Russian forces are threatening to deliberately blow up the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, stating that the site is already wired with explosives, according to Energoatom, Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear power station operator.
The nuclear power plant has been under Russian occupation since 4 March, when the plant was captured from Ukrainian forces during the battle for the nearby city of Enerhodar. During the fighting to capture the nuclear power plant, footage showed Russian forces firing heavy munitions towards the plant’s reactor and starting a fire in the complex, which had to be urgently extinguished.
Faced with a potential Ukrainian offence against Zaporizhzhia and pushes into the greater Kherson region, Energoatom states that the Russian general in charge of the garrison of the nuclear power plant had made direct threats to cause a major nuclear incident at the site.
“There will either be Russian land, or a scorched desert,” Major General Valery Vasiliev is reported to have told his troops.