Strengthening defensive positions at ZNPP: Rashists prepare for evacuation - Reuters

14:45 19 May Kyiv, Ukraine

In recent weeks, active measures have been taken to strengthen the defensive positions on the territory of the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) and its environs, carried out by Russian invaders. At the same time, information was received about preparations for the evacuation from the ZNPP, according to Reuters.

Observers noticed that new trenches had been dug around the city and more mines had been laid. Surveillance cameras at the station point north across a wide reservoir towards Ukrainian-controlled territory.

Over the course of several months, the Russian military set up firing positions on the rooftops of some of the plant's buildings. Nets were installed to scare off unmanned aerial vehicles.

Employees of ZNPP, as well as residents of the city of Energodar, confirm the ongoing activities and draw attention to emerging threats to the safety of the facility.

Information from four unnamed diplomats, cited by Reuters, indicates that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) plans to submit a plant security agreement between Ukraine and Russia to the UN later this month.

The head of NNEGC "Energoatom" Petr Kotin expressed doubts that the defenders would carry out an attack directly on the Zaporizhzhya NPP. However, he believes they may try to force the Russian troops to retreat by cutting off supply lines. Kotin notes that in recent months the number of Russian military at the plant has increased from 500 to 1,500 people.

Despite the strengthening of weapons and the construction of additional defensive structures, there are also signs that the Russian side is considering the possibility of withdrawing its troops.

ZNPP and the city of Energodar are connected by a main road to occupied Melitopol, which provides Russia with a land corridor to the occupied Crimean peninsula.

Kotin notes that Russian troops will be forced to retreat if there is a threat of cutting off this road. He also added that, in his opinion, the Russian side had already conducted exercises at the plant in order to work out the process of withdrawing troops.
"I believe that they are preparing to evacuate, so they are gathering all the forces in one place to be ready to take everything and leave this territory," he said.