Russians using fortified positions atop Zaporizhzhya NPP to fire at Ukraine – photos
Zaporizhzhya NPP (Photo:REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko)
Russia’s invading forces have established sandbag fighting positions on the roofs of several of the six reactor buildings at the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), the UK’s Ministry of Defense wrote on Twitter on April 27, referencing satellite imagery as of March 2023.
UK intelligence noted that while Russia has controlled ZNPP since March 2022, this is the first indication that the actual reactor buildings are being integrated into tactical defense planning.
Russia has likely constructed these positions because it is increasingly concerned about the prospects of a major Ukrainian offensive.
“The move highly likely increases the chances of damage to ZNPP safety systems if fighting takes place around ZNPP,” the ministry said in its daily summary.
“However, direct catastrophic damage to the reactors is unlikely under most plausible scenarios involving infantry weapons because the structures are very heavily reinforced.”
The largest nuclear power plant in Europe – the Zaporizhzhya NPP – was captured by Russian invasion forces after fighting in the town of Enerhodar on March 4, 2022. ZNPP buildings were damaged by Russian shelling in several places, and the plant’s employees were taken captive.
Firing positions have been set up by Russian invasion forces at ZNPP, and they use the site to launch artillery attacks on Ukrainian cities across the Dnipro River, especially Nikopol and the nearby town of Marhanets, government controlled Zaporizhzhya Oblast.
Ukrainian forces are unable to return fire to ensure the safety of the plant’s six nuclear reactors.
In late 2022, Russian invaders blocked the passes to ZNPP workers who had refused to sign contracts with occupation authorities.
Earlier, Russian occupiers had compelled 3,000 ZNPP workers to obtain Russian passports.
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