Russian occupation authorities are planning to confiscate housing from residents of the town of Enerhodar to encourage Russians to work at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence (HUR) chief Kyrylo Budanov reported on Telegram on July 7.
Up to 4,500 Russians may be resettled in this way.
According to military intelligence, after the invasion began, most of the plant's qualified personnel either left the occupied territories or refused to sign contracts with Rosatom, the Russian nuclear operator. Attempts to attract Russian employees also did not yield results, as specialists often refuse to go to ZNPP despite high promised salaries and benefits.
In order to fix this issue, the Russian authorities have decided to simply directly provide apartments owned by Ukrainian citizens to Russian settlers, HUR states.
On July 6, the first deputy chief of staff of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, Sergei Kirienko, arrived at the occupied Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. The visit took place against the backdrop of the publication of information about the Russian military mining the ZNPP.
The official purpose of Kirienko's visit was to familiarize himself with the state of affairs at the plant and to check the overall security. According to HUR, his actual role was to calm down panicky Russian plant workers and resolve staffing issues.
ZNPP explosion thread — what we know
Russian troops seized the ZNPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, near the beginning of the full-scale war, on March 4. Employees of the plant are being held hostage and forced to work under incredibly high-pressure conditions. There are Russian military and Rosatom, the Russian nuclear operator, employees at the plant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on June 22 that Russia was considering a scenario of a terrorist attack at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant it had seized on March 4, 2022, and had "prepared everything for this.”
On June 25, Budanov said that the Russians had completed preparations for a potential attack on the occupied Zaporizhzhya NPP.
He said that explosive devices had been placed near four out of the plant’s six reactors, as well as the cooling pond.
On July 6, Budanov noted that Ukraine had managed to reduce the threat at ZNPP through public and non-public actions. However, he warned that the ZNPP will continue to be at risk as long as the Russian occupation continues.
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