Ukraine’s Energy Minister says Russia has “No Red Lines” Regarding Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant

July 11, 2023

Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said that Russia has shown it has “no red lines” when it comes to staging attacks—including at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

In an interview with the Associated Press published Monday, Halushchenko pointed to last month’s destruction of the Kakhovka dam in the Kherson region, which supplies cooling water to the nuclear power plant.

“For many many people it sounded ridiculous…and when it happened everybody understood that there are no red lines for them,” said the Energy Minister. “And of course it’s all connected to the counteroffensive operation, and after Kakhovka, the one tool which they still have is Zaporizhzhia.”

Russia has denied any involvement in the destruction of the dam—and in fact blamed Ukraine for it.

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asserted that intelligence shows that Russian troops had placed “objects resembling explosives” atop several power units at the Zaporizhzhia plant to “simulate” an attack.

Again, Russian officials countered that the Ukrainian army stationed at the Zaporizhzhia plant were planning to do “catastrophic” sabotage, not Russia.

Russia took control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant early in its invasion of Ukraine, which began more than 500 days ago. Six reactors have been shut down for months, but it still needs power and staff to operate crucial systems and safety features.

On June 30, the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Directorate said that the Russians stationed at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant were “reducing their presence” and “gradually leaving.”

PHOTO: Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, September 2022 per IAEA

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