First change: 08/18/2022 – 12:14
MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia’s Defense Ministry on Thursday denied that its army had stationed “heavy weapons” at Ukraine’s Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which was recently the target of a bombing raid.
“We would like to point out that the Russian troops in the factory premises and adjacent areas have no heavy weapons. There are only units there that are responsible for security,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The Russian armed forces are taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant,” the ministry continued.
He also accused Kyiv of wanting to prepare “a loud provocation” at this location on Thursday to coincide with the visit of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Ukraine.
In his view, Ukrainian artillery units plan to fire on the facility and then accuse Russia of causing a nuclear accident.
Since the end of July, Russia and Ukraine have held each other responsible for several bomb attacks on Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which raise fears of a catastrophe.
Ukraine has accused Russia of storing heavy weapons at the plant and using it as a firing platform for its army positions, but Moscow denies this.
Russian troops captured the plant in early March, shortly after beginning their February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
To ensure the site’s security and allow for an inspection mission, Antonio Guterres and the United States last week proposed establishing a demilitarized zone around the facility.
© 2022 AFP