Russia, Ukraine accuse each other of shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant (VIDEO)

A Ukrainian officer detailed the plan to attack the country’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on the night of October 19, although Kyiv never acknowledged the information, The Times reported.

Nga, Ukraine tố nhau pháo kích nhà máy điện hạt nhân lớn nhất châu Âu - Ảnh 1.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), by October 2022, almost every principle of nuclear safety in the plant had been violated. The administration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on the United Nations to remove Russian forces from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, but weeks of negotiations have failed to resolve the risk.

Raid in the night

According to sources, unsuccessful diplomatic efforts led Ukraine to decide to solve the problem on its own. On the night of October 19, a Ukrainian special forces team boarded a 12-meter-long armored patrol boat, carrying three heavy machine guns and Mk19 automatic grenade launchers, The Times reported.

Chi tiết kế hoạch đột kích nhà máy điện hạt nhân lớn nhất châu Âu ở Ukraine - Ảnh 1.
International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in early April

The task force is one of nearly 600 elite soldiers deployed scattered along the north bank of the Dnipro River, which flows through Zaporizhzhia province. At that time, these soldiers were given a single mission: to raid to retake control of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant from Russian forces on the other side of the river.

As of the night of the raid, Russian troops had controlled the plant for more than six months. Kyiv accuses Moscow of using the plant as a target to bombard cities and a large steel plant in neighboring Nikopol (Dnipro province), because Russia believes Ukraine will not attack a nuclear facility, according to the news agency. Reuters.

One Ukrainian officer who took part in the raid said: “The idea was that it would be an infantry battle. Russia (also) won’t be able to use artillery against us, because this is a nuclear plant.”

However, the officer added that Russia has built a very dense defense system, they exploit everything. “When we got close, they even deployed tanks and artillery, and started shooting at us right in the river”, according to the Ukrainian officer.

As the ships of the Ukrainian forces crossed a section of the river nearly 4,828 m wide, rockets from the US-supplied HIMARS high-mobile artillery system hit Russian positions on the riverbank.

When asked if the US had supplied HIMARS rockets before the raid, a US defense source confirmed to The Times that intelligence had been provided to Ukrainian special forces, although they denied it. provide specific details.

“We share information with Ukraine but they are responsible for the selection, prioritization and final decisions to contain the threats,” the source said.

Russia says Ukrainian soldiers crossed river to attack nuclear power plant

But then it failed

As Ukrainian forces approached the coast, Russia opened fire, forcing the troops to change direction. According to the Ukrainian officer: “We are constantly attacking Russian positions, from this side of the river to the other side of the river. Russia continues to shell us, shelling very heavily.”

After that, several Ukrainian special forces on smaller ships entered the Russian-controlled bank of the river and the two sides fought fiercely for three hours on the outskirts of the town of Enerhodar, which was adjacent to the factory. . However, Ukraine’s largest task force could not land.

“A group this large cannot be penetrated. With smaller groups, yes, we went ahead, infiltrated and fought Russia. But with a large group it is impossible, because Russia is hiding everywhere”, according to the Ukrainian officer.

The officer said his forces attempted to attack Russian tanks. However, this is very difficult because it is nearly impossible to fire anti-tank weapons while moving at high speed on the water. As a result, all Ukrainian troops were forced to withdraw.

Controversial attempt

Even high-ranking Ukrainian officials, who insist on Russia’s departure, consider it too dangerous to attempt to take back the factory by force.

According to analysts, Ukraine’s effort to regain the Zaporizhia plant has highlighted the risk of nuclear disaster for Europe at this plant.

Russia builds giant shield over nuclear power plant in Ukraine

When asked about the Ukraine raid, Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, said: “It is very, very important that we agree on basic principle that nuclear power plants should not be attacked during any circumstances”.

“It (the factory) should not be used for attack either. A nuclear accident with radioactive consequences will not spare anyone, ” The Times quoted Grossi as adding.

Meanwhile, Petro Kotin, chairman of Ukraine’s state energy company Energoatom, thinks the biggest threat to the plant remains the presence of Russia there. According to Kotin, Russia uses nuclear control centers as barracks, installs gun emplacements on the roofs of factory buildings and builds fortifications near radioactive storage sites.

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