Action by Russian forces is likely jeopardising security and safety at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in south-eastern Ukraine, the UK’s Ministry of Defence reported on Friday based on information from the British intelligence services.
“Following five months of occupation, Russia’s intentions regarding the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant remain unclear,” dpa news agency quoted the Ministry as saying.
“However, the actions they have undertaken at the facility have likely undermined the security and safety of the plant’s normal operations.”
Russian forces had used artillery units based in areas near the power station to target Ukrainian territory on the west bank of the Dnipro river, the report said.
It added that the Russians had used the area around the plant, in particular the adjacent city of Enerhodar, to rest their forces, “utilising the protected status of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk to their equipment and personnel from overnight Ukrainian attacks”.
On March 4, the nuclear and thermal power stations were both captured by Russian forces.
The plant continues to be operated by Ukrainian staff, under Russian control.
On Wednesday, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi expressed grave concerns about the physical integrity of the plant, whether all necessary repairs and maintenance were being done, and the security of nuclear material.