Fighting Breaks Out at Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant

Updated March 4, 2022, 10:00 am EST

Fighting has erupted on the grounds of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant – the largest of its kind in Europe – with Kiev accusing Russian forces of setting fire to a building on the site with artillery blasts before they seized the facility.

Citing Ukrainian authorities, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a press release on Thursday noting that Russian tanks and infantry had broken through a line of defense outside the town of Enerhodar, which encompasses the nuclear site, and were advancing on the plant. Earlier this week, Russia informed the nuclear watchdog that it had taken control of the area surrounding the facility.

Unverified footage circulating online purported to show the attack in progress, and was relayed by major US media networks including CNBC’s Shepard Smith. NPR also cited security video from the plant, claiming it showed “what appear to be Russian troops” at its gate.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia had attacked the power plant “from all sides” and called for an immediate end to the fighting, warning that if the nuclear station “blows up,” it would be “10 times larger than Chernobyl.”

Enerhodar Mayor Dmitry Orlov said in a Telegram post that the plant was “on fire” due to “continuous enemy shelling,” but provided no other details about the status of the nuclear site, according to Reuters. An unnamed Ukrainian official also reportedly told US Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) that one reactor was “hit” and rendered “inactive with fuel inside,” but also declined to elaborate. The official did state that a meltdown was “unlikely,” however.

The Ukrainian State Emergency Service, meanwhile, issued an update confirming that a fire had erupted in a “training building outside the [nuclear power plant],” suggesting it posed no threat to its six reactors. However, the service said the facility is experiencing technical issues and that some systems remain disconnected. Ukraine’s energy regulator also told the IAEA that it observed “no change” in radiation levels at the plant, the UN agency said in a tweet, adding that the fire “has not affected ‘essential’ equipment.”

While officials denied any major damage, a spokesman for the power station, Andriy Tuz, claimed that one reactor caught fire during the attack, according to the Associated Press. He added that the reactor is currently under renovation, but still contains nuclear fuel. At least three of the facility’s reactors are now offline, per a New York Times report, though the reasons for each remain unclear.

Later on Thursday night, the White House said President Joe Biden held a call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky and was updated on the situation at the plant. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also said she was in touch with Kiev’s energy minister, adding that “We have seen no elevated radiation readings near the facility” and that its reactors “are protected by robust containment structures.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also consulted with Zelensky about the incident, Downing Street said.

By the early hours of Friday morning, Moscow had fully captured the station, with Energoatom – the state-owned enterprise that runs Ukraine’s four major power plants – confirming that there was “no further fighting, the fire was out, radiation was normal and Russian forces were in control.” Kiev’s emergency agency said there were no casualties in the clashes.

The Russian Defense Ministry later offered its own account of the skirmish, claiming the fire was a “monstrous provocation” by “a Ukrainian sabotage group.” It said its troops were ambushed from within the facility’s training complex in order “to provoke return fire,” and that the alleged saboteurs set fire to the building as they fled.

“Zelensky’s prompt statements about the alleged threat to the nuclear power plant and his talks with Washington and London leave no doubt. The purpose of the provocation of the Kiev regime at a nuclear facility is an attempt to accuse Russia of creating a source of radioactive contamination,” the ministry continued.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has come under assault in the past, long before Russia’s invasion last week. A gang of Ukrainian ultra-nationalist militants attacked the station in 2014 to expel “pro-Russian agitators” it claimed were at the site, but were disarmed by security.

As fighting continues for major cities from Kiev to Kharkiv, Russian and Ukrainian negotiators met to discuss a possible ceasefire earlier on Thursday. The talks netted a limited deal, under which humanitarian corridors will be established to allow civilians to flee cities without interference by troops on either side.

A direct communication line has also been established between the US European Command and the Russian military “for the purpose of preventing miscalculation, military incidents, and escalation,” an unnamed US official told the AP. It remains to be seen whether the new comms channel or ongoing bilateral talks between Kiev and Moscow will help to bring an end to the conflict, as discussions have reportedly made little progress so far.

Kyle Anzalone is the opinion editor of and news editor of the Libertarian Institute. Will Porter is the assistant news editor of the Libertarian Institute and a staff writer at RT. Kyle and Will host Conflicts of Interest along with Connor Freeman.

33 thoughts on “Fighting Breaks Out at Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant”

  1. Supposedly there were some negotiations going on between the Russians and Ukrainians with regard to the planet which broke down and the Russians drove up to the plant and took fire from the Ukies inside with small arms and RPGs.

    There is supposedly a live stream of video being broadcast from there, by whom I don’t know as I haven’t seen it.

    Since most of the news on this comes from the Ukrainian side, just ignore all that because this is an exact duplicate of the same false flag they tried on the Chernobyl facility just last week!

    The real problem is that the UK is using this to call for another UNSC Emergency Meeting to get a Resolution for a no-fly zone.

    Now pay attention here: The goal of this is to get multiple UNSC Resolutions vetoed by Russia. Then that fact, along with the UN General Assembly Resolution censuring Russia for the invasion, will be used as a fig leave to “justify” more involvement for the US and NATO in Ukraine, either directly or indirectly via “proxy forces”.

    Note: I don’t claim any such intervention will succeed. I’m sure Russia has allowed for this and in any event has the military capability to handle it.

    However, this does raise the risk of escalating the situation to the point where it goes out of control and turns nuclear.

    It also proves that SOMEONE in the US and NATO administration DOES want a war between the US/NATO and Russia – and they have the influence to get it.

    1. As I’m obviously frightened about this whole situation, what do you think will happen today regarding the UNSC?

      I’m very scared this will escalate in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

      1. Yes, I’m concerned at the speed this is moving, too.

        It’s not the UN per se. The UNSC Resolution pursuit goes nowhere, because Russia has veto power.

        What this is about is accumulating Russian UN vetoes by NATO, so they can claim that Russia is “impeding the resolution of a humanitarian disaster” – same as in Serbia, Libya, Syria, etc. – so they can “justify” intervening.

        The only question is: how are they going to intervene?

        I heard a rumor today that some personal protection equipment company (gas masks, etc.) had an order from the US government for 10,000 units to be delivered within 48 hours, destined for Europe. The suggestion was that other companies that make the stuff were also being given huge orders for immediate delivery. The implication is that something is going to kick off.

        Of course, it could just the US outfitting a 10,000 or 20,000 man mercenary force in Poland, which is also a rumor. But it could be bigger than that. Who knows?

        1. Or it could be the most likely possibility: The US government is taking an advantage of an excuse to fulfill its main function, which is transferring money from the taxpayer to “defense” contractors.

          1. Yeah, but they apparently are actually shipping them to Europe, which, along with the short schedule, indicates imminent use.

          2. Indeed, Thomas. And that was my thought regarding all the “weapons transfers” of Stingers and Javelins. Certainly, the decision can and has been made to “reallocate” those weapons, though actual delivery to the Neocon Ukrainian puppet is highly problematic. But — jump to it! — the orders to the manufacturers for their replacement can be and must be executed smartly, because the Russians will be looking to finish liberating Ukraine as quickly as possible. If successful, the “kinetic” action will end, a delicate stability will return to Ukraine, and the new economic and rhetorical war will commence (which, I suspect, will hurt the Europe and the US more than it will hurt Russia … but we shall see.)

            The “unipolar moment” is coming to an end … thank god.

      1. That was then, this is now. Reportedly there were negotiations being conducted, probably about sharing the security operations with the Ukrainians, which was done in Chernobyl if you recall. Those broke down, allegedly.

  2. More terrifying news from the US MSM. Russia has carefully protected Chernobyl and other nuclear site IN AGREEMENT with Ukraine forces.This is another desperate attempt to rally more vitriol about the wicked Russkies. As if the one-sided demonising approach has not already worked!! Most of the world believes our lies already!!!

  3. Andrei Martyanov’s assessment as of Thursday…

    Ukraine March 3

    He explicitly says that because of the range of the Zircon hypersonic
    missile, 1500km or 850 nautical miles, it can hit US carrier groups
    from outside their air defenses, including the aircraft sensor net
    spread out to 250 miles usually from the CG itself, which basically
    shuts down US fleets operating in the oceans anywhere within range of
    the Zircon.

    Re Ukraine, he says Russia will be taking the entire coastline up to
    Transnistria. The cauldron around the eastern Ukraine forces is about
    closed and that operation may begin at any time. As for Kiev, he points
    out “how do you lose a war when you encircle the capital city?”

    Re the bigger picture, he says this is just the start of an overall
    operation to essentially cut the West off from the rest of the world (in
    concert with China.) The world will be a multipolarity with the US on
    the weaker side. Russia is in conflict with the US in several places
    such as Syria, which might be next up on the agenda.

    Worth a listen.

    1. Do you think the world would listen to evidence of Ukraine’s Weaponizing of nuclear byproducts and change their minds on Who the bad boy boy is in all this? Who is zooming whom?

      If Russia went to a Nuclear War Alert Status, has anyone considered WHY? What threat was discovered? Anyone?

      If Russia found evidence of weaponized Plutonium in Ukrainian NUKE plants, does NATO accept being dosed by it? 10X?

      The Ukranian government promised a ten fold nuclear event from an offline plant in service. That is when the rods get pulled.
      The Ukraine asked for being dismantled because the greedy 1% from here and there were designing war with nuclear waste.
      2 kitty

        1. Thank you.
          In searching online one can find the Ukraine petitioned to make warheads out of their nuclear waste a decade ago.
          They were denied.
          ABOUT a month ago Russia requested that NATO REMOVE ITS NUKES .

          THAT brings us to this Nuclear Rubicon of Ukrain that Russia has discovered and they went on Nuclear war readiness as a result. All of NATO is in bed with the Ukrain on thos violation.

          Nuclear war is innevitable as a result UNLESS NATO and the Ukraine get Honest and wage Peace.

        2. You are right. The Official push back is the Russians are goung to use ” tactical nukes and biowarfare” per 700 club and echo chambers.
          The stuff was exported to a NATO COUNTRY .
          Poland wants thos Ukraine jets gone now.
          Plenty of supportive evidence in casual searches to back up this big fat claim but our intelligence per our nation denies it all.
          WTF was Flynn and others doing in the Ukraine?
          Trump tried to leverage ZELENSKI for a favor. TRUMP now wants the Ukraine destroyed for not helping him. It is part of the design : embroil EU and Russia in a war to kill all diaspora hebrews Not in Palestine.
          It’s GENOCIDE.
          2 kitty

  4. Fun video from Richard Medhurst analyzing the stupid calls for a no-fly-zone in Ukraine. I like Medhurst, he takes no prisoners with regard to the morons in the US government.

    The West Pushes for No-Fly Zone Over Ukraine _ Risk of Nuclear Conflict

  5. Russian MoD responds to Zaporozhskaya nuclear power station incident

    “Last night, an attempt to carry out a horrible provocation was made by Kiev’s nationalist regime on the area surrounding the station,” he announced, claiming the Russian troops patrolling the territory had been attacked by a Ukrainian sabotage group.

    According to the spokesman, the Ukrainian forces had attacked Russian soldiers at about 2am local time, opening heavy fire from the training facility next to the power station in order to “provoke a retaliatory strike on the building.”

    The Russian patrol had neutralized the group’s firing points, but the saboteurs had then set fire to the training facility as they retreated, Konashenkov said. The blaze was put out by the Ukrainian State Emergency Service’s firefighters. “At the moment of provocation, no staff members were at the facility,” he noted.

    In response to the Russian Ministry of Defense’s statement, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky denied the provocation claims and accused Russian forces of having staged the attack.

    The mayor of the nearby town of Energodar had originally reported that the fire had been caused by Russian shelling, and that the blaze had engulfed the power plant itself, but the emergency services dismissed the latter claim.

    It was reported on Monday that the facility had been captured by Russian forces, and that staff were keeping operations going and monitoring radiation levels. The International Atomic Energy Agency has offered assurances that there has been no change in those levels in the wake of the incident.

  6. Graham is a major POS. Way past time for him to get the hell out of Congress (and take the rest of Congress with him.)

    Russia reacts to US senator’s Putin assassination plea

    Commenting on the remarks, Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov called them “unacceptable and outrageous.” He said it showed that “Russophobia and hatred in the United States towards Russia” had gone off-scale and asserted that Graham was de facto advocating an act of terrorism to further Washington’s political goals.

    Moscow was fearful for the future of the American nation, considering that people like the senator are at its helm, the Russian diplomat added.

  7. Russian lawmakers allow sanctions on foreigners violating rights of country’s citizens
    The sanctions options include an entry ban to Russia, the seizure of financial and other assets, a ban on any transactions with property and investments

    Essentially this cuts off the West’s population from engaging in anything that violates the rights of Russian citizen or organizations without risk of arrest or seizure of assets if they become accessible to Russian law enforcement via visiting Russia or Russian areas or running organizations in the same.

    1. “Essentially this cuts off the West’s population from engaging in anything that violates the rights of Russian citizen or organizations”

      Well, of course! Violating the rights of Russian citizens and organizations is something the Russian regime, like all regimes, wants to keep its monopoly on.

  8. The Chechens will straighten this crap out.

    Ukraine’s neo-Nazis hold 7,500 foreigners hostage — Russian Defense Ministry

    There are more than 7,500 foreign nationals who are being held hostage by force in various Ukrainian cities: in Kharkov – 3,189 Indian citizens, 2,700 Vietnamese citizens, 200 Jordanian citizens and 30 Egyptian citizens; in Sumy – 576 Indian citizens, 121 Chinese citizens and 100 Ghanian citizens, and also 60 Egyptians and 45 Jordanians.

    Mizintsev stressed that the neo-Nazis were preventing the evacuation of thousands of Ukrainians and many foreign nationals to safety in defiance of Russia’s calls.

    1. Sounds like genocide in a barrel and cause for international support. Poland is turning many away.

  9. Provisions of Budapest memorandum signed by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus,US, UK, and Kazakhstan in 1994:
    1. Respect Belarusian, Kazakh and Ukrainian independence and sovereignty in the existing borders.[23]
    2. Refrain from the threat or the use of force against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
    3. Refrain from using economic pressure on Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to influence their politics.
    4. Seek immediate Security Council action to provide assistance to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine if they “should become a victim of an act of aggression or an object of a threat of aggression in which nuclear weapons are used”.
    5. Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.
    6. Consult with one another if questions arise regarding those commitments

    Now that Putin has shown himself to be a liar and perhaps an unstable one at that, expect a number of other countries that have thus far refrained, to seek nuclear weapons. Putin would not have annexed Crimea let alone carried out his current invasion had Ukraine held on to even a small number of their 1900 nukes. This should be a grave warning to those “negotiating” with Iran in Vienna.

    1. Putin took the Crimea because 2,700 Crimeans went to train to be terrorists in Syria.
      RUSSIA went there to Syria to rub them all out: they were training to return and take Crimea war assets and just to the north, is said nuke plant.
      Russia prevented terrorists from becoming insurgents and from seizing the sum of all fears.

      The Ukraine is a ditto mission: there is a smoking gun in the Ukraine of Weaponizing Nuke byproducts like love-you-long-time Plutonium. Russia has announced it is defending itself from genicide, asked we remove the NATO NUKES to prevent accidental escalation. We ignored it all, shamed them as being empire builders and nutjobs. Putin is not popular but is also not a nut job. Russia is defending the faith which is to defend the living Diaspora.
      2 kitty out

      NATO looked the other way at Ukrainian developments and now backs the Ukraine in unison.

      A wise choice?
      A: NO.

  10. The Nazis and the Ukrainian Army are fighting each other, according to the LDR.

    Ukrainian army’s missile hits nationalist battalion’s headquarters in dispute
    The nationalist battalion Azov refused to obey orders from and coordinate actions with the Ukrainian army’s command, deputy commander of the DPR militia Eduard Basurin informed

    After the commander of the operational tactical group East, Lieutenant General Sodol, suffered lethal wounds in a clash with Azov militants and also their total refusal to obey orders from and coordinate actions with the Ukrainian army’s command, the headquarters of the special purpose detachment Azov in the southwest of Mariupol was hit by the Ukrainian army’s missile Tochka-U,” he said.

    Works for me… LOL

  11. Ukraine weaponized nuke-plant waste.


    Then send more meat helmets and weapons to Ukrainian. Pass around some iodine tabs because NATO WAS ASKED TO DISARM A MONTH AGO.
    The Ukraine is now a permanent war zone because western opportunists were arming the Ukraine with Nukes or the nuke materials to be disseminated.

    I feel much safer with Russia overseeing the plants and the radioactive products than I do about Ukrainians stewarding them.
    But I don’t live there.

    Ukrain could be returned to its people if they fly right.

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