Ukrainian drone downed over nuclear plant – Russia
Russian forces on Sunday shot down a Ukrainian drone that was apparently on a mission to strike the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, the Russian military said on Monday.
The drone was shot down by small arms fire and fell on the roof of one of the buildings at the nuclear site, the Russian Defense Ministry said during a daily briefing. The building in question serves as storage for nuclear fuel and waste, it said. The crash didn’t cause any significant damage, the statement added.
The incident was described as part of a pattern of Ukrainian attacks against the Russia-controlled facility and the city of Energodar, which hosts it. Ukrainian artillery launched at least eight large-caliber shells at the city on Sunday, with two of them landing near the nuclear power plant, according to the report.
The Ukrainian staff at the facility “ensures the technical condition and operation” of the Zaporozhye plant, the Russian ministry added. It said there was no evidence of radiation leaks from the site.
On Sunday, city officials reported a strike on a residential area by a Ukrainian 'kamikaze drone' and said another unmanned aerial aircraft was shot down by Russian air defense.
The Zaporozhye plant has been subjected to regular artillery and drone attacks for weeks, with Moscow and Kiev accusing each other of launching them. The Ukrainian government has also claimed that Russia has used the captured facility as a military base to host heavy weapons and from which to launch artillery strikes at Ukrainian positions. The Russian military has denied such claims, saying that there are only lightly-armed guards at the plant.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors are expected to visit the Zaporozhye plant this week to ascertain what state it is in, verify the security of fissile materials in the reactors and storage facilities, and generally assess the situation. The mission has been delayed by weeks over concern for the safety of the inspectors. Both the Russian and Ukrainian sides have accused each other of derailing the visit.