Ukraine's military intelligence says Russia planning large-scale provocation at occupied nuclear plant

Ukraine's military intelligence reported on May 26 that Russian occupying forces at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant were preparing a large-scale provocation "in the next few hours."

"To achieve this, a strike will be carried out directly on the territory of the plant. Afterward, an announcement will be made about a catastrophic release of radioactive substances. Ukraine will naturally be blamed for the incident," the statement read.

According to military intelligence, Russian forces deliberately disrupted the scheduled staff rotation of the permanent monitoring mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on May 26 "to conceal their (planned) actions as best as possible."

The purpose of this provocation is to "provoke the international community to conduct a detailed investigation during which all hostilities will be stopped," allowing Russian forces to regroup and hinder Ukraine's ability to carry out a successful counteroffensive.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement on May 6 that the situation near the plant was "becoming increasingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous."

Russian forces have been in control of Europe's largest nuclear power plant since March 2022, using it as a military base for launching attacks on Ukrainian-controlled territory across the Dnipro River.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is also currently operating with only a quarter of its usual staff, raising concerns regarding its maintenance.