Foiled attempt to hijack IAEA delegation?
On 31 August, handcuffs were snapped for the Zaporizhia officials. They are accused of embezzling millions of dollars worth of humanitarian aid. The Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Bureau, Nabu, together with the Sbu, conducted more than 20 searches in Zaporizhzhia yesterday. Some officials are suspected of having stolen what was found to have been stolen over the past six months: 22 sea containers; 389 railcars; 220 trucks. According to the Nabu agent, the stolen humanitarian aid was sold in Atb and Silpo shops. Investigative actions are currently underway.
Meanwhile, the IAEA mission arrived at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. At 08.45 on 1 September, the bombing of the Znpp site activated emergency protection and shut down unit 5, Energoatom reported.
The head of the IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi, said the mission was aware of “increased military activity in the area”, but intended to extend the mission to the site and meet with plant personnel. “There has been increased military activity in the area. We have come this far, we are not stopping,’ Grossi said, Real War reports.
At 2.31 p.m., the IAEA mission, accompanied by the Tigers of the Russian Armed Forces, arrived in the city and, led by Rafael Grossi, began a tour of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant; due to the massive bombardment, Energodar is currently without electricity, mobile communications do not work, most shops and other public places are closed and there is hardly anyone on the streets. In addition, following the attacks, the operation of the fifth unit of the power plant has been suspended.
The authorities in Zaporizhzhia stated that there was an attempt to seize the nuclear power plant by a Ukrainian landing force that was allegedly coordinated by British intelligence and MI6 from their headquarters near Kiev, and that the fighters involved had received military training abroad and had travelled from Warsaw to Odessa on 29 August. The 60-strong Ukrainian Drg attempted to land on the shore of the Kakhovka reservoir, three kilometres from Zaporizhzhia. According to the Russian social sphere, it is preliminarily known that the Drg had planned to take the mission members hostage and detain them in a booby-trapped section of the nuclear power plant, demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops to Crimea; the head of the Aiea mission has been made aware of the situation, as has UN Secretary General Guterres. The affair is to be confirmed.
Three civilians were killed and another injured in Energodar in the 1 September shelling by the Ukrainian armed forces. There have already been at least three attacks in the city centre. And this at a time when the IAEA mission is in Zaporizhzhya. The day before, 14 people, including the director general of the agency, Raphael Grossi, arrived in the region to conduct an inspection of the nuclear power plant.
The IEA mission showed and filmed the consequences of the Ukrainian bombing of Znpp. The head of the Zaporizhzhia Regional State Administration noted that the bombing of Energodar and the territory of the nuclear power plant ceased the moment the IEA mission entered the territory of Znpp.