In the middle of the front line between the Russian and Ukrainian forces is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.
The situation in Enerhodar, which has been under more or less continuous attack in recent weeks, has been followed by the entire international community.
A direct missile strike on the facility could end disastrously.
This is exactly why it is militarily smart for the Russians to use it as a base. Retired NATO General Wesley Clark thinks so.
Think of the power plant as a medieval castle. You can put your horses there and they are irreplaceable. Clark adds that the Ukrainians cannot afford to fire on the power plant, because it will destroy it CNN.
At least, it’s smart, he thinks, to divert the public conversation.
– Now the Russians continue to run filter camps and continue to commit war crimes, while we focus on this – all coordinated by Russia.
The Russians will make it happen
The general’s analysis is supported by Tom Rosth, Principal Lecturer in Intelligence at the Norwegian Defense Academy.
He believes it is a well-thought-out plan from the Kremlin.
The Russians use the power plant to gain protection from military attacks, and as a means of leverage for strategic purposes, Rosth tells Dagbladet.
He explains that Russia, by directing the world’s attention to the nuclear power plant, and then letting IAEA inspectors in, is seeking to appear as the responsible party.
From the point of view of the state, it is also important for the course of the war to control the country’s energy supply.
– This way they can make sure that the Ukrainians are frozen this winter, and their occupied areas are heated, says the intelligence teacher.
He refers to the strategy as “reprehensible.”
It is a strategic and tactical concept, but still an unacceptable application, when you risk such dire consequences.
Ukrainians seize the opportunity
Ukraine and Russia blamed each other for the repeated attacks on the construction site.
– We know that shots were fired at Ukrainian positions from positions in the power plant, and that the Ukrainians responded near the plant with precision weapons, in order to strike the Russian weapons, says Rosyth.
After an inspection of the power plant earlier this week, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi determined that the physical structure had been severely damaged.
Several damages to the facility have been documented through satellite images. It was also documented that Russian forces stored military materials in and near the power plant.
According to the intelligence teacher, this may have been transferred in connection with the IAEA visit, so that it is not clear to observers.
Ukraine confirmed on Friday, a day after a large delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency inspected the facility located in Russia-controlled Enerhodar, that it had bombed the city.
It shows that the Ukrainians are taking advantage of the opportunity to destroy Russian weapons systems when they are available, says Rossith.
The hope now is that UN inspectors will be able to ensure safety at the facility is maintained, despite the war. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, is concerned.
– Grossi said during a press conference in Vienna on Friday that military activity is increasing in this part of the country and this worries me greatly.
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