Comment by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Ukraine's continued shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant
8 August 2022 16:32
Russia has long been calling on the international community, in various contexts and at various levels, to strongly condemn the Kiev regime's incessant military strikes against the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), while using increasingly destructive weapons systems. The power plant came under Ukrainian fire again on August 5 and 6. Thanks only to the skillful and prompt actions of the employees and of Russian forces, which ensure the comprehensive protection of the facility, was a major disaster avoided.
It is impossible to ignore the obvious: the situation is growing more dangerous by the hour. We regularly send updated information from the site to the IAEA, which is reflected in the Agency's Information Circulars. These reports clearly expose the criminal actions of the Ukrainian armed forces, suggesting their command has finally lost any ability to think sensibly. Clearly, they have also lost their sense of basic self-preservation. After all, by aiming artillery at operating reactors and spent nuclear fuel storage facilities, the Ukrainians are targeting themselves.
Treacherous murders in dark alleys are tactics straight from the Bandera follower's playbook, if not its centerpiece, and a popular approach during the Great Patriotic War. Only now, the people of Russia and Ukraine aren't their only target. In fact, they have taken the whole of Europe hostage, and apparently, they don't mind setting fire to it to glorify their Nazi idols.
We noted the UN Secretary-General's statement of August 8 that "any attack to a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing." He emphatically expressed the hope that those attacks would end. In turn, the IAEA Director General also emphasised his concern about a missile attack on Europe's largest nuclear power plant, pointing out the real risk of a nuclear catastrophe that could endanger people and the environment in Ukraine and beyond. He condemned any acts of violence directed towards the plant or committed in its vicinity, as well as against its personnel.
There is no way the heads of international organisations can turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Kiev. The Ukrainian military's actions must be sending chills down their spines. But one question remains: are these signals heard in Kiev, and is Vladimir Zelensky's regime interpreting them correctly? Time after time, the leaders of the UN and the IAEA fail to find the courage to openly name the source of the threat, revealing an unwillingness to point to the officials in Kiev. As a result, it sounds like those rockets and shells are just raining down on the Zaporozhye NPP and its employees' heads, on Energodar, the city located in the immediate vicinity of the plant, out of the blue - when they are flying in from the areas controlled by the Ukrainian armed forces. It is perfectly clear who directs the hand that aims the weapon and pulls the trigger.
Paraphrasing a popular aphorism, speech was given to diplomats - especially diplomats of such a high rank - not to conceal their thoughts in such a situation, but to express themselves as loudly and clearly as possible. We provided enough supporting information to prompt the UN Secretary-General and the IAEA Director General to openly and firmly point out to the Ukrainian authorities that hitting a nuclear power plant is unacceptable, forcing them to immediately stop attacking the plant and its employees, including their families and other residents in Energodar.
Sly reasoning and assessment, as well as diplomatic maneuvering that's totally inappropriate here, citing some imaginary equidistance, causes serious harm. The threat has grown so high that it is impossible to remain an indifferent observer. It's time Kiev is called to order, and it's time the leaders of the UN and the IAEA take a strong stance and show they can influence the source of the threat directly.
We certainly feel encouraged by the statements the UN Secretary-General made to support the IAEA's efforts to facilitate stabilisation at the plant and to ensure access to it. We hope the UN will now find no obstacle to organising an international IAEA mission to the plant, which unfortunately, has been the case in the past. In particular, the head of Russia's National Defence Management Centre, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev mentioned this on August 6. Had the Secretary-General's reaction been distinct from the outset, the current complications could have been avoided. Seeing his indecisiveness or even weakness, the successors of Bandera and Shukhevich lurking in Kiev will raise their heads and desperately hit the power plant again and again with full disregard for the potential victims or consequences.
We note the IAEA Director General's intention to go through with the planned visit to the plant. We consider it necessary to remind you again that just a few weeks ago, Russia did everything necessary for a successful visit. There can be no complaints against us in this regard. The fact that this international mission was never accomplished is entirely on Kiev, as Kiev is the only player that has a reason to keep the IAEA away from Zaporozhye. After all, once the international experts and IAEA officials see things with their own eyes, there will be no doubt about Kiev's responsibility for the attacks or any other crimes committed against the plant and its personnel. We know that through a joint effort, we will be able to put an end to the dangerous rampancy unleashed by the Zelensky regime.
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