Russia raises stakes: blackmailing Europe with a nuclear accident at the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant

1. From March 4, 2022, when Russian terrorist military units seized the Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZAEP), the threat of an accident increased by several orders of magnitude compared to when it was under the legal control of the state of Ukraine. Russian terrorists in the Kremlin are deliberately blackmailing the world with a large-scale nuclear disaster to thwart the Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south. Also, they want to use nuclear blackmail to force the world to legalize the Russian presence at the nuclear power plant captured by the militants.

Russian terrorists recently, at the behest of the Kremlin, blew up a power line that transmits electricity to cool nuclear fuel and operate critical equipment at the plant. However, the Ukrainian company Ukrenergo very quickly restored the operation of this high-voltage line. Therefore, there are currently no significant technological risks of an accident. In addition, all six units of the ZNPP are in a shutdown state, reducing the risks of an accident. The most significant risk to the station's safety is the armed terrorists' presence and their mining of engineering facilities.

2. An accident at the ZNPP can happen exclusively due to the deliberate actions of the Kremlin, which controls the militants at the occupied station. Its consequences can be, theoretically, more tragic than the Chornobyl disaster since this station is the largest in Europe. At the same time, the safety systems at the ZNPP are much better; all units are stopped, so there are no technical prerequisites for an accident unless V. Putin and his entourage deliberately provoke it.

3. There have already been several IAEA resolutions on the need to withdraw all armed formations from the territory of the ZNPP and transfer it under the legal control of Ukraine. However, Russia ignored all these resolutions. The only solution to avoid an accident is to comply with these IAEA resolutions. This requires the combined efforts of all influential countries worldwide, primarily China and the USA, to increase pressure on the Kremlin. It is necessary to recognize Rosatom as a terrorist organization and declare all its management on the international wanted list, block all accounts of this company, and stop the construction of all nuclear power plants outside of Russia by Rosatom. It is also essential to warn the Putin regime that if they do not withdraw the militants from the nuclear power plant within ten days, Russia will be recognized as a terrorist country.

Volodymyr Omelchenko

Director, Energy Programmes

Born in 1967 in Kyiv

Education: Kyiv Politechnic Institute, Department of Chemical Engineering (1992)

Author of over 50 scientific works and op-ed publications. Took part in development and implementation of international energy projects and scientific research in international energy policy


1992 – 1996 — worked in different positions in the mechanical engineering industry

1997 – 1998 — Head Expert of the Division of Oil, Gas and Petroleum Refining Industry of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine

1998 – 2003 — Naftohaz Ukrayiny National Joint-Stock Company, in Charge of Oil Transportation Section

2004 – 2007 — Chief Consultant at the National Institute of International Security Problems of Ukraine’s NSDC

since February, 2007 — Leading Expert, Razumkov Centre. Director of Energy Programmes since 2013

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