MoD: Kiev Sought to Frame Russia for Radioactive Contamination at Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant
08:52 GMT 04.03.2022 (Updated: 10:43 GMT 04.03.2022)
The Ukrainian Emergency Service said a fire had erupted outside the Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant overnight, with one of its units having been switched off. The blaze was later extinguished, with no casualties reported.
Russian forces have taken control over the city of Energodar where Europe's biggest nuclear power plant is located, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
The fire was the result of a provocation by Kiev aimed at accusing Russia of creating a hotbed of radioactive contamination, the ministry added.
"The purpose of the provocation by the Kiev regime at the nuclear facility is an attempt to accuse Russia of creating a source of radioactive contamination. All this testifies to the criminal intent of the Kiev regime or Zelensky's complete loss of control over the actions of Ukrainian sabotage groups with the participation of foreign mercenaries", Konashenkov said.
According to Russian MoD spokesman Igor Konashenkov, at around 2 a.m. local time, a group of Russian National Guard officers patrolling the territory around the NPP were attacked by Ukrainian saboteurs who opened fire from the building of the station's training centre. Russian forces fired back and destroyed the saboteurs' combat bases. As they were leaving the building, the Ukrainian sabotage group set the building on fire.
Konashenkov added that the radiation level is normal following the incident. The NPP's staff continues to work as normal and is monitoring radiation levels.
Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi confirmed there was no radiation release as a result of the incident, the safety systems of the six reactors at the Zaporozhskaya NPP were not affected by the fire.
"It is important to say that all the safety systems of the six reactors at the plant were not affected at all and that there has been no release of radioactive material ... importantly, in this regard, is the radiation monitoring systems ... are fully functional as well", Grossi said.
He added that he is in contact with both Russia and Ukraine at the diplomatic and technical levels about the incident at the nuclear power plant.
On Friday night, Ukraine's State Emergency Service reported a fire at a training centre outside the Zaporozhskaya nuclear power plant in the city of Energodar. The blaze was localised to 2,000 square metres, the emergency service later reported, adding that no casualties were reported during the incident.