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Russian embassy says US tells lies in attempt to smear Russia

Washington's rhetoric pushes the Armed Forces of Ukraine to implement criminal plans, according to the diplomatic mission

WASHINGTON, August 19. /TASS/. The Russian embassy to the US on Thursday said the US in its attempts to smear Russia stoops to lies in the statements about the situation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

The embassy in Washington said it took note of the latest "baseless statements" by the US administration regarding the power plant.

"As per the State Department’s theory, Russia neglects nuclear safety issues, while Russian servicemen allegedly use violence against employees of the nuclear power plant," the embassy said. "No evidence is given, and again there’s no mention of who’s to blame for what is happening. It’s obvious that Washington stoops to outright lies in its unrestrained attempts to denigrate our country."

The diplomatic mission said that the regime in Kiev, lauded by Washington, "continues to systematically strike on the ZNPP using multiple launch rocket systems, barrel artillery and unmanned aerial vehicles."

As of August 18, there were 12 attacks resulting in more than 50 explosions of artillery shells and five kamikaze drones at the ZNPP and the city of Energodar, the embassy said. It also cited the Russian Defense Ministry as saying that Ukrainian forces intend to perform an act of sabotage that will cause a radiation leak, damage the facility that stores nuclear waste and cause a reactor to shift to emergency work.

"The purpose is to create an exclusion zone of up to 30 km and accuse Russia of nuclear terrorism," the embassy said.

The embassy said the US "irresponsible rhetoric is pushing the armed forces of Ukraine to implement their criminal plans that carry the potential for a man-made disaster that Europe will need decades to grapple with."

Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said earlier that Ukraine was readying a provocation at the plant that should happen no later than August 19 during a visit to Ukraine by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.