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Ukraine nuclear boss says he sees signs Russia may leave occupied plant

According to the head of Ukraine’s nuclear energy company, there are indications that Russian forces might be planning for the evacuation Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear plant. It happened not long after their invasion.

This would be a major battlefield shift in the Zaporizhzhia region, which is currently partially occupied. The front line has not moved in months. Repeated shelling at the plant has raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe.

Petro Kotin, head of Energoatom, stated on national television: “In the recent weeks we have effectively obtained information that they might be preparing [the plant] to leave.”

He stated that there were many reports in Russian media suggesting that it would be worth evacuating the (plant) as well as handing control to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations nuclear watchdog. One gets the impression they are stealing everything they can and packing their bags.


Russia and Ukraine were both the victims of Chernobyl 1986’s worst nuclear accident. They have been blaming one another for the destruction of the Zaporizhzhia reactor complex. It no longer produces energy.

Kotin answered a question on television about whether it was premature for him to discuss the Russian troop departure from the plant.

“All of the (Ukrainian) personnel are forbidden to pass checkpoints and travel to Ukrainian(-controlled) territory.”


The IAEA chief met with the Russian delegation in Istanbul on 23 November to discuss setting up a safety area around Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. This would prevent any disasters. Zaporizhzhia provided approximately a fifth of the electricity to Ukraine once.

Russia’s RIA news agency reported on Tuesday that Sergey Ryabkov (Deputy Foreign Minister) stated that a decision regarding a protected area should be taken “fairly quickly” the day after the meeting.

The Ukraine has retaken Kherson in the south, along with large areas of land on Dnipro’s right bank in Kherson. This comes just one month after Ukraine seized Zaporizhzhia province.

On Friday, the UN nuclear watchdog stated that Ukraine’s three nuclear plants on territory under its control had been and reconnected to the grid two days after being hit by a Russian missile. This was their first shut-down in 40 years.

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