Russia has leveled accusations against the West, claiming it sponsors “nuclear terrorism” after a Ukrainian drone reportedly struck the town of Kurchatov in western Russia. Kurchatov is home to a nuclear power station similar to the ill-fated Chernobyl plant.
According to Roman Starovoit, the governor of Russia’s Kursk region that shares a border with Ukraine, the Ukrainian drone targeted a residential apartment building in Kurchatov, a Soviet-era town situated near the Kursk nuclear power station, which remains operational. Starovoit stated that the drone crashed overnight but assured that no residents were harmed. The incident caused minor damage to the facade and windows of the apartment building, and authorities pledged to assist residents in restoring their homes.
Ukraine has not issued an immediate response to the allegations, as it rarely comments on suspected drone and sabotage attacks inside Russia while frequently enduring massed Russian drone attacks.
The incident has sparked an angry reaction from the Russian Foreign Ministry, particularly due to the drone’s proximity to a nuclear power station. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova sarcastically questioned whether the countries supplying drones to the Ukrainian regime would relocate to Mars in the event of a nuclear disaster, emphasizing that they would not have sufficient time to do so. Zakharova accused NATO countries of sponsoring nuclear terrorism by supporting the Kyiv regime.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov affirmed the effectiveness of Russia’s air defense systems, dismissing unconfirmed social media reports suggesting their deployment to repel the drone attack. However, he acknowledged Ukraine’s continued attempts to target Russian locations.
Last August, Russia’s FSB security service announced enhanced security measures around nuclear facilities following an incident in which alleged Ukrainian saboteurs destroyed electricity lines supplying the Kursk nuclear power plant, causing temporary disruptions. Alexei Likhachev, the head of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear corporation, assured the public on state TV that nuclear power plant security was “under control” and all necessary measures, including air defense capabilities, had been implemented.
Russia and Ukraine have long accused each other of jeopardizing nuclear safety at various facilities. They have exchanged allegations of shelling that could potentially lead to a nuclear catastrophe, particularly concerning the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant located in Russian-controlled territory in southern Ukraine. (Reuters)