Russia says Ukraine plans to attack Zaporozhye nuke power plant on Friday

MOSCOW: Ukraine intends to carry out artillery strikes on the Russia-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Friday, August 19, and thereafter  accuse Russia of causing a disaster at the site, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Thursday, citing media report. The predicted attack will be timed to coincide with the ongoing visit to Ukraine by United Nation Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the ministry asserted.

The Russian ministry said,  that it has observed Ukrainian military activity, which suggests an impending "provocation." said Russian military spokesman Igor Konashenkov, citing media report that Kiev has sent units trained in responding to the use of WMDs, positioning them to detect a radiation leak and perform a purported move to neutralise it.

A Ukrainian artillery regiment is likely to attack the factory on Friday from the city of Nikopol, the ministry said. The statement added that the Russian military forces would be held accountable for the strike's results.

Igor Kirillov, the commander of Russia's Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Troops, claimed in a separate statement on Thursday that his directorate has created hypothetical disaster scenarios for the Zaporizhzhia plant. He cautioned that a plume of radioactive materials from the site might go to Poland, Slovakia, and Germany.

Russia has charged Ukraine with repeatedly using drones and artillery to attack the Energodar nuclear power station in recent weeks. Kiev has denied liability and claimed that Russian soldiers attacked the factory in an effort to harm Ukraine's reputation. Ukrainian officials have also claimed that Russia is using the Zaporozhye facility as a military base.

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