Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky is planning to blow up the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) in the run-up to NATO’s July summit and then pin the terrorist attack on Russia, thereby dragging the alliance into the conflict, Leonid Slutsky, leader of the LDPR party and chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, said on Wednesday.
"Everything indicates that Zelensky intends to lay ‘his last card’ on the table ahead of the NATO summit and blow up the Zaporozhye NPP. The objective is monstrous - to use a nuclear terrorist attack in order to place the blame on Russia and force the collective West to get directly involved in the Ukraine conflict," Slutsky wrote on his Telegram channel.
The lawmaker pointed out that tensions concerning the ZNPP "are building, including in European capitals."
"According to Rosenergoatom, a number of European leaders were in intense contact with Zelensky last night. The reason is crystal clear - to persuade the Ukrainian Fuhrer who has lost his mind after ‘the counteroffensive’ stalled, to abandon his plans. The general implications for all of Europe are also clear," the senior lawmaker believes.
Additionally, Slutsky said that "giving up their military support for the Kiev junta," which seeks to trigger a nuclear disaster, "would be much more effective than any words."
"Brussels and Washington have every chance of finding themselves among the sponsors of nuclear terrorists and they will be responsible for the repercussions from the ZNPP explosion," the lawmaker concluded.
The NATO summit will be held in Vilnius on July 11-12.
Situation around Zaporozhye NPP
On June 22, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed prior to IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi’s visit to Russia that Moscow was allegedly plotting a terrorist attack at the Zaporozhye NPP. He informed the United States, Brazil, India and China, as well as European, Middle Eastern and African countries about this alleged plot but provided no evidence to back up his allegations. Ukrainian Interior Minister Igor Klimenko said that Ukraine would hold drills and set up crisis centers "in case of a possible radiation leak from the ZNPP." In particular, the drills were organized in the Dnepropetrovsk and Nikolayev Regions, as well as in the Kiev-controlled areas of the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov refuted Zelensky’s allegation as yet another lie. Commenting on Zelensky’s remarks that Russia was allegedly plotting a terrorist attack at the Zaporozhye NPP, Renat Karchaa, advisor to the CEO of Russia’s Rosenergoatom nuclear power plant operator, said that the Ukrainian leader’s statement could serve as proof of Kiev’s preparations for an attack on the ZNPP, which would ultimately be aimed at dragging NATO into the Ukraine conflict.
On June 23, Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzya said at a UN Security Council meeting that Moscow was highly concerned about Kiev’s increasingly shrill allegations that Russia is booby-trapping the ZNPP. According to him, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission that recently visited the facility could see for themselves the utter absurdity of such allegations.
The Zaporozhye NPP, located in Energodar, is the largest nuclear facility in Europe. The total capacity of its six reactors is about 6,000 megawatts. In late February 2022, the facility was taken under control by Russian forces. Since then, the Ukrainian military has been periodically bombarding both the residential neighborhoods of Energodar and the area of the ZNPP, using drones, heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS).