Saturday, May 25, 2024

Ukraine Blames Russia For ‘False Flag’ Drone Strike On Nuke Plant


ANALYSIS – False flag or fake news? Ukraine has denied involvement in a drone attack on Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (), the largest in Europe – which has been under Russian control since its invasion in 2022 – and accused of a false flag operation.

Captured by Russia early in the war, the plant sits directly on the frontline, within range of both sides' militaries. Zaporizhzhia is one of four regions that Russia illegally “annexed.”

The head of Ukraine's center for countering disinformation – said Russia – was attacking the facility “with drones, pretending that the threat to the plant and nuclear safety is incoming from Ukraine.” (RELATED: Russian Airbases At Engels, Yeysk, Morozovsk And Kursk Attacked: Report)

However, Russia insists that Ukraine was behind the attack. “Attempts by the Ukrainian armed forces to attack the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant continue,” the Russians controlling the facility said.

“A kamikaze drone was shot down over the plant. It fell on the roof of unit 6,” reported The Guardian.

A canteen, cargo area and the dome over reactor six were hit in three separate drone strikes but did not result in any critical damage.

The () confirmed that a drone detonated at the ZNPP but did not specify the party responsible for the drone strike and called on both parties to refrain from such reckless actions, warning that the attacks “jeopardized nuclear safety.” (RELATED: Trump Reveals How He'd End The War In Ukraine On Day One)

ABC News noted that: “The Institute for the Study of War, a think tank based in Washington, said Russian authorities are seeking ‘to use Russia's physical control over the (plant) to force international organizations, including the IAEA, to meet with Russian occupation officials to legitimize Russia's occupation of the (plant) and by extension Russia's occupation of sovereign Ukrainian land.'”

Regardless of who did it, IAEA chief Rafael Mariano Grossi said the main reactor containment structures took at least three direct hits. “This cannot happen,” he said on X.

The nuclear watchdog said onsite inspectors had seen the damage caused by drone detonations at three locations, including “superficial scorching” at the top of the roof of reactor six, although it said its structural integrity was not compromised.

Despite occasional efforts to reconnect to the Russian energy grid, its reactors have gradually been put into shutdown. Five out of six are in cold shutdown, where the reactors are running at a temperature below boiling point.

A sixth, reactor number four, is running in hot shutdown, primarily to produce heating for the nearby town of Enerhodar. Earlier this month, with the winter heating season concluded, the IAEA said engineers at the site were considering downgrading reactor four to the colder state. (RELATED: Russian City Declares State Of Emergency After Radiation Leak Detected)

ABC News added:

Even with its reactors shut down, the plant still needs power and qualified staff to operate crucial cooling systems and other safety features.

The IAEA team did not observe structural damage to the “systems, structures and components” important to the nuclear safety of the plant, it said. They reported superficial scorching to the top of a reactor dome.

The damage “has not compromised nuclear safety, but this is a serious incident (with the) potential to undermine (the) integrity of the reactor's containment system,” the IAEA said on X, formerly Twitter.

In March, Greenpeace warned that Russia was considering restarting the reactors so they could generate electricity, an unprecedented scenario in an active war zone.

There are four major nuclear plants in Ukraine, plus the now-retired Chernobyl.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of American Liberty News.

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Paul Crespo
Paul Crespo
Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Liberty Defense News. As a Marine Corps officer, he led Marines, served aboard ships in the Pacific and jumped from helicopters and airplanes. He was also a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at U.S. embassies worldwide. He later ran for office, taught political science, wrote for a major newspaper and had his own radio show. A graduate of Georgetown, London and Cambridge universities, he brings decades of experience and insight to the issues that most threaten our American liberty – at home and from abroad.

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