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IAEA confirms Russia planted explosives at Ukraine’s largest nuclear power plant

The International Atomic Energy Agency has issued a warning that Russian security forces allegedly placed high explosives near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

The official website of the State Nuclear Regulatory Inspection of Ukraine reported that “Russian occupiers placed military equipment and explosives in the turbine department of ZNPP Unit 4.”

“Representatives of the IAEA reported the deployment of military equipment, weapons and explosives by the Russian occupiers in the turbine department of unit 4 of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant,” the Ukrainian report states. “This was learned during the weekly meeting on communication between the IAEA Crisis Center (IEC) and the SNRIU on the activities of the IAEA mission at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, which took place on 2 May 2023. As a reminder, at the end of July 2022, the Russian military placed heavy military equipment with ammunition, as well as weapons and explosives in the engine room of Unit 1 of ZNPP.

“In early August 2022, information was received about the deployment of military equipment in the engine room of ZNPP Unit 2,” the report added. “The SNRIU also receives information about the storage of equipment, weapons and explosives in other production facilities of the SE Zaporizhzhia NPP through unofficial channels, including in mechanical repair shops and on the roofs of electrical units . The new criminal actions of the Russian occupiers are another step that causes significant damage to the nuclear and radiological safety of nuclear facilities in the industrial zone of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The inappropriate decisions and actions of the Russian military put endangering both the staff of the nuclear power plant and the residents of nearby settlements.”

“Once again, we emphasize that in the event of an emergency at ZNPP with a potential release of radioactive substances into the environment, not only Ukraine will feel the consequences, but they will have a transboundary character,” the report adds. “Nuclear terrorism, to which the Russian Federation resorts, is an unacceptable phenomenon in the civilized world. We call on the international community to consolidate and respond decisively to the actions of the aggressor country, which apply harsh sanctions to the Russian Federation’s nuclear industry companies and affiliated individuals. We emphasize that the Russian Federation should be deprived of all rights and privileges in the IAEA and other international institutions in the field of the use of nuclear energy.”

The news comes as one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top allies suggested that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should be killed after the Kremlin claimed to have foiled a Ukrainian attack. Russian officials are reportedly labeling Zelensky and Ukraine a “terrorist regime in Kiev” and are poised to attack Zelenskyy’s home following reports that Ukraine tried to assassinate Putin.

“After today’s terrorist attack, there are no options left but the physical elimination of Zelensky and his clique,” Kremlin Security Council Vice Chairman Dmitri Medvedev, a former Russian president, wrote on social media under Putin

The incident involved “two unmanned aerial vehicles” that were shot down “without causing any casualties or damage” to the Kremlin, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s office. Putin was not in the Kremlin at the time, Peskov told state media.

“We see these actions as a planned terrorist attack and assassination attempt against the president,” Peskov’s office said. “Russia reserves the right to take countermeasures wherever and whenever it sees fit.”

JUST IN – Russia says Ukraine tried to hit Kremlin with drones overnight in an assassination attempt on Putin.pic.twitter.com/xAS0BtTDzs

— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) May 3, 2023

Medvedev also said that Putin now has no choice but to “annihilate” (or “remove”) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Ukrainian officials denied carrying out such an operation and suggested the incident could have been perpetrated by Russian dissidents, if not orchestrated by the government. Zelensky told reporters while traveling in Finland: “We are not attacking Putin or Moscow. We are fighting on our territory. We are defending our towns and cities. We don’t have enough weapons for that. That’s why we don’t use it anywhere [else]. For us, this is a deficit. We can’t spend it. And we didn’t attack Putin. we leave it [a] court”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed skepticism about the Russian accusations, but maintained that they do not know what really happened. “I cannot validate them in any way; we just don’t know,” Blinken said during a Washington Post live event. “And it’s very difficult to comment or speculate on that without really knowing what the facts are.”

Zelensky’s team suggested that Putin would use the incident to justify a retaliatory operation. “Russia is clearly preparing a large-scale terrorist attack,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podolyak tweeted. “Ukraine is waging an exclusively defensive war and does not attack targets on the territory of the Russian Federation. For what? This does not solve any military problem.”

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