Zaporizhzhia Again

There’s been a flurry of news this past week about Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

It’s impossible to tell what is going on. Both Ukraine and Russia have raised alarms of various kinds since Russia occupied the plant, and most have not played out. It’s to both sides’ advantage to overplay the dangers.

That said, there are real dangers. I’ve written about them. This article is a good summary. And given Russia’s actions over the past six months, it’s hard to rule out any possibility, although so far their actions have been far less than their warnings.

My feeling about the current uproar is that it’s a Russian propaganda operation to distract from Ukraine’s ability to strike inside Crimea. That bodes ill for Russia – it opens another front while Ukraine is working on Kherson, and the uncertainty of how much Ukraine can do in Crimea has got to be stunning. Reports are that Russia has moved planes and helicopters back from the attacks, some of them to Russia.

So I’m not going to analyze (or even present) some of the tweets and claims that are out there. There’s too much, and it probably won’t all play out. If you want to share stuff in the comments, I’ll try to respond.

Cross-posted to Lawyers, Guns & Money


  1. tuckerfreemanc7ba45f0a4 · August 18

    Hi Cheryl,

    What do you make of the news that Rosatom employees were told not to come into work at ZNPP tomorrow? I assume those who were directed are not crucial to the operation of the plant but wanted to know your thoughts on it.


    • Cheryl Rofer · August 18

      I agree they are probably not critical to the operation. That means they can stay home while the Ukrainians keep it operating, which makes this gesture cost-free for the Russians as it raises concerns in others. I suspect it’s part of the Russian propaganda operation, but Russia is so erratic, we can’t be sure.


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