Ukraine is preparing a provocation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant – Europe’s largest nuclear facility – during the visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Ukraine on August 19, according to Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov, after which Ukraine will scapegoat Moscow for the provocation.
“On August 19, Kiev is preparing a resonant provocation at the Zaporozhye NPP during the visit of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to Ukraine, as a result of which Russia will be accused of creating a man-made disaster at this power plant,” Konashenkov said.
In preparation for this operation, the command for a Ukrainian operational-tactical group is deploying radiation monitoring posts in the Zaporozhye area by August 19, in addition to assembling military units training in radiation contamination conditions in the area, according to the spokesman.
Until now, there are no Russian heavy weapons neither on the NPP’s territory nor in the vicinities, with only a few units located there, according to Konashenkov.
Konashenkov further added that Ukrainian troops will be launching artillery strikes on the NPP’s territory from firing positions in Nikopol on August 19.
On Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry warned that a trip by an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) delegation to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP) through Kiev and then across the contact line will be very dangerous.
“Across the front line – that is a huge risk, given that the Ukrainian armed forces are heterogeneous armed formations. These people will be ready to commit any provocation,” he said regarding a statement UN Secretary-General Stefane Dujarric gave, saying that the world organization could facilitate such a visit via Kiev.
“In this case, anything could happen if the IAEA delegation went across the front line,” he said, adding that Russia put forward a safe route for the inspectors’ trip to the plant.
“When it concerned the previous visit, which was disrupted, Russia proposed a route that would ensure the safety of the IAEA inspectors,” he said. “In this case the Russian side can provide complete security, our military will fully provide it. Ukraine will not provide anything,” he added.
“Therefore, this proposal [on a trip through Kiev and the territory controlled by Ukraine] raises not only questions, but bewilderment,” the diplomat concluded.
Earlier this month, the Kremlin accused Ukrainian forces of shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, warning of potential “catastrophic consequences” for Europe.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)