Moscow reveals details of latest Ukrainian assault near Zaporozhye nuclear plant
Russia’s defense ministry has confirmed that Ukraine has made yet another attempt to take over the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant late on Friday, revealing some details of Kiev’s operation, which failed.
Over 40 motor boats, divided into two groups and carrying over 250 Ukrainian special operations troops and foreign mercenaries, tried to land on the coast of the Kakhovka reservoir not far from Energodar, host city of the nuclear power plant, a ministry statement said on Saturday.
The attackers were quickly spotted and struck by Russia’s Su-30 jets and Ka-52 attack helicopters. Those strikes sunk some 20 boats, while the rest turned around and retreated. The remaining Ukrainian troops were than targeted by the Russian artillery as they tried getting ashore in the Ukrainian-controlled territory, the ministry said.
According to Moscow, the failed attack on the nuclear power plant saw 47 Ukrainian service personnel killed, including ten foreign mercenaries, with at least 20 others wounded.
Kiev’s special forces attempted to storm the facility despite the inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) being there, the defense ministry stressed.
Ukraine attempted a similar attack ahead of the arrival of the IAEA team at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on Thursday. It was also repelled by Russian troops, with the Ukrainian assault force suffering heavy losses.
Moscow has suggested that Kiev’s plan was to capture the nuclear plant and then use the staff of the UN nuclear watchdog as “human shields” to maintain control over it.
Russia has been insisting on international inspectors coming to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as it accused Ukraine of repeatedly shelling the facility in recent weeks and of risking a disaster that could affect many countries in Europe.
Ukraine claims that the Russian forces who have been in control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant since March have turned it into a military base and that they’re striking the station themselves in order to pin the blame on Kiev.
IAEA chef Rafael Grossi, who headed the team of inspectors at the facility, has confirmed that the physical integrity of the plant “has been violated several times,” but added that it was impossible to determine if the damage was deliberate or accidental.