War/Conflicts, Politics | Tankesmie: False accusation about nuclear power plants undermines warnings about the danger of nuclear disaster

Thought smithy Institute for the study of war (ISW) writes that the fake news diverts attention from the very real danger posed by Russia’s alleged militarization of the nuclear power plant.

According to the think tank, several media in the West and in Ukraine reported on Monday that the Russian military leader in the area had said that the nuclear power plant had been mined. The area will either become Russian or a desolate desert, the Russian general said in the news release.

This is in all probability a forged message, writes the think tank. Russia’s Ministry of Defense has also said that the news was false and that the general in question was in Uzbekistan at the time the statement was allegedly made.

Risk of minelaying

Tankesmia writes that despite the revelation that the news was probably fake, there is a possible risk that the area will still be mined. At the same time, there is a very likely danger of Russian forces storing military equipment there.

Bellingcat has published a drone video from the area which shows that Russian military vehicles are inside the nuclear power plant’s area, including close to one of the six reactors.

The Russian authorities claim that Ukrainian forces are attacking the nuclear power plant, while Ukraine accuses the Russians of firing from there at Ukrainian forces and of using the nuclear power plant as a shield.

UN warning

The UN has warned of a nuclear disaster. ISW writes that their assessment is that Russian forces are using the threat of this as a means of pressure to get the West to stop giving Ukraine weapons.

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“The shooting at the nuclear facility by the Ukrainian armed forces is a potentially extremely dangerous activity,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Monday.

He warns of “catastrophic consequences” for Europe as a result of the alleged attacks.

The nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya is the largest of its kind in Europe and has been occupied by Russia since March. Parts of the power plant have been damaged in recent days, which has led to the shutdown of a reactor. The Norwegian authorities have stated that they are following developments closely and are concerned.

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