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Russian forces have placed Grad multiple launch rocket systems on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant’s territory next to the spent nuclear fuel storage units near the plant's sixth reactor, Ukraine’s state nuclear energy operator Energoatom reported on Dec. 8. The Grads will likely be used to strike the cities of Nikopol and Marhanets on the opposite side of the Dnipro River, using the reactor and fuel storage as a “shelter” from return fire, according to Energoatom.
Russian troops at the occupied plant in Enerhodar had previously built some “defensive structures” near the sixth reactor, violating nuclear and radiation safety rules, the operator wrote.
“From the very beginning of (Russia’s full-scale aggression), they have placed personnel, military equipment, weapons, and explosives there, mined the territory of the station and access roads to it,” Energoatom added.
The International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi said on Dec. 2 that he hoped to reach an agreement with Russia and Ukraine on protecting the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, currently occupied by Moscow troops, by the end of this year.
Petro Kotin, Energoatom’s head, said on Nov. 27 that the company had seen signs Russia had been preparing to leave the plant. On the following day, The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the information.