We reported on Thursday that Enerhodar’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was being attacked by Russia and that one of its administration buildings was set on fire.
— Babak Taghvaee – Μπάπακ Τακβαίε – بابک تقوایی (@BabakTaghvaee) March 4, 2022
We then noted the AFP update that the plant was “secured,” that it didn’t appear they hit the reactors, and that no radiation had leaked from the plant.
On Friday, we are now finding out that means that the Russians captured the plant and there’s another problem, according to the staff at the plant. “They will be trying to mine the nuclear power plant and blackmail the whole of Europe,” Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP) employees messaged out and Ukrainian Independent Information Agency of News (UNIAN) Misha Gannytskyi translated to Fox. They also claimed that the Kadyrovtsy group — the forces of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov who are fighting for the Russians — were behind the attack.
Gannytskyi told Fox News Digital that Ukrainian officials fear that the Russians “can use this fact that they control the nuclear power plant to organize pressure on Ukraine, they can use that station like a big hostage.” The workers warned “that they are putting explosive materials near the buildings of the nuclear plant to provide pressure on the Ukrainian army, people.”
“We can say that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin already launched the nuclear war,” the UNIAN director general added. “We here in Ukraine are curious: what else Putin need to do before Western countries will be ready to protect our sky?”
Mark Savchuk, Kyiv-based coordinator of the Ukraine Volunteer Journalists Initiative (UVJI) described it as “like saying ‘ok, we haven’t destroyed the world now, but we’ll try tomorrow.’”
“Ukrainians don’t understand what Putin can do for the West to realize what is happening in Ukraine,” Savchuk added. “I think the West will only realize that he has to be stopped ASAP when he uses nuclear weapons.”
He urged the West to “stop doing all business with Russia, like TODAY.” He urged the West to sent “more weapons and money” to Ukraine “because we are effectively doing the world a favor” by “destroying” Putin’s army.
“Russia won’t be able to threaten anyone for a long time, because all of its army will be dead,” he quipped.
Yet Savchuk warned that, had things gone awry, the attack on Zaporizhzhia could have been “like Chernobyl 2.0.”
“Putin is insane,” he insisted. “Not ambitious and power hungry, no. China is this. No, Putin is literally insane.”
“Putin will go to the end,” Savchuk warned. “He will kill civilians, he will threaten a nuclear catastrophe, he will use nuclear weapons in the end (when he understands that he’s lost the war).”
This, if true, raises another big problem — not only because it gives them control over a big chunk of power to the country but because it could effectively turn the largest nuclear power plant in Europe into a weapon that could threaten people. And it’s already more than a bit crazy to attack such a plant when an errant shot could put so many in danger. They might think that they could bring down the resistance population if this happens. But it’s also one of those things that threatens beyond Europe, and as we noted, could draw more people into the war.
Now NATO has said they won’t be providing a “no-fly zone” over Ukraine.
.@NATO’s “core task is to keep our 30 nations safe. We do not participate in this conflict. And we have a responsibility to ensure it does not escalate & spread beyond #Ukraine, because that would be even more devastating & dangerous, with even more human suffering.”
— Dylan P. White (@dylanpwhite) March 4, 2022
So they’re not wanting to be dragged into this easily in terms of troops that could have contact with Russians, although members are providing weapons. But we’re still not seeing the U.S. cut Russia off, despite saying that they’re making Vladimir Putin a pariah. They’re not cutting off his energy support. They haven’t cut off all the banks from the SWIFT system, and they’re still meeting with Russia on issues.
However, this could be a sign of a new danger.