Ukrainian forces take revenge on Zaporozhye, shell cities: Official
A member of the main council of the Zaporozhye regional military-civil administration says no threats on the part of Kiev can deter the region from its path of joining Russia.
The regular shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (NPP), as well as the local civilian population, is included in Kiev’s revenge for the imminent loss of Zaporozhye Region, Vladimir Rogov, a member of the main council of the regional military-civil administration, told Sputnik.
Rogov considered that "the constant shelling of cities and towns by the Ukrainian troops is dictated by their revenge, anger and impotence from the fact that the Zaporizhzhia region will never return to Ukraine."
"The Zelensky regime is aware of the inevitable loss of the Zaporozhye region, and therefore is trying to harm my countrymen as much as possible, intimidate and force them to leave the region, including blackmailing them with strikes on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant," the official explained.
Russian forces have had complete control over the NPP since March, but drone attacks by Ukrainian forces have regularly targeted the facility, leading Russia to request help from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to address security issues.
Such incidents have triggered fears of a possible nuclear catastrophe and were the subject of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council last Thursday.
At the beginning of the meeting, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi stated that there is no immediate threat to nuclear safety at the NPP at the moment, "but that could change."
Moscow affirmed it was willing to assist the IAEA with a potential visit to the Zaporozhye NPP. However, it accused on Thursday the office of the United Nations Secretary-General of obstructing the work of IAEA experts and preventing them from visiting the NPP.
Earlier this month, Russia refuted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's claim that Russian forces were using the Zaporozhye NPP as a military base, according to a statement issued by the Russian Mission to the United Nations.
No threats can make Zaporozhye deter from joining Russia
Rogov underlined that no threats or ultimatums on the part of the Kiev authorities or Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky can make Zaporozhye deter from its path of joining Russia.
Earlier this month, Rogov told Sputnik that the Zaporozhye Region plans to hold a referendum on joining Russia in September.
According to the administrations of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions, election commissions have already been created to hold a referendum on the issue of joining Russia.
It is noteworthy that the Kherson Region and most of Zaporozhye Region of Ukraine are now controlled by Russia's military as a result of the special operation that began on February 24, after the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) requested help from Russia amid intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops.
Local military-civil administrations have already been formed in the two regions, the broadcasting of Russian TV channels and radio stations has been launched, and trade ties with Crimea are being restored.