Russian-backed authorities have hit back against Ukrainian claims that Moscow is planning to leave the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (NPP).
The administration of Russian-occupied Enerhodar has accused Ukraine of “actively spreading fakes” about a possible Russian withdrawal from the area.
Writing on Telegram, the occupying administration said “this information does not correspond to reality” and that Zaporizhzhia NPP “remains under Russian control."
On Sunday, Petro Kotin, the head of Ukraine’s nuclear energy provider, said the company had received information that Russian forces may be preparing to leave the facility.
Kotin emphasized that "it is still too early to say that the Russian military is leaving the plant,’ but that they are "preparing."
However the Russian-backed administration said that Rosenegeatom, a Russian state-run firm, has announced plans to “create a back-up power supply source for Zaporizhzhia NPP."
A source at Rosenegeatom is quoted as saying that the company took into account "the great importance of the power supply reserve for the nuclear safety of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, especially in winter."
The International Atomic Energy Agency has not released any information supporting Kotin’s statement and CNN has reached out to the UN nuclear watchdog for comment.
The plant and the area around it, including the nearby city of Enerhodar, have endured persistent shelling that has raised fears of a nuclear accident through the interruption of the power supply to the plant. Russia and Ukraine continue to blame each other for the shelling.