Ukrainian intelligence officials have claimed Russia is preparing to stage a “false flag” attack on the Chernobyl nuclear power station.
In a post on Facebook, the Intelligence Directorate said: “The Russian forces are planning to create a man-made disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and the occupiers will try to shift responsibility for it on Ukraine.”
They added: “The nuclear power plant has now been completely disconnected from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) monitoring systems... The occupants refused to grant access to the station to Ukrainian repairmen.”
Russia have seized control of the nuclear power plant and Ukrainian authorities have said that the plant is now disconnected from outside electricity.
Ukrainian government officials warned of the danger of the power cut-off, but outside experts were more measured.
The International Atomic Energy Agency said that there was no need for immediate alarm over the condition of Chernobyl. They said that the loss of power violated a “key safety pillar” but that it saw “no critical impact on safety”.
Russian forces have also taken over Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe.
Ukrainian energy minister Herman Halushchenko said on Wednesday that 400 Russian troops were stationed at the plant.
A nuclear research institute in Kharkiv has also been shelled by Russian forces, an adviser to the Ukraine’s interior ministry said on Thursday.
The shelling targeted a building which has equipment capable of releasing radiation if damaged, Anton Gerashchenko said, but so far no change in the background radiation has been observed.
A fire broke out as a result of the shelling but it was put out with the help of firefighters.
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