May 25, 2023 13:10 UTC
  • Russia arrests two Ukrainians suspected of plotting to attack nuclear power station lines

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says it has arrested two Ukrainians suspected of plotting an attack on nuclear power plants.

In a statement on Thursday, the security service said that earlier this month the two Ukrainian saboteurs had planned to blow up the power lines of two nuclear power stations in an attempt to shut down the reactors on the eve of this month's Victory Day holiday.

"A sabotage group from the Ukrainian foreign intelligence service ... tried to blow up some 30 power lines of nuclear power plants in Leningrad and Kalinin" in early May with the aim of crippling the nuclear reactors at the plants, the FSB said, as citied by Russian news agencies.

It added that the saboteurs had reportedly laid explosives on a total of 11 pylons of the Leningrad and Kalinin nuclear power stations with the aim of inflicting "serious economic harm” on Russia and “damage its reputation."

The Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland close to St Petersburg, is Russia's biggest atomic power plant. 

The FSB said that the saboteurs were recruited last year by Ukraine's foreign intelligence service (FISU) and received special training at camps in Kiev and Mykolaiv region, adding that they had managed to enter Russia via Poland and Belarus.

According to the security service, the attacks were scheduled to take place on the eve of the May 9 anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

The statement further said that FSB forces were hunting for a third man with Ukrainian-Russian nationality, adding that 36.5 kilograms of C-4 plastic explosives, 61 detonators and 38 timers were discovered in the homes of the suspects and their suspected accomplices.

"The defendants have confessed to cooperating with the foreign intelligence service of Ukraine in order to prepare and commit sabotage on the territory of Russia," the FSB said.

It further said that its forces also detained two Russian nationals who had helped the trio in their plot.