RUSSIAN state TV has warned escalating conflict at Europe’s biggest atomic plant could lead to Armageddon with threats to unleash nuclear missiles on London and Washington.
Ukraine has accused occupying forces of deliberately shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station and a “suicidal” plan to blow it up with mines.
A Russian soldier stands guard at the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in southern UkraineCredit: AFP
Drone footage shows a military convoy at the plant, which Russia has used to launch artillery and missile strikes
Pro-Putin Ukrainian Yury Kot threatened Armageddon on Russia’s Channel OneCredit: East2West
Russia has also launched artillery and missile strikes from the plant, using it as a “nuclear shield” because they know Ukrainians can’t shoot back without risking a Chernobyl-style disaster.
The UN’s atomic watchdog warned the plant – with six reactors – is “out of control” and said Russia had “violated every safety principle” since seizing it in March.
There are fears Vladimir Putin will use a disaster at the site as a pretext to deepen the conflict.
Russia denies the charges and claims it is Ukraine risking nuclear catastrophe by shelling the plant.
Last night Moscow’s largest state-controlled TV channel gave air time to Yury Kot, the ranting leader of pro-Kremlin Ukrainian movement Parus.
He claimed it was Kyiv and the West jeopardising nuclear safety – and urged Putin to be ready to fire nukes at London and Washington.
“We all understand very well that [Ukraine and the West] are concocting a fictional reality,” he said on Channel One.
“We are dealing with the reality.
“We need to tell Ukraine and its supporting countries – Britain and America foremost…and make it clear.
“If Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is damaged and a disaster occurs, two missiles will immediately strike your decision-making centres.
“One in Washington, the other in London.
“Nuclear ones. And that’s it….there won’t be any more talk.”
But he was slapped down by another talk show pundit Aleksey Mukhin, head of Centre for Political Information, who said: “This would trigger the mutual destruction protocol, so I would honestly refrain from making such statements.”
Putin has boasted that his new Sarmat and Tsirkon nuclear missiles are “unstoppable” by Western defences amid repeated threats to annihilate Europe and the US.
Meanwhile on Rossiya 1 channel, another Putin propagandist warned of a “nuclear winter” caused by Russia cutting gas supplies.
Igor Korotchenko – a reserve colonel and editor-in-chief of Russia’s National Defence magazine – claimed: “The world is doomed.
“Millions of Europeans…are terrified by winter coming.
“It will be like a nuclear winter. An apocalypse before our eyes.
“Switching off the energy, lack of gas, marauders on the streets, hassles with the police and desperate people’s attempts to survive.
“There will be no food, no electricity, and no gas.
“And the main thing is there will be no hope.”
Yesterday Ukraine nuclear agency Energoatom claimed Russia had planted explosives at the Zaporizhzhia plant and was ready to “blow it up”.
And a Russian commander, Russian Major General Valery Vasiliev, was quoted warning it will “either [be] Russian land or a scorched desert”.
According to Ukrainian reports, he said: “We mined all the important objects of the [power station].
“And we do not hide this from the enemy. We warned them.
“The enemy knows that the station will be either Russian or nobody’s. We are ready for the consequences of this step.”
British spooks have said heavy artillery has been in use “adjacent to Zaporizhzhia power station” to blast targets across the River Dnieper.
Exhausted Russian soldiers have also been using a nearby town for rest and recuperation because its closeness to the power station protects them from attack.
The United Nations has urged Russia and Ukraine to allow experts to visit the complex.
Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, called the current situation “extremely grave and dangerous”.
He said: “Every principle of nuclear safety has been violated . . . in a place where active war is ongoing.
“I have been insisting from day one that we have to be able to go there to perform safety and security evaluation, to do repairs and assist as we already did in Chernobyl.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has called Russia’s actions around the plant “the height of irresponsibility” and accused Moscow of using it as a “nuclear shield”.
He said: “Of course the Ukrainians cannot fire back lest there be a terrible accident involving the nuclear plant.”
Russia said: “We repeatedly stated that actions of our armed forces in no way undermine Ukraine’s nuclear security or impede routine operation of the plant.”
Russia says its new Sarmat nuclear ICBM is ‘unstoppable’Credit: East2West
It is feared Vladimir Putin will use disaster at the site to deepen the conflictCredit: Reuters
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is Europe’s largest with six reactorsCredit: East2West
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