Russia accuses Ukraine of planning ‘catastrophic’ attack on Zaporizhia | world news

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A Russian soldier patrols the site of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant (Image: AFP via Getty)

The Kremlin claimed that there was “a great risk of sabotage” at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which “could have catastrophic consequences”.

Russia and Ukraine again accused each other of planning an attack on Europe’s largest power plant as tensions around the plant rose on Tuesday.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Moscow’s troops may have planted explosives on the roof, which could have been due to Ukrainian shelling after detonation.

But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the claims, saying measures were being taken to counter the threat posed by the “Kiev regime”.

“The situation is quite tense because there is actually a great threat of sabotage by the Kiev regime, which could have catastrophic consequences,” he said.

“The Kiev regime has repeatedly shown its willingness to do anything. Therefore, all measures will be taken to counter such a threat.”

He did not provide evidence for his claims.

Russian troops took control of the Zaporizhia plant last year, shortly after Vladimir Putin launched his “special military operation” in Ukraine.

Since then, both sides have regularly accused the other of shelling the nuclear power plant and risking a major nuclear incident.

This photo may not be distributed in the Russian Federation. Mandatory Photo Credit: Photo by Ukrinform/Shutterstock (13992739n) The process of decontamination is pictured during command and staff drills to practice actions to be taken in the event of an accident at the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant in Zaporizhia, south-eastern Ukraine. Exercises in response to the accident at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine – June 29, 2023

The decontamination process is shown during the command and staff exercises to practice measures in the event of an accident in Zaporizhia (Image: Ukrinform/Shutterstock)

Rescue workers and police officers take part in anti-radiation drills in case of an emergency situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant during Russia's attack on Ukraine June 29, 2023 in Zaporizhia, Ukraine. REUTERS/Stringer

Rescuers and police officers take part in anti-radiation drills for an emergency in Zaporizhia (Image: Reuters)

When the danger of an accident at the plant first arose last year, Ukraine set up a crisis response headquarters.

Recently, rescue workers took part in drills to prepare for a possible radiation leak.

The footage showed rescuers in yellow and white protective gear and gas masks checking cars and trucks for radiation levels with dosimeters and then cleaning the wheels before the vehicles were subjected to further decontamination at special washing stations. A man was taken to a medical tent on a stretcher as sirens wailed.

According to the emergency services, in the event of a nuclear disaster at the power plant, about 300,000 people would be evacuated from the areas closest to the plant.

This includes four regions: Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, Zaporizhia and Mykolaiv. The evacuation would be mandatory.

Rescue workers and police officers take part in anti-radiation drills in case of an emergency situation at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant during Russia's attack on Ukraine June 29, 2023 in Zaporizhia, Ukraine. REUTERS/Stringer

Vehicles were also decontaminated (Image: Reuters)

According to the services, those forced to flee are allowed to bring their pets with them. Buses, trains and private cars would be used to evacuate the affected area.

A leaflet circulated online lists what to pack when evacuating from a radiation area.

Items recommended for packing include:

  • Important documents and copies thereof (e.g. ID card, passport)
  • face mask or respirator
  • A first aid kit and a week’s supply of essential medicines
  • wet wipes
  • Change of clothes and shoes
  • A minimum supply of food and water, which must be in sealed packaging

Then it says: “Tightly wrap your suitcase or backpack with cling film or tape.” This will definitely facilitate the process of their deactivation in the sanitary facilities.”

Depending on wind direction and radiation spread, people would be moved to safer areas within Ukraine.

“There are different scenarios, but we are preparing for the most critical one,” said Yuriy Vlasenko, Ukraine’s Deputy Energy Minister.

MORE: Latest war between Ukraine and Russia: Putin’s ‘General Armageddon’ still missing 10 days after Wagner uprising

MORE: Zelenskyy claims Russia planted ‘explosives’ at Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

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Justin Scaccy

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