Russia has threatened to shut down the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP), Russian propaganda outlet RIA-Novosti stated, citing the head of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Troops of the Russian Armed Forces, Lieutenant-General Igor Kirillov on Aug. 18.
Russia has also accused Ukraine of shelling the Zaporizhzhia NPP. This claim is false.
“If the situation with Ukrainian shelling continues to develop negatively, then the issue of putting the 5th and 6th power units into cold reserve may be considered, which will lead to the shutdown of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” Kirilov said.
The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia NPP, was captured by Russian invading forces after fighting in the nearby town of Enerhodar on March 4. The ZNPP buildings were damaged by Russian shelling in several places, and plant workers were taken prisoner.
The Kremlin is using the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to put pressure on Ukraine and the world, threatening a nuclear catastrophe. They also use the nuclear power plant to cover their heavy equipment, since the Armed Forces of Ukraine cannot return fire.
The press service of Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear operator, reported on July 21 that the Russian military had placed no less than 14 units of heavy military equipment with ammunition, weapons and explosives in the engine room of the first power unit of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.
Russian troops recently staged a false flag attack on the plant, shelling it twice on Aug. 5. As a result, several power lines were damaged, and the plant’s 4th power unit was disconnected from the power system and put into reserve. The line that transports hydrogen to the ZNPP was also impacted, causing a fire.
Energoatom believes that the Russian forces are shelling the ZNPP because they want to destroy its infrastructure and disconnect it from the Ukrainian energy system in order to cut the south of electricity.
The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, has called for an IAEA mission to be allowed into the Zaporizhzhia NPP to stabilize the situation.
On Aug. 11, the Russian invaders continued to shell the area of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, striking an area near the first power unit.
On Aug. 13, the invaders fired at the ZNPP once more. The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that they were preparing a provocation under the Ukrainian flag.
On Aug. 16, the head of the Zaporizhzhia regional military administration, Oleksander Starukh, called on the residents of Enerhodar to evacuate due to this shelling. He said that in the event of an accident, about 400,000 people would have to be evacuated from two neighboring oblasts.