Ukraine’s intel chief confirms three attempts to liberate Zaporizhzhia NPP

Ukraine’s intel chief confirms three attempts to liberate Zaporizhzhia NPP

The head of the Main Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, confirmed that his agency’s special operations teams attempted three times to land on the left bank of the Dnipro in order to create a bridgehead for the liberation of occupied Enerhodar and the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

The official spoke with NV, Ukrinform reports.

Last year, in August, GUR soldiers crossed the then still full-water Kakhovka Reservoir in the Enerhodar area. Their goal was to create a bridgehead on the left bank suitable for further liberation of the city. Volodymyr, a participant in that operation, had earlier told NV about that operation on condition of anonymity.

At that time, the Russians sought to connect the ZNPPP to their energy grid, which would help Russia gain a foothold in the region.

Read also: Budanov discusses ways to liberate Crimea with British expert on Russia

Fighters landed near Enerhodar, but failed to achieve their objective. According to Volodymyr, they lacked artillery support. Under the pressure of the superior occupation forces, the Ukrainians retreated. Prior to that attempt, defense intelligence units had no experience in running such operations.

At the same time, Budanov and his men did not abandon the idea of liberating Enerhodar and the ZNPP. The GUR forces tried to land on the left bank of the Dnipro twice more. Several hundred people participated in the latest of these attempts, writes NV.

"But as the GUR gained experience in landing operations, so the Russians in the area became more and more prepared. And at the moment of the third landing operation, they deployed heavy military hardware, including tanks, to the very bank," the article says.

So the GUR fighters failed to gain a foothold again, being forced to retreat. Budanov admitted that the success of the three operations was hindered by both commanding and executive shortcomings. However, the Russians did not dare to connect the ZNPP to their energy system, the head of intelligence emphasized.

"Also, the operation played another role: it provided practical skills for everyone – from the command staff to the fighters – how to operate on the water. This experience was very well applied and used later on. For example, during the landing in Crimea," Budanov noted.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, 822 Ukrainian nuclear power plant personnel remain at the ZNPP.

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