Footage circulated on social media yesterday showed at least five military vehicles parked within the engine room.
Fears that an incident might occur today were fuelled by reports from Ukraine’s Strategic Communications Centre (Stratcom) that Ukrainian workers at the plant had been given an “unexpected day off” by the Russian command, with only operational personnel permitted to stay.
It added that representatives from Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear energy company, had “urgently” left the facility. An employee at the plant told the New York Times: “The situation is terrible, everyone is scared of tomorrow’s provocations announced by Russia.
“Russia’s Defence Ministry said they expect provocations from the Ukrainian side, but we understand perfectly well what that means. Even more people are trying to leave.”