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IAEA ‘afraid’ to directly name Ukraine as culprit for ZNPP attacks — envoy to Vienna

It is not customary to speak badly about Ukrainians, because, they say, they are victims, Mikhail Ulyanov said

VIENNA, April 12. /TASS/. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is afraid to directly name Ukraine as a culprit for the shelling attacks on the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), Russian Permanent Envoy to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said.

"I have a feeling that they are afraid. Ukrainians are, as it were, ‘untouchables.’ It is not customary to speak badly about Ukrainians, because, they say, they are victims. An atmosphere has been created that essentially encourages the Ukrainian side to act recklessly, as with these attacks," the diplomat told reporters after an extraordinary meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors.

The remark came as a response to a question about reasons behind IAEA’s reluctance to identify those responsible for shelling the ZNPP.

"Noting the quick and harsh reaction of the [IAEA] Director General to what was happening, we stated that a very serious shortcoming is that Rafael Grossi avoids naming the guilty party," Ulyanov said.

The Russian diplomat also emphasized that Russia informed all members of the organization about the situation around the ZNPP "almost in real time."

We give everything we can to the public space, we send out information circulars that are distributed among all IAEA member states without exception.

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.