Ukrainian Nationalists Mined Reactor at Experimental Nuclear Facility in Kharkov, Russian MoD Says
22:43 GMT 06.03.2022 (Updated: 23:28 GMT 06.03.2022)
The Russian MoD stated that foreign journalists arrived in Kharkov on Sunday in advance to record the consequences of the Ukrainian radicals' provocation, in order to accuse Russia of creating an ecological catastrophe.
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), along with the Azov neo-nazi militants, are preparing a provocation with possible radioactive contamination of the area near the city of Kharkov, eastern Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.
According to the ministry, the Ukrainian nationalists mined a reactor at an experimental nuclear facility at the Kharkov Institute of Physics and Technology. The SBU and Azov battalion militants are planning to blow up the reactor and accuse the Russian military of a missile attack on the experimental nuclear facility.
"The SBU and the militants of the Azov battalion are planning to blow up the reactor and accuse the Russian Armed Forces of allegedly launching a missile attack on the experimental nuclear facility," the ministry said.
On Friday, Kiev attempted a provocation at the Zaporizhzhya NPP in the country's south, according to the Russian Defense Ministry, accusing Moscow of developing a source of radioactive contamination at the plant.
The Russian military emphasized that a group of Russian soldiers was patrolling the area close to the station when a Ukrainian sabotage unit started firing from the windows of several stories of an educational and training complex located outside the NPP. As a result of the shootout, the Ukrainian saboteurs were forced to retreat, setting the building on fire before that.
The fire was eventually put out, and the radiation level was determined to be normal.
On Sunday, in a phone call with his French counterpart, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian military "continue to ensure" the normal operation of the NPP together with "the Ukrainian security unit and personnel."
"The physical and nuclear safety of the plant is reliably protected," the Kremlin said upon the conversation.
The Russian forces are also controlling the Chernobyl nuclear site to prevent Ukrainian radicals from conducting sabotage at the nuclear facility.
"All of this is being done to rule out the prospect of Ukrainian neo-Nazis or terrorists staging provocations with potentially disastrous results," the statement read.
25 February, 08:03 GMT
Notably, during Russia's military operation in war-torn Syria, the Ministry of Defense for years warned of provocations by terrorist groups and the so-called White Helmets using chemical agents to blame the Syrian government for them.
Russia launched its military operation in the Eastern European country on February 24 after the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics requested assistance in defending themselves against Ukrainian forces. The goal of Russia's special operation is to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine, with only military assets being targeted, according to Russian authorities.
Moscow has made it clear that it has no intention of occupying Ukraine. The purpose, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is to protect the people of Donbass, who have "who have been subjected to abuse, genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years."