IAEA Says No Russian Mines at Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant Contradicting Zelensky

The situation at the Zaporozhye power plant remains tense, according to experts from the UN agency, who have not discovered any mines at the site.

According to a statement by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), their specialists have conducted an inspection at Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and have not discovered any mines or explosives.

The experts examined various areas of the facility, including sections of the perimeter of the large cooling pond, and performed regular site inspections. Additional access to specific parts of the plant, such as the rooftops of reactor units 3 and 4, turbine halls, and cooling system facilities, was requested by the IAEA team for further investigation.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi emphasized the importance of independent and objective reporting to clarify the current situation at the site, mentioning some unconfirmed allegations regarding potential security risks. “Their independent and objective reporting would help clarify the current situation at the site,” he said.

The director general also confirmed that there were no reports of recent shelling or explosions near the site by the team stationed at ZNPP.

In recent weeks, the spotlight has returned to Europe’s largest facility, Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), following claims by senior officials in Kiev that Russia was planning a nuclear incident there. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky alleged that Moscow aimed to cause a “radiation leak” at the plant, while one of Zelensky’s key aides, Mikhail Podoliak, accused the Russian military of laying mines in the plant’s cooling pond.

Moscow has categorically denied these claims, dismissing them as “yet another lie.” The claims about mines in the cooling pond were previously refuted by the UN nuclear watchdog as well.

On Wednesday, the Kremlin issued a warning about a “high threat of sabotage” at the ZNPP in Kiev, emphasizing that such an act could have “catastrophic” consequences. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, noted that the situation surrounding the plant remains tense.

A senior official from Russia’s nuclear power plant operator, Rosenergoatom, Renat Karchaa, raised concerns on Tuesday that the Ukrainian military might target the facility with long-range, high-precision weapons or kamikaze drones. He also suggested that Kiev might employ a Soviet-made ballistic missile loaded with radioactive waste to strike the plant.

Accusations of shelling the Zaporozhye plant have been exchanged between Moscow and Kiev throughout their conflict. Since March 2022, the facility has been under Russian control.

Ukraine’s highly publicized counteroffensive is making little progress. Nevertheless, BlackRock is strongly pressuring Ukraine for substantial returns on its investment in the region. They see the possibility of using false flag attack at ZNPP as a means to justify a full scale NATO forces invasion into the independent republics east of Ukraine that have joined Russia through a referendum.

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