Russia said on Tuesday Ukrainians were behind the blowing up of high-voltage power lines used by one of its nuclear power plants located in a region bordering eastern Ukraine last week.
Moscow said Ukrainian 'saboteurs' were behind the attack on power lines for the Kursk Nuclear Power Plant. The blasts took place on August 4, 9, and 12 and they caused the "disruption of the technological process of the nuclear power plant's functioning," Russia's Federal Security Service said.
Concerns Over Zaporozhye Nuclear Plant
The Russian accusation against Ukraine comes amid rising fears in the international community over the safety of the Zaporozhye nuclear plant in southern Ukraine. Moscow and Kyiv have blamed each other for the escalation in the region. The International Atomic Energy Agency has said the situation was "very alarming", adding that the worsening conflict could trigger a nuclear disaster.
Also on Tuesday, Russia said armed groups linked to the Ukraine regime set off a series of explosions at an arms depot in Crimea. The attack happened days after a series of explosions hit a Russian-operated air base in Crimea last week.
Rising Number of Incidents in Crimea
Moscow had said last week's incident was an accident but said saboteurs were behind the ammunition depot blasts. Analysts see the rising number of incidents in Russia-annexed Crimea as a sign that the counter-offensive by Kyiv is gaining pace in the region. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Moscow is using the region now as the base for its Black Sea fleet. Crimea is instrumental in Russia's war strategy as it ensures Russia's main supply route for the forces fighting in Ukraine are maintained.
The Russian defense ministry said nobody sustained injuries in the ammunition depot blast and that security has been beefed up. However severe damage was reported in the power lines that supply electricity to railway infrastructure and residential housing in northern Crimea.
A senior Ukraine government figure took to Twitter celebrating the attack on the Russian facility. "The morning near Dzhankoi began with explosions ...A reminder: Crimea (as a) normal country is about the Black Sea, mountains, recreation and tourism, but Crimea occupied by Russians is about warehouse explosions and high risk of death for invaders and thieves. Demilitarisation in action," Ukraine's presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak wrote, according to Reuters.