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Ukraine has put plans in place to evacuate residents of several oblasts in the event Russia carries out an attack at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets said on national television, the Ukrainian media outlet New Voice reported.
Earlier on June 23, Ukraine's military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said that Russia had completed preparations for an attack on the nuclear plant and had mined the plant's cooler. Lubinets also warned that there was a "real possibility" of an attack taking place.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, however, has said that no new mines were discovered during a recent visit by its chief Rafael Grossi. The White House has also said it sees no nuclear threat in Ukraine at the moment.
The Institute for the Study of War, a D.C.-based think tank has assessed that Russia may be signaling that is willing to carry out an attack in an effort to dissuade Ukraine from attempting counteroffensive operations in the area.
In preparation for any incident, Lubinets said that Ukraine has set up separate evacuation headquarters in the oblasts surrounding the plant and has made plans to evacuate any residents who live within a 30-50 kilometer radius of the plant.
"All medical supplies have been prepared and logistical routes where people will be accommodated and how they will be transported have been worked out. In the event of such a situation, not only state mechanisms will be involved, but also volunteer groups," Lubinets said, as cited by New Voice.
The Ombudsman added that following Russia's destruction of the Kakhovka dam in Kherson Oblast, people in Russian-occupied areas affected by the flooding were not properly evacuated.
"Civilians in the occupied territories will suffer the most (in the event of an accident at the Zaporizhzhia plant)," he said.