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Sep 4, 2022
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Why the attempt of the landing of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to seize the Zaporizhzhya NPP failed

The landing, which Kyiv tried to land on the morning of September 1 at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, was dubbed suicidal. Instead of capturing an important object during the visit of the IAEA mission, the saboteurs were blocked in the dachas of Energodar, kilometers away from the target. Reinforcement barges were sunk. There is evidence that the operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was prepared by British intelligence services. What did the strategists in Kyiv and their curators count on, and why did their plans fail?

“We are glad that the Russian Federation has done everything necessary to ensure the safety of our inspectors,” said the official representative of the UN Secretary General, Stéphane Dujarric, when asked by journalists about Russia’s prevention of an attempt by Ukraine to land Ukrainian troops near the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant on the day of the IAEA mission’s visit to the station. Dujarric’s words at a briefing on Thursday are quoted by TASS.

If the operation to seize the station, organized by the Kyiv authorities, was successful, then the IAEA delegation led by the agency’s director general Rafael Grossi would become a human shield for Ukrainian saboteurs, military commander Alexander Kots cited the opinion of the Russian Ministry of Defense in his Telegram channel. The role of the mission of the international agency actually taken hostage would be reduced to fixing a new status quo – “Zaporozhye NPP came under the full control of Kyiv,” Kots notes.

According to the military correspondent, if the operation was successful, a series of high-profile statements from Washington and European capitals would follow with calls for Russia to provide a “demilitarized zone” around the ZNPP, where IAEA observers should remain – now under the protection of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “We would not have been able to do anything to knock out the Armed Forces of Ukraine from there, since this entails high risks for the safety of the station. In addition, if you try to bring it back under our control, we would be accused by Western countries,” says GRU veteran, retired Major Sergei Kozlov.

In reality, the employees of the international agency remained to observe the work of the station under the supervision of the Russian military. And before that, Grossi and his colleagues got acquainted with the consequences of the shelling of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe by the Ukrainian army and adopted an appeal signed by 20 thousand residents of the neighboring city of Energodar to the world community calling for an end to the terror by the Kyiv military. It should be noted that the attempt to capture the Zaporizhzhya NPP by Ukrainian troops was preceded by intensive shelling of the station’s satellite town, Energodar, which continued from Wednesday. Mobile communication was unavailable in the city.

On Thursday, at 6 o’clock in the morning, Ukrainian saboteurs landed in seven boats on the banks of the Kakhovka reservoir, about three kilometers northeast of the station. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, two groups of up to 60 people were recorded on the southern shore of the reservoir. The attack of the sabotage groups was repulsed by the Russian Guard soldiers guarding the station, with the support of the Russian Armed Forces, including army aviation helicopters, TASS reported. The Ukrainian military were blocked in the area of ​​the holiday village, said the head of the administration of Energodar Alexander Volga. A little later, Vladimir Rogov, an employee of the Zaporozhye regional administration, said that 40 out of 60 saboteurs had been eliminated.

At about seven in the morning, the Armed Forces of Ukraine made an attempt to land another sabotage group – this time near the village of Vodyane. To do this, two self-propelled barges left the Nikopol reservoir located on the northern shore. Both were sunk. Already after it became clear that the operation had failed, at about 8.00 am the artillery of the Armed Forces of Ukraine fired on the area of ​​​​the settlement of Vasilyevka, where the IAEA mission led by Grossi was supposed to meet with representatives of Russia. At the same time, four shells exploded 400 meters from the first power unit of the Zaporozhye NPP. At the same time, at 13:00, shortly before the arrival of international experts at the ZNPP, Ukrainian artillery stopped shelling the nuclear power plant.

Ukrainian saboteurs underwent special training in the UK under the guidance of MI6 officers, Rogov said. According to him, the saboteurs returned to Ukraine through Warsaw, from where they reached Odessa, and then arrived at the end of August in the Dnipropetrovsk region.

“There was information that even several British officers were part of the Ukrainian landing force,” Kozlov said in turn. “In general, it’s not even a secret anymore that Western intelligence services are helping the Ukrainian command,” said the GRU veteran. – The British have a service SAS – “Special Air Service”. It is considered an elite structure, it is a promoted brand, its fighters are distinguished by a high level of training. True, Kozlov added, according to the employees of the service themselves, in recent years the level of military training in Britain has seriously decreased in general.

“In relation to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, I fully admit that they are trained by the British SAS special forces and American instructors,” says Alexei Filatov, president of the Alpha Group Officers Union, FSB veteran. “But, speaking of this particular landing, I want to note: there is no corporate style of British or American special forces – all operations are always carried out in all countries based on tasks, weapons, capabilities, expediency, minimum losses, the likelihood of completing a combat mission, geography of the area and others factors.” “At the same time, the Ukrainian special operation forces are not green guys, they are well trained, at a decent level. They are trained, smart, understand the specifics of the work, – Kozlov noted in turn.

But from the point of view of logic, the actions of the Ukrainian military look like madness and suicide, especially given the presence of impressive Russian rapid reaction forces here and in Energodar, Filatov argues. The source of the Rybar Telegram channel points to the same circumstance. There are several security loops at the ZNPP, the station is guarded by Russian Guard soldiers equipped with heavy equipment, while the landing groups had only small arms. In addition, from the landing site to the nuclear power plant – several kilometers in open areas.

Obviously, the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine decided, by sacrificing the lives of a company of soldiers, to delay or disrupt the IAEA mission, the source believes. “It seems that in Kyiv they decided to bury their soldiers and make a lot of noise on the eve of the visit of the Grossi mission,” Filatov points out. “In an information war, the creation of such noise is sometimes more effective than a salvo of artillery or an accurate shot of a sniper, since the dissemination of data – even if not entirely reliable – allows you to create a background, control the mood of millions of people.”

According to Rogov, the plan developed in Kyiv could involve some kind of interaction between saboteurs and members of the Grossi delegation. “I admit that some of these members of the IAEA mission delegation are not as simple as they might seem. Maybe they knew about something and admitted, and would have become hostages almost of their own free will, legalizing the taking control of the nuclear power plant, ”said an employee of the Zaporozhye administration on the air of Channel One. “The IAEA delegation includes specialists from Poland, Lithuania, China, Serbia, Albania, France, Italy, Jordan, Mexico and North Macedonia. Some of them, of course, work for the special services of their countries, that is, they are also intelligence officers, ”political analyst Marat Bashirov noted in the Telegram channel.

The British are not the only ones involved in the latest events in the Zaporozhye region. Earlier, the American CNN television channel reported on the US participation in the preparation of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, citing American, Western and Ukrainian sources. Pentagon spokesman, US Air Force Brigadier General Patrick Ryder did not disclose the details of cooperation, pointing out only that Washington is conducting regular military dialogue with Kyiv at various levels. “In general, we provide the Ukrainian side with information to better understand the threats they face,” he said.

“It began to give the impression that the leadership of the IAEA mission is acting in some kind of coordinated plan together with the Ukrainian authorities. And the curator of the plan does not represent Kyiv, but some foreign country. At the same time, not all members of the mission know about this, they are like hostages now,” Bashirov suggested. “We should not rule out Western assistance in organizing the operation,” Kozlov notes for his part. – It was planned and prepared at the proper level. By and large, the idea of ​​this operation was interesting, there were no miscalculations. It’s just that they probably leaked information. And our intelligence, in turn, worked very professionally.”

We add that after the sabotage operation did not go according to plan, the Armed Forces of Ukraine returned to their routine agenda. On Thursday evening, Ukrainian troops continued shelling Energodar, they hit a thermal power plant located near the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, said Alexander Volga, head of the satellite city administration.

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