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West’s refusal to condemn Kiev looks like encouragement for attacks on ZNPP — diplomat

Whatever the Ukrainians do, Western countries are never, under any circumstances, ready to say anything negative about the Ukrainian side

VIENNA, April 12. /TASS/. West’s refusal to condemn the Kiev government for its shelling attacks on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) looks like an indirect encouragement to continue these attacks, Russian Permanent Representative to the International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said.

The main problem, of course, is with Western countries. Whatever the Ukrainians do, they are never, under any circumstances, ready to say anything negative about the Ukrainian side. And this looks like indirect encouragement of attacks on Zaporozhskaya NPP, which I also stated during my speech at the meeting," he told reporters after an extraordinary meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors.

"Time will tell how effective today's meeting was. I still hope that there will be no new attacks. They weren't there yesterday, they weren't there today. I would like to hope that this is also a result of the fact that we convened this event," the Russian diplomat continued. "Therefore, I would rate the last meeting with a ‘plus’ sign, without overestimating it, of course. But this is what we could and should have done in this situation."

The Russian envoy also said that Kiev’s actions puts at risk the lives of ZNPP civilian personnel and IAEA inspectors.

In recent days, the Ukrainian military has been attacking the ZNPP almost daily with the help of drones. On April 5, Ukrainian forces launched several drone strikes on the territory near the cargo port and the nitrogen-oxygen station. No damage to critical infrastructure or disruption of the nuclear plant's systems was recorded. On April 7, Ukrainian forces conducted three drone attacks on the ZNPP. A truck unloading food near the canteen on the territory of the plant was damaged. Three people were injured. One of the drones hit the roof of Unit 6. On April 8, a Ukrainian kamikaze drone was shot down over the plant, its debris fell on the roof of Unit 6. On April 9, the power plant’s press service said that the building hosting the world’s only full-scale reactor hall simulator had come under attack.

The ZNPP, located in Energodar, has six power units with a total capacity of 6 GW. It is Europe‘s largest nuclear power generating facility. At the end of February 2022, the facility was taken over by Russian forces. Since then, Ukrainian army units have periodically shelled both residential areas in Energodar and the plant itself using drones, heavy artillery and multiple rocket launchers.