Ukraine and Russia trade accusations of impending attack on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine and Russia accused each other on Wednesday of planning to attack one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants, located in southeastern Ukraine and occupied by troops Russians, but neither side has provided evidence to support their claims.

Citing intelligence reports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian troops placed “objects resembling explosives on the roof of several power units” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The objects could be used to “simulate” an attack, he said, i.e. a false flag attack.

A statement from the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said the “foreign objects” had been placed on the outer roof of the plant’s third and fourth generator sets.

“Their detonation is not expected to damage drive units but may create an image of bombardment from Ukraine,” the statement said.

In Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov raised the specter of a potentially “catastrophic” provocation by the Ukrainian army at the nuclear power plant, which is the largest in Europe but whose six reactors are at the stop.

“The situation is quite tense. There is a great threat of sabotage by the Kiev regime, which can be catastrophic in its consequences,” Peskov said in response to a reporter’s question. He also claimed that the Kremlin was taking “all measures” to counter the alleged threat from Ukraine.

His comments came after Renat Karchaa, an adviser to Russian state nuclear company Rosenergoatom, said there was “no basis” for Zelenskyy’s claims of a plot to fake an explosion. The Ukrainian leader made the allegation in his nightly video address on Tuesday.

“Why would we need explosives there?” This is nonsense, (aimed at) maintaining tension around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” Karchaa said.

Russian media quoted Karchaa on Tuesday as saying the Ukrainian military planned to hit the plant with munitions mixed with nuclear waste early Wednesday. Wednesday afternoon, there was no indication of such an attack.

Ukraine has warned for months against Russian plans to cause a deliberate release of radiation from the plant, citing internal intelligence reports. Ukrainian officials have alleged that Moscow may attempt to sabotage the plant in an effort to derail kyiv’s ongoing counteroffensive in the surrounding Zaporizhzhia region.

Russia occupied the factory at the start of the war. Over the past year, Russia and Ukraine have repeatedly accused each other of bombing the facility.


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