Kyiv: Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov claimed that President Volodymyr Zelensky tried intended provocations at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) to convince the West to establish a no-fly zone over the nation, Asian News International (ANI) reported.
"Of course, it was a deliberate provocation because, first of all, no sane Russian or Ukrainian soldier would ever dare to carry out this sort of provocation on the territory of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, which has six nuclear power units," Azarov said. "Even a minor fire at the training and retraining centre was still an emergency situation at such a supercategory nuclear facility," he added.
Russian Defence Ministry had alleged on Friday that Ukrainian authorities attempted a provocation by accusing the former of creating a source of radioactive contamination at the Zaporizhzhia NPP.
A group of Russian National Guard patrolling nearby the power station was attacked by Ukrainian forces. The latter opened fire on them through the Russian team returned the fire and suppressed the Ukrainian attack, ANI reports.
He said that the attack was a planned provocation, with Zelenksy's knowledge. It was evident from the President's sudden reaction, that too at night and his hasty message to the US and the UK with false information, Azarov said.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that countries that asked to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be considered to have entered into an armed conflict against Russia. He was addressing a meeting with Aeroflot employees, Agence France-Presse reported. Imposing such a move would have "colossal and catastrophic consequences" for Europe as well as the whole world.