The Russian government wants to include the region south of the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia into the “friendly Russian family”. Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnuellin wants to “help” integrate the territory conquered by the Russians, south of the Dnieper, into the Russian Federation.
He mainly referred to the nuclear power plant that lies there, in the town of Energodar. This is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, consisting of six blocks, employing around 11,000 people.
Khusnuellin wants to direct electricity from the captured nuclear power plant to Russia, if Ukraine does not pay. “Because electricity is not something you leave on the shelf,” he told Russian state news agency Ria Novosti. “In all liberated areas, the ruble must be fully introduced,” he said of the Russian currency. Earlier, Choesnoellin said that about the place of Kherson, which was also occupied by the Russians.
“If Ukraine does not want the power, the plant will work for Russia,” warned the Deputy Prime Minister. Energoatom is the Ukrainian administrator of the Zaporizhia plant. Petro Kotin is the president of the company. He compares the Russian politicians approach to planning a trip to march. “You can do that, but its never going to work.”
Leading energy to Russia through new power lines is, according to Kotin, himself former director of the plant, an immense operation that will take years and will cost a lot of money. It is an operation similar to the construction of the bridge between Crimea and the Russian mainland. “They dont have the time and money for that right now,” he says in his Kiev office.
Kotin also assumes that the plant will return to Ukrainian hands in the foreseeable future, after a military counteroffensive. He calls Zaporizhia “our pride”. “I know most of the people who work there. I understand how difficult it is for them.”
The complex is guarded by about 500 Russian soldiers who intimidate the personnel. “Their phones are being monitored. If there is Ukrainian patriotic material on it, they are taken to the basement that is set up as a prison. Or to a forest. Where they are shot above their heads.” According to the president of Energoatom, some employees are now without a trace.
Kotin is particularly astonished by the way the Russians took the complex, on the night of 4 to 5 March. “With their tanks, they shot at the installations. A grenade ended up in the block six transformer. If it had exploded, there would have been a huge fire, because there is a lot of combustible material there.”
Due to the poor quality of Russian ammunition, the world has escaped, according to Kotin, a second Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Cold blooded when the staff were, they arranged the reactor after the shelling. The entire complex is now running at minimum capacity.
There was much more unexploded ammunition. The Russians collected it after the conquest and detonated it on the site of the plant itself. Kotin has no words for that: “We couldnt imagine a country that has so many reactors of its own getting in its head with its tanks and shooting haphazardly.”
In Chernobyl, where the greatest nuclear disaster in human history has occurred, the Russians have also behaved frankly recklessly. Right next to the plant, which exploded on April 26, 1986 after a failed test, lies the worlds most heavily polluted nuclear soil. Russian soldiers dug trenches there and thus inhaled a lot of nuclear polluted dust.
“I have no explanation for this. What were their commanders doing?” , a desperate manager of the site wonders.
(Energoatoms presidents statements cannot be independently verified.)
The Chernobyl nuclear disaster was the largest ever nuclear disaster: