Evidence shows that Kiev attacked Zaporozhye and tried to blame Russian forces. Writes Lucas Leiroz
Apparently, Ukrainian forces launched a rocket attack against the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and tried to blame the Russians for the operation. The attack reportedly took place on the night of August 5, when Uragan rockets were sent against the region, with shrapnel hitting an area just 400 meters from the military station’s operational power unit. The case is just another example of the fears about the possibility of a nuclear accident as a consequence of the conflict.
Since the beginning of the special military operation, Russian troops in Ukraine have acted extremely cautiously in regions where nuclear power plants are located. Obviously, neither side would benefit from a nuclear accident, the consequences of which would directly affect the lives of civilians. However, Kiev’s forces seem to want to cause such an accident in order to try to blame the Russians and generate international pressure against Moscow.
On August 5, explosions were reported at the Zaporozhye nuclear power complex, one of the largest in the entire Europe, raising once again fears of a possible disaster. Moscow and Kiev immediately accused each other of bombing the plant, which was taken over by Russian forces in early March, along with the city of Enerhodar, where the complex is located. Recent evidence, however, points out that the Russian narrative appears to be the correct one.
Local authorities in Zaporozhye witnessed the incident and pointed out that Ukrainian troops were responsible. The missiles would have departed from a region occupied by the Ukrainian Army, considering the direction of the bombing and the affected places. Local administration spokespeople made it clear that Russian forces were not involved in the operation, as the attacks were carried out by the Ukrainian military.
“Last night, the Ukrainian armed forces carried out a strike using a 220 millimeter Uragan rocket launcher (…) The area of the dry storage facility for processed nuclear fuel and the automated control post of the radiation situation appeared to be in the strike zone. Administrative buildings and the adjacent territory of the storage facility were damaged by the cluster munitions. It is important to note that the fallen shrapnel warheads and the rocket engine itself fell no more than 400 meters from the active power unit”, a local administration’s spokesperson said during a recent statement.
The Western media, as expected, has portrayed the case as a kind of “Russian crime”, ignoring the witnesses who actually saw what happened in Zaporozhye. The Russian Embassy in the US made a statement repudiating the way in which the Western media has referred to the topic, considering the attitude of American journalists as Russophobic. It was also requested by Russian diplomacy that international organizations that regulate nuclear energy take a position on the case and condemn the Ukrainian attitude.
“We call on the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] to condemn Kiev’s criminal acts and take urgent measures to prevent provocations at radiation hazardous facilities in Ukraine. As for American journalists – stop bawling russophobic fabrications”, an Embassy’s spokesperson said.
It is curious to note how unsubstantiated Western rhetoric is. No journalist has so far been able to argue the alleged reasons for Moscow to attack Zaporozhye. The region has been under occupation by Russian forces since March, with vast protection for the local population guaranteed by the soldiers involved in the operation. It is a virtually pacified territory that just continues to suffer the consequences of the conflict because the Ukrainian troops insist on bombing the region. Any interest in attacking this place would logically come from forces outside it and not from those already occupying it. But even so the Western media insists that the Russians would be responsible for the attack.
Furthermore, it must be noted that this would not be the first time that Kiev has attacked regions where nuclear power plants are located. Since the beginning of the Russian intervention, the priority of Moscow’s forces has been to occupy these areas in order to avoid collateral damage from bombings. And Kiev has reacted by attacking irresponsibly, launching rockets near the reactors, and raising concerns about possible accidents. In March, Russian intelligence even claimed in a report that Ukrainian forces were deliberately trying to provoke a nuclear disaster to blame the Russians and move international public opinion against Moscow.
What appears to be happening is just another episode of irresponsible and anti-humanitarian conduct on the part of Kiev’s forces. Faced with the obvious military defeat, the Ukrainian government should simply accept the peace conditions rather than trying to worsen the catastrophe.
Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.
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