Russia blames Ukrainian Special Forces for the attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station
The Russian Defense Ministry Account of Situation:
- “The Ukraine Government attempted to carry out a monstrous provocation.”
- A Ukrainian sabotage group attacked a National Guard patrol.
- When retreating after the attack, the Ukrainian combatants set fire to the power station’s building.
- Russian troops have controlled the nuclear power station since February 28. Background radiation at the station is within norms and the station is operating normally.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has reported it is aware of the reports of artillery strikes against the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station.
The IAEA is in contact with Ukrainian authorities about the situation.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky previously shared an emotional message on social media warning that an attack by Russian troops against the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station threatened Europe’s security. President Zelensky called the incident “Russia’s nuclear terrorism.”
Indicative estimates of Russia’s losses as of March 4, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/d5NbS3A6aP
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 4, 2022
Russia Clamping Down on ‘Free Press’
Getting accurate information is increasingly difficult. In Russia the government has ordered all media outlets to only report official Russian government news. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are being either blocked or throttled. Independent media in Russia is closing rather than bowing to the threat of government penalties. Znak.com which was one of Russia’s biggest free press outlets outside Moscow and St. Petersburg is closing due to too many restrictions on journalism in Russia.
Lawmakers in the Russian State Duma have passed legislation making it a felony to disseminate “fake information” about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this includes information that discredits Russia’s armed forces, or information that incites foreign economic sanctions.
Once the measure is fully passed into law, anyone in Russia breaking this law will be subject to penalties of up to 15 years in prison. Duma Speaker Volodin says that the law could come into force as soon as possible, likely later today.
It’s with a heavy heart that we have had to suspend @BBCNews operations in Russia until we assess impact of new laws which outlaw independent journalism. Thoughts with colleagues in Moscow whose voices cannot be silenced for long.
— Jonathan Munro (@jonathancmunro) March 4, 2022
Russian President / French President – “The Worst is Still to Come”
Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday shows perhaps that President Putin is so focused on taking control of Ukraine that he does not care about the international consequenses. All reports are the 90 minute telephone call presented a markedly more tense exchange than previous conversations between the two Presidents.
A senior French official said it left French President Macron convinced, “The worst is yet to come”, and that Russian President Putin aims to take control of all of Ukraine.
“Your country will pay dearly because it will end up as an isolated country, weakened and under sanctions for a very long time,” the official says President Macron told President Putin.
Macron reportedly told the Russian dictator “Not to lie to himself.”