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Chernobyl scenario at Zaporozhye NPP is unlikely — analyst

The consequences of such a strike would be catastrophic, says Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council

MOSCOW, August 19. /TASS/. The Chernobyl scenario is unlikely to repeat itself at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Andrey Kortunov, director general at the Russian International Affairs Council think tank, told TASS on Thursday.

"I think that a strike directly on the nuclear reactor is an unlikely scenario because the consequences of such strike would have disastrous consequences, including for Ukraine, and, possibly, for some other European states," he said. "But at the same time, we must take into account that, of course, the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant is not Chernobyl. For 30 years, safety standards have changed significantly. And it’s not so easy to create a situation similar to Chernobyl."

Kortunov said the armed forces of Ukraine will continue to strike at targets around the ZNPP, seeking an introduction of an international peacekeeping force or a declaration of a no-fly zone over nuclear facilities.

"There’s a possibility of strikes on the cooling system, attempts to reduce the efficiency of the power plant, close and block some blocks," he said.

The analyst also said that if the situation develops extremely unfavorably for Ukraine, Kiev may launch strikes on the nuclear facility of the ZNPP.

The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is located in Energodar, is controlled by Russian troops. In recent days, Ukrainian forces have carried out several strikes on the territory of the station, some of them using drones, heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems. In most cases, the attacks are repelled by air defense systems, but some projectiles hit infrastructure and the area of the nuclear waste storage. The head of the military-civil administration of Energodar, Alexander Volga, said on Thursday that all services were put on combat alert in preparation for any provocations at the nuclear power plant by the armed forces of Ukraine.