Russian spy service: Ukraine storing Western-supplied arms at nuclear power stations

Both Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of shelling Zaporizhzhia, and Ukraine says Russia is using the site as a de facto weapons depot

Reuters
Published : 23 Jan 2023, 10:28 AM
Updated : 23 Jan 2023, 10:28 AM

Russia's foreign intelligence service (SVR) accused Ukraine on Monday of storing Western-supplied arms at nuclear power stations across the country.

It provided no evidence and was unable to verify the claims.

In a statement, the SVR said US-supplied HIMARS rocket launchers, air defence systems and artillery ammunition had been delivered to the Rivne nuclear power station in the northwest of Ukraine.

"The Ukrainian armed forces are storing weapons and ammunition provided by the West on the territory of nuclear power plants," it said, adding that an arms shipment to the Rivne power station had taken place in the last week of December.

Asked about the report on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the claims demonstrated the importance of maintaining dialogue with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

However, Peskov said there were currently no plans for a meeting between IAEA head Rafael Grossi and President Vladimir Putin.

Ukraine's many nuclear power stations have been the focus of attention since the start of the conflict. Russian forces seized the defunct Chornobyl nuclear power plant less than 48 hours after troops invaded, and also captured the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant - the largest in Europe - early in the war.

Both Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of shelling Zaporizhzhia, and Ukraine says Russia is using the site as a de facto weapons depot.

The IAEA has expressed grave concerns over attacks near the plant, warning of the risk of a nuclear disaster.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher