikes on the facility, denouncing the operations as “nuclear terrorism.” Kiev, however, claims that Russian forces are targeting the plant — that they control — and pinning the attacks on the Ukrainian military.

The US State Department has taken Ukraine’s side, and called on Russian forces to withdraw from the area. Guterres has made a similar request, calling for the establishment of a demilitarized zone around the plant but without singling out Russian or Ukrainian forces.

The EU published a statement on Sunday accusing the Russian military of attacking Zaporozhye, preventing the plant’s safe maintenance.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the EU of “blatantly lying,” saying that it is “undeniable that the attacks on the station and Energodar are carried out by Ukrainian armed groups acting on orders from Kiev.” Zakharova said the supposed Russian threat to the plant is being fabricated to allow Ukraine to prevent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors from accessing the facility.

Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Zaporozhye military-civil administration, told RT on Monday that Ukrainian and UN officials want to keep the IAEA team away from Zaporozhye, because if they visited the plant they would conclude that it had been shelled by Kiev’s forces.

“It is obvious, it’s all been documented, and not only that, it’s also well known who is being supplied with American guided missiles,” Rogov said. “Obviously, not Russia, but the Zelensky regime.”

Russia has previously appealed to the UN and IAEA to intervene and force Ukraine to cease firing on the plant.

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