Alleged Ukrainian attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) constitute “nuclear terrorism,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed on Tuesday.
“In the last two weeks alone, 33 large-caliber projectiles have been fired at the [nuclear power] station by the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” Shoigu said, according to a readout of a meeting with the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
Russian air defense forces are intercepting most Ukrainian weapons, Shoigu added, but some have still managed to hit objects that affect the safety of the nuclear power plant.
“We classify these attacks by Ukrainian troops as nuclear terrorism,” he said.
Shoigu said Russia’s army will continue to protect critical facilities in the captured territories.
Some context: Since falling under Russian control, frequent shelling in and around the plant has raised fears about a nuclear accident. Both sides have accused the other of nuclear terrorism, with Ukraine alleging that the Kremlin is using the nuclear plant as a cover to protect troops and launch attacks.
Last week, Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he hoped to reach an agreement with Russia and Ukraine on protecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica published on Friday, Grossi said his commitment was to reach a solution “as soon as possible,” hopefully by the end of the year, he added.
But Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that there can be “no talk of any withdrawal of ZNPP from Russia or transfer control over it to a third party.”
“The station is located on Russian territory and is fully controlled by Russia,” said Zakharova on Monday. “We presume that only we are able to ensure the physical and nuclear safety of ZNPP.”
edition.cnn.com 2022-12-06 13:48:28