Kiev threatens ZNPP staff with 'prison, reprisals': Official
A member of the main council of the Zaporozhye administration reveals that Kiev started threatening the ZNPP's employees with "prison and reprisals."
The employees of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) have received threats from Kiev that they would be exposed to repressions if the Ukrainian troops take hold of the facility, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the Zaporozhye administration, told Sputnik on Saturday.
"The Kiev regime is continuing to prove its barbaric and criminal nature. Attempting to paralyze the operation of the ZNPP, it began to threaten the NPP's employees with prison and reprisals," Rogov said.
So far, Rogov added, 70% of the Zaporozhye region was liberated from the Ukrainian troops, which still take hold of the regional center and the city of Zaporozhye.
He also revealed that a group of combatants from the Chechen Republic, who were fighting on the Ukrainian side, has been eliminated.
The ZNPP, located on the left bank of the Dnieper River, is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe in terms of the number of units and output.
The ZNPP has been under Russian control since early March and had operated without interruption. However, since July, drone attacks and shelling by Ukrainian forces regularly targeted the facility, leading Russia to request assistance from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to address security issues.
Ukraine admitted to shelling the vicinity of the ZNNP last August. "Targeted strikes by our troops in the localities of Energodar and Kherson have destroyed three artillery systems of the enemy as well as an ammunition depot," the Ukrainian army said.
On September 1, the UN agency sent a 14-person team to the site, including the head of the IAEA Rafael Grossi, to assess the situation at the plant. At least two members of the team were to remain there on a permanent basis to ensure the facility's safety.
Following the visit, the IAEA confirmed that the facility was indeed targeted and recommended that "the shelling on the site and in its vicinity should be stopped immediately to avoid any further damages to the plant and associated facilities."
Grossi, upon discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Zelensky, stated that he believes that an agreement regarding a secure and safe zone surrounding the ZNPP "is possible" to be reached by the end of the year.
The IAEA called on September 6 for the establishment of a security zone around the ZNPP following an offensive by Kiev.