Ukraine and Russia traded accusations Wednesday, each saying the other country was planning to attack the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid their 16-month-long war.
Just this past Friday the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Directorate had said that the Russians stationed at Zaporizhzhia were “gradually leaving” the site of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asserted, “Now we have information from our intelligence that the Russian military has placed objects resembling explosives on the roof of several power units of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Perhaps to simulate an attack on the plant. Perhaps they have some other scenario.”
On Wednesday, the General Staff of Ukraine’s armed forces confirmed in a statement that “foreign objects” had been placed on the roof of the plant’s third and fourth power units.
The statement went on to note, “Their detonation should not damage power units but may create a picture of shelling from Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, Russian officials have countered that it’s the Ukrainian army stationed at the Zaporizhzhia plant who are planning to do “catastrophic” sabotage.
“The situation is quite tense. There is a great threat of sabotage by the Kyiv regime, which can be catastrophic in its consequences,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, adding that Moscow was taking “all measures” to prevent the alleged threat by Ukraine.
Specifically, the Kremlin asserted that Ukraine planned to strike the plant with ammunition laced with nuclear waste early Wednesday.
However, as of Wednesday afternoon there had been no indication of such an attack.
The Zaporizhzhia plant’s six reactors have been shut down for months, but it still needs power and staff to operate crucial systems and safety features.