Moscow is planning to shell Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and blame Ukraine for the attack, Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov told Ukrainian TV broadcasters on Sept. 13.
Other Ukrainian nuclear power plants are also at risk of being targeted by enemy strikes, Yusov said.
He said Russia has noted its seizure of the ZNPP did not draw any concrete international action, and is therefore emboldened to engineer a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine ahead of the coming winter.
“Unfortunately, we’re talking beyond Zaporizhzhya NPP,” said Yusov.
“Russia systematically shells the entire Ukrainian energy infrastructure; it can eventually spill over to our other nuclear power plants.”
He added that there’s credible intelligence of Moscow planning to continues shelling the ZNPP.
“Enemy personnel are instructed to shelter on signal, there’s movement of military equipment, (and) there’s a systematic effort to disrupt the remaining power lines connecting the facility with the Ukrainian power grid,” Yusov said.
By Sept. 11, all six reactors at the ZNPP had been taken offline and shut down.
Zaporizhzhya NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and has been occupied by Russian forces since March 4. Several ZNPP facilities have been damaged by Russian shelling, and the station's employees are captives of the occupying troops.
The Kremlin uses the facility as cover for its forces, as Ukraine can’t return fire due to the risk of causing a nuclear disaster.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officials have documented and reported Russian military equipment being parked inside the main turbine hall of the ZNPP, in close proximity to its six nuclear reactors.
Russia also attacked a major thermal power plant in Kharkiv on Sept. 11, killing two civilians and precipitating blackouts across several Ukrainian regions. Power supplies to the affected areas were restored after several hours.