MELITOPOL, September 2. /TASS/. The Ukrainian authorities deliberately kept the UN nuclear watchdog’s mission in Kiev for a longer time to plot a provocation at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP), Vladimir Rogov, member of the main council of the Zaporozhye regional military-civilian administration, told TASS on Friday.
"[Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky kept the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] delegation in Kiev for an extra day. That is, no stopovers or overnight accommodations were planned and they [the mission members] were due to have set off for the [Zaporozhye] nuclear station immediately. Nonetheless, this did happen. But why?" the official pondered.
"This is because they [Ukraine’s military] did not have enough time for combat coordination between the SSO [Ukrainian special operations forces] and the GUR [Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s Main Directorate of Intelligence], which were already present on the right bank of the Dnieper River in Nikopol in the Dnepropetrovsk Region at that time, preparing for an assault [on the Zaporozhye NPP]," Rogov said.
Upon crossing the frontline in the Zaporozhye Region, the IAEA delegation was also delayed by the Ukrainian side, which was yet unaware of the outcome of the Kiev regime’s subversive operation aiming to seize the nuke plant, he said.
As the Russian Defense Ministry reported on September 1, two Ukrainian sabotage groups numbering up to 60 militants landed on the shore of the Kakhovskoye reservoir three kilometers north-east of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant from high-powered speedboats in an attempt to take the facility over. The Ukrainian saboteurs were hemmed in around a local hamlet and their breakthrough attempt was foiled.
The Russian Defense Ministry reported later on September 1 that the UN nuclear watchdog’s team of experts led by IAEA Chief Rafael Grossi would have become the Ukrainian saboteurs’ human shields, had the Kiev regime succeeded in its scheme to seize the nuke plant.
The IAEA mission left Kiev-controlled territory and crossed into the liberated area of the Zaporozhye Region on September 1 to inspect the nuclear facility. The mission is set to assess the physical damage done to the nuke plant, determine the working capacity of its safety and security systems, appraise the labor conditions there and take urgent measures to guarantee the Zaporozhye NPP’s safety.