In a statement issued by the Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, it claimed, without providing evidence, that Russian forces would strike the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, and then report a radiation leak from the largest plant in Europe, in order to launch an international investigation that would stop the war and give Russian forces the rest they need to regroup before the Ukrainian counterattack.


Edited by| Hugh Gey


Politic section -  CJ journalist

Ukraine conflict news section   


KYIV – May,27,2023 


In order to make that happen, Russia “disrupted the rotation of personnel of the permanent monitoring mission” of the U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency that was scheduled for Saturday, the statement said. It didn’t offer evidence to back up any of the claims.

The IAEA said in an emailed response  that it did not have any immediate comment on the allegations, and Russian officials did not immediately comment on the Ukrainian claims.

The claim mirrors similar statements Moscow regularly makes, alleging without evidence that Kyiv is plotting provocations involving various dangerous weapons or substances in order to then accuse Russia of war crimes.

It comes as Moscow’s military in Ukraine braces for a looming counteroffensive by Kyiv’s forces, which hasn’t started yet but could begin “tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Oleksiy Danilov, told the BBC in an interview Saturday.

The Zaporizhzhia power plant is one of the 10 biggest nuclear plants in the world. It is located in the partially occupied Zaporizhzhia region in southeastern Ukraine. The plant’s six reactors have been shut down for months, but it still needs power and qualified staff to operate crucial cooling systems and other safety features.

Fighting near it repeatedly disrupted power supplies and has fueled fears of a potential catastrophe like the one at Chernobyl, in northern Ukraine, where a reactor exploded in 1986 and spewed deadly radiation, contaminating a vast area in the world’s worst nuclear disaster.

Russia on Saturday reported more attacks on its territory, with drones crashing in its western regions and areas on the border with Ukraine coming under shelling.

Two drones attacked an administrative building of an oil company in Russia’s western Pskov region that borders Belarus, Latvia and Estonia, Pskov Gov. Mikhail Vedernikov reported Saturday. The building was damaged as the result of an explosion, Vedernikov said.

Another drone went down in the Tver region about 150 kilometers (90 miles) north of Moscow, local authorities said.

Russia’s Belgorod region on the border with Ukraine on Saturday came under multiple rounds of shelling, according to its governor Vyacheslav Gladkov. In the neighbouring Kursk region, which also borders Ukraine, one person was killed by cross-border mortar fire, its Gov. Roman Starovoit said.

The British military said Saturday that Russia’s private military force, Wagner, is withdrawing from areas around the eastern city of Bakhmut that Moscow claims to have captured earlier this month.

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin earlier this week announced the pullout, saying Wagner would hand control over the ruined city over to the Russian military. Some were skeptical, however: Prigozhin is known for making unverifiable, headline-grabbing statements on which he later backtracks.

But the British Defense Ministry said in a series of tweets Saturday that Wagner fighters “have likely started to withdraw from some of their positions” around Bakhmut. “The Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister also corroborated the rotation out of Wagner forces in the outskirts of the town,” the ministry said.


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