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Ukraine's military intelligence says drone attack on Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was 'Russia's provocation'

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 9, 2024 11:32 PM 2 min read
A Russian soldier stands guard outside the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant's second reactor on May 1, 2022. The picture was taken during a media tour organized by the Russian army. (Andrey Borodulin / AFP via Getty Images)
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Russian troops used first-person view (FPV) drones to "simulate an attack from Ukraine" on the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Andrii Yusov, a spokesman for Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR), said on April 9.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said earlier the same day, citing the plant's occupation administration, that a drone attack targeted the plant's training center adjacent to the site.

"We are now seeing another wave of provocations from Russia. Regarding the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, this was recorded before, there is nothing new here. Provocations aimed at blaming Ukraine," Yusov said on national television.

Ukraine's nuclear energy agency Energoatom said on April 9 that Russia "upgraded its propaganda to another level," manipulating the IAEA's perspective and accusing Ukraine of security breaches at the plant.

Energoatom said that the only way to prevent nuclear and radiation emergencies is to comply with the IAEA's resolution, withdraw Russian troops and their equipment from the plant, demining nearby territories, and return control over the plant to the agency.

Yusov also emphasized that Russia had illegally captured the plant, deployed military personnel and equipment at the site, placed mines on the station's territory, and launched strikes from it.

"The position of Ukraine is clear, clear, and unambiguous — we do not carry out any military actions or provocations on nuclear facilities. And the aggressor must leave the nuclear plant," he added.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest nuclear plant in Europe, has been under Russian occupation since March 2022. IAEA teams have been based at the facility on rotation since September 2022.

Throughout its occupation, the plant has been repeatedly disconnected from the Ukrainian power grid due to Russian attacks on the country's energy infrastructure.

Russian troops have also used the plant as a platform to launch strikes at Nikopol, situated just across the Kakhovka Reservoir, and other Ukrainian settlements nearby.

Life near Russian-occupied nuclear plant: ‘I don’t know if tomorrow will come’
Editor’s Note: The Kyiv Independent talked to residents who are still in Russian-occupied Enerhodar and those who recently left but still have family in the city. For their safety, we do not disclose their identities. When Russian soldiers captured Enerhodar, the satellite city of the Zaporizhzhia…
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