Ukraine Launches Raid Near Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant

September 4th, 2022 - by RT News

Ukraine Launches Raid
Near Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant

Two commando groups landed nearby while
amphibious teams were intercepted en route

RT News

(September 1, 2022) — Ukraine deployed troops from several directions in an apparent attempt to capture the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday morning, the Russian Defense Ministry has announced.

In one incident, two separate “sabotage groups” with a total strength of up to 60 troops used seven speedboats to cross the Kakhovka Reservoir and land about three kilometers from the nuclear facility to the northeast early in the morning, according to the claim.

The Ukrainian commandos were presumably hoping to capture the station from the Russian troops who are guarding it, but were blocked, the ministry indicted. The Russian military deployed attack helicopters to support the plant’s guards, it added.

A separate engagement took place about an hour later to the west of Energodar, which hosts the power plant, Moscow explained. Russian forces attacked and sank two watercraft that were carrying Ukrainian amphibious tactical teams, the statement said.

The ministry also claimed that about two hours after the landing of the commando units, Ukrainian artillery began shelling a specific location near Energodar. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who are on their way to visit the facility, are scheduled to pass by the area, according to the report.

The provocation of the Kiev regime is aimed at derailing the arrival of the IAEA mission to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant,” the ministry said.

The plant and the city have been under Russian control since March. In August, the nuclear site was targeted by regular artillery and drone attacks, which Moscow and Kiev blamed on each other. Ukrainian officials also claimed that the Russian military was using the plant as a military base, stationing heavy weapons there. Moscow denied the accusations, stating that it only had lightly armed guards defending the facility.

The IAEA mission was dispatched this week after several delays. Moscow and Kiev both welcomed the visit and pledged to facilitate it, while each accused the other side of attempting to prevent inspectors from reaching the target.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog is expected to assess the situation on the ground, inspect the safety of the power plant, and verify that non-proliferation measures remain in place. The Zaporozhye facility is the largest of its kind in Europe and stores dozens of tons of enriched uranium and plutonium in its reactor cores and storage facilities, according to IAEA figures.

Energoatom, the Ukrainian nuclear operator, claimed on Thursday that Russia launched mortar strikes at the plant, causing the shutdown of one of its two currently operating reactors. Russian-allied local authorities also reported the shutdown, citing unconfirmed reports, but said it was Ukraine that attacked the facility. The plant is staffed by Ukrainian civilian workers despite being under Russian control.

Ukraine Planned to Use
IAEA Team as ‘Human Shields’

Russia has provided new details on botched Ukrainian raid on the Zaporozhye nuclear plant

RT News

(September 1, 2022) — Kiev forces wanted to seize the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in a daring military raid and use the personnel of the UN nuclear watchdog as “human shields” to maintain control over the facility, the Russian Defense Ministry claimed on Thursday.

The botched raid came shortly before a team of experts with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – including the organization’s head, Rafael Grossi – arrived at the plant for an inspection. According to the Russian military, multiple Ukrainian “saboteur groups” crossed the Kakhovka Reservoir in speedboats and barges near the plant early in the morning, but were intercepted and destroyed by Russian troops and National Guard forces.

“Obviously, if the operation of the Kiev regime to seize the station was a success, the head of the IAEA, [Rafael] Grossi, and the experts of the mission would become a ‘human shield’ for Ukrainian saboteurs to prevent any attempts to destroy them by the Russian armed forces,” the Russian MoD said in a statement.

The operation aimed at capturing the nuclear power plant appears to have been “planned in advance by Zelensky’s regime,” the Russian military suggested. Moreover, the delay in Grossi’s visit to the installation, originally planned for August 31, stemmed from the Ukrainians’ need for more time to get ready for that “military provocation,” it alleged.

The ultimate goal of the operation was seizing control of the plant, while the presence of the IAEA team would have allowed the “saboteurs” to not only take cover from any potential Russian actions, but also to cement the new “status quo,” the military said.

The success of the operation would have likely been reinforced by a “new wave of loud statements from Washington and European capitals, calling upon Russia to establish a ‘demilitarized zone’ around the nuclear plant, with IAEA observers guarded by Ukrainian troops,” it asserted.

“In this regard, we fully understand the complete silence of all Western sponsors of the Zelensky regime, which de-facto confirms their tacit participation in the preparation of today’s provocation at the Zaporozhye plant,” the military concluded.

City Under Fire Before Visit of Nuclear Inspectors

Three people were killed in Energodar,
the same day an IAEA team was set to visit

RT News

(September 1, 2022) — At least three civilians were killed and one injured after Kiev’s troops shelled the city of Energodar in southern Ukraine, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Thursday, citing local officials.

Videos and photos posted on social media show clouds of smoke rising from the buildings.

The news comes as a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is due to visit the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant located nearby.

Europe’s biggest nuclear plant was seized by Russian forces shortly after Moscow launched its military operation in the neighboring country in late February.

The facility, which continues to operate with local staff, has repeatedly come under fire, with Moscow and Kiev blaming each other for the attacks.

Aleksandr Volga, the Russian-appointed head of Energodar, said that a Ukrainian unit has been deployed near the city and that Russian military aircraft are targeting its fighters.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that up to 60 Ukrainian commandos crossed the large Kakhovka water reservoir on boats and made an attempt to capture the plant.

Vladimir Rogov, a pro-Russian regional official, cited reports that one of the plant’s power units has been shut down, and blamed Kiev for the shelling.

Dmitry Orlov, the top Ukrainian official responsible for Energodar, accused Russia of shelling the city and endangering the plant.

The IAEA team is expected to reach the plant on Thursday. “It’s a mission that seeks to prevent a nuclear accident,” IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told reporters on Wednesday after arriving in the city of Zaporozhye.

Grossi said the mission will continue despite the reports of the escalation on the ground. “There has been an increased military activity in the area. Having come so far, we are not stopping,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

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