500 Russian soldiers stationed at occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP, says Zelenskyy

18 September, 02:26 PM
The Russian occupier at Zaporizhzhya NPP (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

The Russian occupier at Zaporizhzhya NPP (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)

The Russian army had deployed 500 soldiers at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his evening address on Sept. 17.

The President also expressed gratitude to the International Atomic Energy Agency employees who, despite pressure, were able to publish an objective report after visiting the occupied nuclear power plant.

"By the way, I am very grateful to the IAEA for making fair conclusions despite everything,” Zelenskyy said.

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“Despite the fact that Russia put pressure (on them). They called for complete demilitarization only. This is what we constantly reiterated and raised the issue — only complete demilitarization of the nuclear power plant will ensure safety. And even then, we understand that it is not a fact that everything will be safe. Because now it is completely out of operation. The nuclear power plant has six reactors.”

The ZNPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe and has been illegally occupied by Russian forces since March 4. The station’s Ukrainian employees are currently being held captive by invading Russian forces.

Russian troops are known to have set up firing positions at the ZNPP and have regularly shelled Ukrainian cities from them. Energoatom has reported that the Russian military placed more than a dozen pieces of military equipment, including ammunition, weapons, and explosives in the turbine hall of the first reactor of the plant.

The invaders also brought additional armored personnel carriers and special trucks to the repair area of the station on Aug. 22.

In total, more than 40 units of Russian military equipment have been placed on the grounds of the facility.

On Aug. 25, Russian troops provoked the first temporary disconnection from the power grid in the history of the ZNPP. The ZNPP was against disconnected on Sept. 11, due to further Russian shelling that all power lines connecting the plant to the Ukrainian power grid.

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