"Intelligence services have received information that Russia is considering the scenario of a terrorist act in the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – a terrorist act with the release of radiation," the Ukrainian leader wrote on social media. "They have prepared everything for this. Unfortunately, I have had to remind (people) more than once that radiation knows no state borders. Who it will hit is determined only by the direction of the wind."
The ZNPS, Europe's biggest nuclear power facility, has been under Russian occupation since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war. Both Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of shelling the vast complex, and international efforts to establish a demilitarized zone around the plant have failed so far.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin dismissed claims of Russian troops preparing an attack on the power station. "This is another lie," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
"There were just contacts with the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] at the site – a very high assessment. They saw everything, everything they wanted to see."
In early June 2022, the Kakhova Dam collapsed and caused a massive flood in the Kherson area after it was sabotaged. Experts warned of catastrophic consequences if the dam's collapse interfered with the ZNPS' essential water or power supplies. Even the IAEA itself warned that a prolonged absence of cooling water at the plant would disrupt the work of its emergency diesel generators.
Petro Kotin, head of the state-owned company Energoatom that operates ZNPS, nevertheless assured that the drop in water levels at the dam would not affect the level of water in cooling ponds at the plant's spent nuclear fuel storage pools. The ZNPS has six nuclear reactors – five in cold shutdown and one in hot shutdown – and is currently being run by a skeleton crew.
Meanwhile, Russia Today (RT) reported that the U.S. is monitoring the ZNPS. However, it sees no signs of an imminent threat to the facility.
"I'm not going to get into specific intelligence," said John Kirby, spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council. His remarks came as a response to questions about Kyiv's claims. "We have the ability to monitor radioactivity near the plant. We just haven't seen any indication that (a) threat is imminent. But we're watching it very, very closely."
IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi also contradicted Ukraine's claims following his visit to the ZNPS. He stated in a report: "The IAEA is aware of reports of mines having been placed near the cooling pond. No mines were observed at the site during the director-general's visit, including the cooling pond."
The remarks by both Kirby and Grossi did not align with the Ukrainian leader's claim of Russia planning to attack the plant. Zelensky's aide Mikhail Podoliak said Moscow had mined the cooling pond at the facility. He also claimed that Russian troops were preparing to carry out "a large-scale terrorist attack [to] stop the Ukrainian counteroffensive and create a depopulated sanitary gray zone."
On the other side, Moscow has accused Ukrainian forces of repeatedly targeting the ZNPS with artillery strikes and attack drones. It has also accused Kyiv of attempting a commando raid to seize the facility at one point. According to RT, the most recent attack on the plant happened on June 9 – with Russian air defenses reportedly downing three drones headed for the ZNPS. (Related: Professor Sachs: 'Ukraine needs to stop bombing nuclear power plant and blaming it on Russia.')
Visit UkraineWitness.com for more stories about attacks on the ZNPS amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
Watch Newsmax's Carl Higbie discussing the ZNPS being at risk after the Kakhova Dam's destruction below.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.