Putin ally warns EU nuclear power stations vulnerable to 'accidents'

Putin ally Dmitry Medvedev warns that EU nuclear power stations are vulnerable to ‘accidents’ in veiled sabotage threat as Russians are accused of using Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia plant as artillery base

  • Ex-president and one of Putin’s most important allies makes thinly-veiled threat 
  • ‘The EU has nuclear power stations. And accidents can happen there’: Medvedev
  • NATO leaders warn that Russia risks catastrophe with fighting at nuclear site
  • UN Secretary-General called for demilitarisation and G7 ordered return to Kyiv

Putin ally and ex-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned European leaders that the continent’s nuclear power stations could face ‘accidents’.

The thinly-veiled sabotage threat came as Western countries raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe caused by Russian forces stationed around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power station.

Kyiv has accused Russia of firing at Ukrainian towns from the site in the knowledge that its forces would not return fire at one of the world’s ten biggest nuclear sites.

Moscow has shelled the area itself while blaming Ukraine without credible evidence.

Medvedev (second from left) deliberates with Kremlin officials and Donetsk People’s Republic leader Denis Pushilin (second from right) on Thursday during a visit to the war-torn Donbas

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant just outside Russia-controlled Enerhodar is pictured, Aug. 4 

‘They [Kyiv and its allies] say it’s Russia. That’s obviously 100% nonsense, even for the stupid Russophobic public,’ Medvedev, now deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, wrote on his Telegram channel.

‘They say it happens purely by chance, like ‘We didn’t mean to’,’ he added. 

‘What can I say? Let’s not forget that the European Union also has nuclear power plants. And accidents can happen there, too.’

Now serving as deputy chairman of the influential Kremlin Security Council, Medvedev was President of Russia from 2008 to 2012 while Putin was term-limited.

Medvedev appointed Putin prime minister during that period. When Putin was allowed to become president once again, Medvedev stepped aside.

A Russian soldier stands guard at the nuclear plant in early May. It is one of the world’s biggest

He took the premiership until 2020, at which point Putin nullified term limits and moved Medvedev to his current role.

The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency has said the shelling of Zaporizhzhia, Europe’s biggest nuclear power station, could cause a nuclear disaster, but has been unable to arrange the conditions for an inspection.

Kyiv and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have called for the area to be demilitarized, and the Group of Seven major economies have urged Russia to return it to Ukraine.

But senior Russian lawmaker Leonid Slutsky, chair of the lower house’s foreign affairs committee, said the idea of returning the plant to the control of Ukrainians was ‘a ‘mockery from the point of view of ensuring safety.’

‘And all the statements of the G7 foreign ministers in support of their demands are nothing but ‘sponsorship of nuclear terrorism’,’ he added on his Telegram channel.

Russia seized the Zaporizhzhia plant in March after invading Ukraine on Feb. 24, but the site is still being operated by its Ukrainian staff.

Kyiv said the complex had been struck five times on Thursday, including near where radioactive materials are stored. 

Russian-appointed officials said Ukraine had shelled the plant twice, disrupting a shift change, Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency said.

Russia ‘suffers its biggest loss of aircraft in a single day since Second World War’ in Crimea attack

Russia is said to have suffered its biggest loss of aircraft in a single day since the Second World War after its air force base in Crimea was attacked.

Satellite images show the extent of the damage at the base after devastating explosions ravaged the site on Tuesday afternoon.  

The broken and charred remains of several Russian fighter jets can be seen in the aftermath of the blasts.   

Analysts believe the explosions damaged up to 20 aircraft and demolished ammunition storage facilities.

This would mean Russia would have suffered its biggest loss of aircraft in a single day since the Second World War, reports the Telegraph.  

Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts – or that any attack took place.

But analysts at Oryx, a website that registers destroyed equipment, said four SU-30SM fighter jets had been destroyed, as well as five SU-24M bombers and reconnaissance aircraft.

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