Russian propaganda spreading fakes about Ukraine's plans to blow up occupied ZNPP

Russian propaganda spreading fakes about Ukraine's plans to blow up occupied ZNPP

Russia is the only terrorist in the world that holds a nuclear power plant hostage

Russian propaganda in pro-Kremlin and foreign-language media outlets, YouTube, Telegram channels and the X social media platform launched a propaganda information campaign related to the fake narrative that Ukraine allegedly wants to blow up the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe.

This is happening against the background of a Russian provocation on April 4, when the ZNPP was left reliant on a single power line after Russian artillery shelling.

On April 5, the Russian outlet TASS reported that Ukraine was allegedly behind the attack on the ZNPP, which launched strike drones at the plant.

This is a fake. This message was not confirmed by any fact. The source of the message is a fake Telegram channel of the occupied nuclear power plant, which is run by the Russians themselves.

Three days later, on April 8, the RIA Novosti news agency released a report that Ukraine allegedly "dreams" of blowing up the ZNPP. The agency quotes a Russian member of the State Duma and part-time propagandist, Alexei Zhuravlyov, who claims that Ukraine allegedly wants to accuse Russia of blowing up the ZNPP.

This is a fake. Zhuravlyov is an ordinary Russian propagandist who is a regular guest on Olga Skabeeva's shows. Russia's accusations are not supported by facts.

According to the IAEA, from April 5 to 9, their specialists recorded probable drone attacks on the ZNPP. The IAEA also emphasized that every time they appealed to the Russian occupiers with a request for immediate access to the sites of the explosions, but the invaders refused to let independent international experts there.

The IAEA also does not have a single fact that the station could have been attacked by Ukrainian drones.

In addition to internal Russian sources, Russia also used its international propaganda pool to spread fake news about Ukraine's plans to blow up the nuclear power plant.

In particular, Russian media outlets are spreading a news story by the small Croatian news portal Advence. The story claims, without any evidence, that Ukraine is allegedly losing the war against Russia and therefore can blow up the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. The "author" of the story does not provide any evidence as to how or why Ukraine should do this.

This is a fake. This material is the subjective opinion of the "author," which is not based on any facts. And the "author" of the article does not exist. On the official website, you can find articles by 12 authors, ten of whom stopped publishing materials by 2022. In fact, all the articles that have appeared on the website over the last two years were published under the names of D. Marjanović and Antun Roša.

There are no photos of these "authors" on the website, nor any information about them. These "journalists" do not have pages on social media. It is not clear if anyone actually works for Advance. According to the Croatian business portal Infobiz, only one person worked at Advence in 2022.

But this does not prevent Russian propaganda from distributing materials signed by D. Marjanović and Antun Roša in their own media. This is not surprising, because only anti-Ukrainian and anti-Israel materials are published on Advence, which do not differ in any way from the "opinions" of ordinary Russian political scientists and propagandists.

Irish journalist Chay Bowes also writes about an alleged drone "attack" on the ZNPP on his X account. In his post, he adds a screenshot from a video called "Zaporizhzhia Nuclear PP under Kiev Attack."

This is a fake. Chay Bowes, like all the other fakers mentioned above, does not provide any evidence of Ukraine's involvement in this attack. In addition, he posted a screenshot of a video published by the Indonesian YouTube channel Tribun Timur, which actively spreads Russian propaganda.

The video itself is dated October 2022. Then, for the first time, Russian propaganda tried to accuse Ukraine of plans to blow up the ZNPP. Therefore, Tribun Timur released a propaganda video, which Chay Bowes used in 2024 in a similar disinformation campaign against Ukraine.

The so-called Irish journalist himself actively spreads narratives consonant with Russian ones. He accuses Ukrainians of Nazism and the extermination of ethnic Russians, and believes that the Maidan was organized by American agents.

EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said that Ukraine was not involved in the attack on the ZNPP and that only Russia is creating problems. He emphasized that the drone attack on the Zaporizhzhia NPP increases the risk of a nuclear accident. "Such attacks must stop. Russia should withdraw from Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant," Borrell said on April 9.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate also placed responsibility for the incidents on the Russian side and emphasized that the aggressor state, by conducting hostilities at the largest nuclear facility on the European continent, is once again endangering the Ukrainian station, the civilian population and the environment of the whole of Europe.

"Russian strikes, in particular simulated ones, on the Ukrainian nuclear power plant, the placement of troops and weapons there and the mining of the ZNPP's facilities have long been a known and permanent criminal practice of the occupiers," Andrii Yusov, a representative of the Ukrainian military intelligence agency, said in a comment to the Ukrainska Pravda news outlet.

Ukraine's state-run nuclear power operator, Energoatom, emphasized that Russia is manipulating the opinion of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the world community, trying to accuse Ukraine of violating nuclear safety at the ZNPP. The agency once again emphasized that Russia, by occupying a strategic nuclear facility in Ukraine, violated all current norms of international law in the field of nuclear safety.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine also responded to this provocation. The agency's official Facebook page states that Russian terrorists are going to carry out a false-flag provocation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

"Russia is the only terrorist in the world that holds a nuclear power plant hostage and uses it to blackmail Ukraine and the whole world. No one else, except for Russian terrorists, has brought the world so close to the edge of a deliberate radiation disaster," the statement said.

Andriy Olenin

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