The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing a “resonant provocation” at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant when UN Secretary General António Guterres arrives in the country. This will allow Russia to be blamed for the consequences of a "man-made disaster," said the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov.
The Ministry of Defense claims that the 44th artillery brigade from the city of Nikopol will strike at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on August 19.
Konashenkov also accused Ukraine of “rumors” that Russia had occupied a nuclear power plant in order to fire long-range artillery systems on the Armed Forces of Ukraine from there, and added that the Russian military did not have “heavy weapons either on the territory of the plant or in the areas adjacent to it.”
This is not the first statement by representatives of the Russian authorities about provocations allegedly being prepared by Kyiv at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. Earlier, Deputy Head of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev reported that the EU countries need to be prepared for "accidents" at local nuclear power plants, accusing Ukraine of being "ready to arrange a new Chernobyl."
On August 11, the Ukrainian "Energoatom" accused Russia of shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, and Vladimir Rogov, a member of the pro-Russian "administration" of the Zaporozhye region, blamed Ukraine. On August 5, Russia fired several times at the Zaporizhzhya NPP from multiple launch rocket systems, blaming the Ukrainian Armed Forces for this again. The Ukrainian "Energoatom" reported that after the strikes, emergency protection worked, and called what was happening "nuclear terrorism by Russia."
Prior to this, The Insider obtained a video showing Russian military trucks entering the territory of the nuclear power plant and unloading some kind of cargo. The truck convoy arrived on 2 August. According to sources of the publication, we can talk about mining the area around the nuclear power plant. They also noted that about 500 Russian soldiers and military equipment, including armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft installations and equipment for radiochemical reconnaissance, are at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.
Zaporozhye NPP is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, located in the city of Energodar. Since March, it has been under the control of Russian troops. The UN called on Russia to withdraw troops from the nuclear power plant and create a "safe demilitarization perimeter" there. The pro-Russian "administration" of the Zaporozhye region proposed to introduce a regime of silence around the object.