MOSCOW, September 1. /TASS/. The landing of a Ukrainian sabotage group, whose goal was to capture the nuclear power plant in Energodar, took place half an hour after the beginning of a massive shelling campaign of the city from the Ukrainian side, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the military-civilian administration of the Zaporozhye Region, said during a Soloviev Live TV broadcast on Thursday.
"The landing began half an hour after the start of massive shelling, and two sabotage and reconnaissance groups landed on the bank of the Kakhovka Reservoir," he said.
Rogov added that the intensive shelling of the city began at 05:30. "And they thoroughly hit all parts of the city: the residential zone, the territory adjacent to the nuclear power plant, and a private area. <...> Today they are striking everywhere and the fire is intense, people cannot go out," he said.
Rogov suggested that the number of victims and casualties as a result of the shelling will mount, because at the moment it is almost impossible to conduct searches because of the intense firing from the Ukrainian side.
Earlier on Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that two Ukrainian sabotage groups of up to 60 people had landed on the coast of the Kakhovka Reservoir, three kilometers northeast of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, in an attempt to seize the facility.
Later, Alexander Volga, who heads the military-civilian administration of Energodar, clarified that the Ukrainian armed forces are blocked in the area of the settlement, and a combat operation is underway and it will soon be completed.
Earlier on Thursday, Rogov said that the anticipated International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) mission had come to Energodar from the city of Zapozohye to assess the physical damage caused to the nuclear power plant and determine the operability of the facility’s security and safety systems.