The head of Ukraine’s nuclear energy provider says the company has received information that the Russian military is preparing to leave the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
“We are now seeing signs that the Russian aggressor is preparing to leave,” Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, said in a statement on Sunday.
“First of all, a lot of publications began to appear in the Russian media that Zaporizhzhya NPP should probably be left alone, maybe it should be handed over to the (International Atomic Energy Agency) for control,” Kotin said in an interview. Ukrainian media Sunday. “It looks like, you know, they’re packing and stealing whatever they can find.”
The IAEA has not released any information in support of Kotin’s statement, and CNN has contacted the UN nuclear watchdog for comment.
The head of Energoatom stressed that “it is still too early to say that Russian forces are leaving the plant,” but that they are making “preparations.”
Kotin also claimed that the Russians “stuffed everything into the Zaporizhia NPP site – both military equipment and personnel, trucks, probably with weapons and explosives,” and that they mined the plant’s territory.
remember: Zaporizhzhya is home to Europe’s largest nuclear power facility, which provided up to 20% of the country’s electricity before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February. It has been under Russian control since March.
The plant and its surrounding area, including the nearby town of Enrhodar, have come under frequent shelling, raising fears of a nuclear accident due to interruptions in the power supply to the plant. Russia and Ukraine are blaming each other for the shelling.