Kiev’s Desperation for a Nuclear Provocation
May 29, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The International Atomic Energy Agency stated to AFP that IAEA head Rafael Grossi will finally present his five-point plan on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) to the UN Security Council tomorrow. A key component of the plan is that the gamesmanship over Ukraine’s cutting off electrical power supply to the plant, forcing the circulating and cooling of the water in the closed-down units to be run off of backup diesel power, must be brought to an end, with IAEA oversight of the power lines. This is long overdue, as Kiev has cut the power seven different times as part of their brinkmanship games. Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev also confirmed on May 25 that the IAEA is in the final stage of developing a plan to ensure the safety of ZNPP.
A couple of months ago, Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy had declared that they could not use the IAEA to force the Russians out of the ZNPP, and they would have to resort to extracurricular means. It was at this time that Grossi—without naming Ukraine as the party that was cutting off the electricity—adopted his present course, one clearly opposed by Zelenskyy. This is the background to the bizarre propagandistic efforts over the last week of such as Kyrylo Budanov’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GUR) and of the Office of the President’s Center for Countering Disinformation (CCD).
Nuclear Engineering International (NEI) reports today that “Russian military analysts suggest that retaking control of ZNPP is one of the objectives of the coming Ukrainian offensive.” They summarize the ludicrous GUR narrative: “Russian forces would strike ZNPP and then report a radioactive leak in order to trigger an international probe that would pause the hostilities and give the Russian forces the respite they need to regroup ahead of the counter-offensive.” That is, the GUR yarn is that Russia, desperate for a ceasefire, will shell its own facility in order to make an actual or fake leak credible enough to get Kiev’s allies in the West to, in a panic, allow the ceasefire.
The proffered evidence? Russia had “disrupted the rotation of personnel of the permanent monitoring mission.” Aside from being pathetically weak evidence, the disruption occurred from Ukrainian shelling of Vasilyevka, the point where the inspectors cross over from Ukrainian to Russian territory to get to the facility. Vladimir Rogov, a member of the Main Council of the (Russian) Zaporozhye regional administration, told RIA Novosti: “The Kiev regime is now raising the temperature and stakes around the Zaporozhye NPP. Ukrainian militants are preparing an operation to bombard and cross the Dnieper River to land troops and seize the plant, simultaneously spreading a false narrative in advance through their information platforms and materials in the Western media that Russia will be responsible for a possible nuclear catastrophe.”
NEI underlines that there have already been three different assaults by Ukrainian forces, attempting to seize the nuclear plant facility. These are armed forces charging at the plant, separate from the more regular shelling of the plant.