The Russian contingent is gradually leaving the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), according to the Ukrainian military intelligence report from June 30.

Three employees of Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation, were among the first to leave the plant. The Russians have been occupying the plant since March 2022. Ukrainian employees who had signed a contract with Rosatom also received evacuation recommendations. 

“According to the instructions received, they must leave by July 5. The desired destination is the territory of the occupied Crimea. As of today, the head of the legal department Mantsurova, chief inspector Shtatsky, and deputy station manager for support Gubarev are leaving for the peninsula,” the message stated.

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Military patrols on the territory of the ZNPP and in the satellite city of Enerhodar have also been gradually decreasing. The personnel remaining at the plant have been instructed to “blame Ukraine in case of any emergency.”

At the same time, Moscow sent a letter to the UN Security Council confirming that it did not intend to blow up the ZNPP. Russia’s permanent representative to the organization, Vasily Nebenzya, reiterated the Russian position at a UN Security Council meeting on arms supplies to Ukraine.

“Today, we have circulated as a UN Security Council and General Assembly document a letter confirming once again that we have no intentions to blow up this plant under our control and urge the UN Secretary-General and the international community to influence Kyiv to refrain from provocations against the ZNPP,” Nebenzya said. 

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 15 July 2024
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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 15 July 2024

Latest from the British Defence Intelligence.

Nebenzya also said that Ukraine’s accusations against Russia over the ZNPP were only an attempt to distract the world’s attention as the Ukrainians prepare for sabotage at the plant themselves.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov said in a June 23 interview with The New Statesman, a British publication, that Russia’s plan to blow up the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has been “drafted and approved.” 

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The intelligence chief believes Russia could raise voltage in the power supply lines to the plant, bringing about a nuclear accident at the lower end of that time frame. As Budanov said during the interview, “technical means could be used to speed up the catastrophe.”

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