Russia Warns of Provocation at Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant While UN Secretary General Is in Ukraine
Aug. 18, 2022 (EIRNS)—Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov issued a statement this morning warning that the Kiev regime is planning a major provocation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Aug. 19, while UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is in Ukraine, “as a result of which the Russian Federation will be blamed for creating a man-made disaster at the power plant.” His statement identified several Ukrainian military units, including nuclear-chemical protection troops and an artillery unit that are preparing to take actions as part of the provocation. Guterres is in Lviv today, and goes to a Ukrainian Black Sea port Friday, Aug. 19. On Aug. 20 he will be in Istanbul at the Turkish Center for Inspecting Shipping.
“Ukrainian leadership has repeatedly spread rumors that Russian troops have occupied the nuclear power plant and are shelling AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] with long-range artillery systems while shielding themselves with NPP,” the statement said. “We would like to point out that the Russian troops have no heavy weapons either on the territory of the plant or in the surrounding areas. Only security units are stationed there. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are taking all necessary measures to ensure the security of Zaporizhzhia NPP.” The plant has continued to operate with its Ukrainian staff, providing electricity as usual to all civilians in the region.
At about the same time, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the “Soloviev Live” TV show that what the Kiev regime is engaged in is nuclear blackmail. “This is not just a provocation, this is what we condemned as nuclear blackmail. And what else is it but a long-standing provocation around a nuclear facility, a direct threat to nuclear power. This is certainly an act of nuclear blackmail,” she stressed. Zakharova asserted that in this way the Ukrainian authorities are not just blackmailing one country or a specific political entity, but the entire European continent. “We are talking about nuclear energy, the whole European continent is being held hostage because this is all in the heart of Europe,” she added. The resulting disaster, she said, cannot be limited by geography but only by time.
To dramatize the geographical risk, Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, the Chief of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Troops of the Russian Defense Ministry, released maps showing that were a major radiation leak to occur, most of the contamination would flow north and west from the plant, depending on weather patterns, primarily affecting Western Ukraine as far away as Lviv.