Spilnota Detector Media

Manipulation The IAEA is allegedly against imposing sanctions on Rosatom

Propagandists are disseminating information in the media that representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) oppose the imposition of sanctions against the Russian state corporation Rosatom. Like, this was stated by Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA. However, this is manipulation.

StopFake specialists drew attention to it. They pointed out that in fact the IAEA cannot impose sanctions and has no influence at all in this matter. Grossi said that he sees the possibility of negative consequences from the introduction of sanctions against Rosatom in terms of nuclear safety.

Rosatom combines assets in the energy, construction and engineering sectors. The corporation leads the world in terms of the largest portfolio of orders for the construction of nuclear power plants and provides services of this type in many countries. For example, Rosatom is building power units in Turkey, India, and Hungary. That is why, according to Grossi, although countries may politically support Ukraine, they will not support the imposition of sanctions against Rosatom, since they need the services of the corporation.

It is beneficial for Russian propagandists to spread fake information about the position of the IAEA, since this is an element of a campaign to depreciate the impact of sanctions on Russia. Within its framework, the Russians are trying to highlight the sanctions as not beneficial to anyone, which is why supposedly more and more Western politicians and representatives of international organizations refuse to support their introduction.

Fake Ukraine allegedly provokes nuclear escalation at Zaporizhzhia NPP

Pro-Kremlin media are spreading messages that it is the “Kyiv regime”, and not Russia, that is shelling Europe’s largest nuclear power plant - the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant. In asserting this, propaganda resources refer to a statement by Russian Foreign Ministry representative Zakharova.

However, this information is fake. It is Russia, after the seizure of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, that puts Ukraine and the world at risk of a nuclear disaster. They write about this in the Center for Strategic Communications and Security at the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine. Russia places soldiers of its occupation army on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, military equipment, and also illegally interferes with the operation of the nuclear power plant. Also, according to the Main Intelligence Directorate, Russia is simulating drone attacks on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in order to accuse Ukraine. And Zakharova’s words are simply a lie.

In the end, it is the Russian Federation that provokes nuclear escalation with repeated threats to use atomic weapons against Ukraine and other European countries. Previously, we refuted the information that the IAEA was allegedly “satisfied with the state of the Zaporizhzhia NPP under Russian control”.

Message Ukraine allegedly attacked the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant with drones and the IAEA condemned its actions

Russian propagandists on anonymous telegram channels and media, as well as through diplomatic channels, are distributing materials according to which Ukraine allegedly staged a provocation at the temporarily occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), attacking it with drones. They say that the International Nuclear Energy Agency (IAEA) condemned Ukraine for such actions in its recent statements and is ready to hold a meeting of the Board of Governors at the request of Russia on this situation. However, this is only the interpretation of propagandists.

The other day, drones actually exploded at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, but the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine noted that this was a provocation by Russia in order to discredit Ukraine. At the same time, the IAEA did not blame Ukraine for the attacks in its statements regarding the situation.

In Agency circles, the Russian narrative was actively disseminated by the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN in Vienna, Mikhail Ulianov. In particular, on his telegram he repeated the messages of Russian propaganda regarding the incident. On April 8, he sent a note to the current Chairman of the Board of Governors, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the IAEA Federico Martinsen, and IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi with a request to convene an urgent meeting on “the recent attacks and provocations of the Ukrainian armed forces against a Russian nuclear facility” not later than April 11. The note notes that it was created “according to instructions from Moscow”. Later, Ulianov confirmed in the same telegram channel that the IAEA would still hold a meeting on April 11 at the request of the Russian delegation.

This was also stated by Reuters sources, who at the same time note that they do not expect the IAEA to accept Russia’s position and that the meeting is more of a formal nature, where all parties will present their position.

The Russians are spreading such disinformation ahead of the meeting to try to lead a favorable message in countries where the position on Russian aggression has not yet been fully formed. In addition, this is an attempt to influence both foreign and domestic audiences, thus showing that Russia is actively represented in the international arena.  Detector Media previously wrote about what methods and techniques Russia uses to spread disinformation in international organizations using the example of the OSCE.

Manipulation The HJS think tank allegedly admits that there is inadequate control of hazardous radioactive materials in Ukraine

Russian telegram channels are disseminating a report from the HJS analytical center, which allegedly indicates the fact that Kyiv has insufficient control over dangerous radioactive materials. However, this is manipulation.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. They found out that the report analyzes the nuclear security situation in Ukraine against Russian missile strikes. The authors do not indicate that Kyiv does not sufficiently control radioactive materials. In contrast, the report notes that the main threat to radiation safety comes from Russian attacks on nuclear facilities in Ukraine, which poses serious threats to NATO countries, including the UK.

The study makes recommendations to the UK and other NATO countries on the situation, such as using diplomatic and political means to reduce the nuclear threat, supporting the IAEA to create a “nuclear safety zone” around Ukrainian nuclear power plants and deploying radiation detection instruments. It is noted that the UK and NATO should initiate the development of an international legal instrument for the security of nuclear facilities during armed conflicts.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) did not reveal any violations during its inspections of nuclear facilities controlled by Ukraine. Moreover, the IAEA Board of Governors approved a resolution on the need to return the Zaporizhzhia NPP to full control of Ukraine.

Propagandists spread such manipulations in order to discredit Ukraine and divert attention from Russia's actions. Detector Media has already written about other Russian manipulations concerning the IAEA.

Fake The emergency shutdown of the Khmelnytsk nuclear power plant reactor allegedly occurred due to American fuel

Propagandists in the Russian media are frightened with a “nuclear apocalypse” due to the disconnection of the second power unit of the Khmelnytsk NPP from the network. They say that this “emergency shutdown” was caused by “nuclear fuel from Westinghouse from the United States”. They appeal to the fact that reactors of Russian origin operate only on Russian nuclear fuel, so changing suppliers is very risky. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that the national operator Energoatom reported that the shutdown of the second power unit of the Khmelnytsk NPP occurred due to “fluctuations in the axial shift parameter of the rotor of the high-pressure cylinder of the turbine unit with an increasing tendency”. This is a mechanical problem and not a nuclear safety issue. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that the outage had no impact on nuclear safety. Ukrainian nuclear power plants have long expanded their capabilities and abandoned Russian fuel in favor of American fuel. Propagandists are trying to discredit this process and again “throw stones” at the West by spreading these fakes.

Fake The IAEA is allegedly “satisfied with the state of the Zaporizhzhia NPP under Russian control”

In the context of the visit of the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Rafael Grossi to Russia, propagandists claim that the IAEA directors allegedly “convinced the safety” of the plant, as a result of which Grossi allegedly “remained satisfied with the technical condition of the Zaporizhzhia NPP and the qualifications of the personnel”. However, this is fake.

Specialists from the StopFake project drew attention to it. They found out that in February-March 2024, IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi made three working trips dedicated to the safety issues of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. During this period, Grossi visited Kyiv, where he discussed with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi the current security situation at the seized Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the risks posed by its occupation by Russian troops. Grossi then noted that “there is no basis for self-relaxation or belief that everything has stabilized there - this is far from the case”.

After the meeting with Zelenskyi, Grossi visited the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. He warned Russians about the restart of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, noting that basic safety principles were not observed at the station. Grossi noted that the station is located on the front line and is subject to shelling, the nuclear power plant is used by the invaders as a heavy weapon, and after the Russian terrorist attack on the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station, the nuclear power plant was left without a stable source of water supply. In addition, Grossi emphasized that the main problem of Zaporizhzhia NPP is the lack of qualified personnel at the station, since Russia does not allow employees of the national operator Energoatom to work there. In addition, Russia categorically refuses to allow IAEA experts into most of the turbine rooms and equipment of the Zaporizhzhia NPP.

Grossi’s meeting with Putin on March 6, 2024 did not change the situation and did not reduce significant risks to nuclear safety at the Zaporizhzhia NPP, the IAEA noted in a statement following the meeting. It is emphasized that in the first days of March 2024 alone, IAEA experts who were at the site witnessed three shelling attacks carried out from the territory of the Zaporizhzhia NPP. According to the IAEA, the explosions “indicate the use of heavy weapons from the area near the plant”.

So, all statements by Russian propaganda that the IAEA is “satisfied with Russia’s actions” are outright fakes. On the contrary, both the head of the Agency and his experts report catastrophic violations of nuclear safety rules by the Russian army at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Detector Media has previously written about how Russia conducts its disinformation in international organizations, in particular in the OSCE.

Fake IAEA denied Budanov’s statement that Russian troops mined ZNPP

In the Russian segment of Facebook and in the media broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, information is being disseminated that the IAEA allegedly refuted the statement by the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyryl Budanov, about mining by the Russian military at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. It's fake.

As fact-checkers of the Stop Fake project note, the IAEA press service published a press release on the official website and confirmed the mining. The press release says that the station is mined around the perimeter and in some places inside. Therefore, the claims of Russian propaganda are false. The only thing that the IAEA does not confirm is the report of mines planted near the cooling pond. The visit of IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi took place on June 15.

Thus, Russian propaganda wants to shift the responsibility for the crimes to the victim and convince the whole world that Ukraine is creating provocations at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Earlier, Detector Media denied the fake that Kyiv disrupted the IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Fake Kyiv disrupted the IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

In the Russian media, broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric, and in the Russian segment of Facebook, information is being disseminated that Ukraine has “thwarted” the rotation of the IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia NPP. The rotation did not take place due to the fact that allegedly the Ukrainian military began shelling. Russian propaganda refers to collaborator Volodymyr Rohov, a representative of the occupation administration of the occupied part of the Zaporizhzhia region. It's fake.

According to Stop Fake experts, the IAEA mission did not really take place on the specified date, but it was postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions. This statement was made by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi.

“The planned rotation of the current IAEA team of experts at the site - the eighth one since the mission was established last September - has been delayed due to local weather conditions”, Grossi said in a statement.

Russian propagandists once again want to convince the whole world that Ukraine is an aggressor and it is committing so-called provocations at the ZNPP. Earlier, Detector Media refuted the fake that the IAEA resolution allows Ukraine to shell the ZNPP.

Fake Ukraine “refused to create a protective zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant”

Such information was disseminated in social networks, in particular in pro-Russian telegram channels. Reports say that recently Ukraine flatly refused to create a protective zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant seized by Russian invaders. Like, Ukraine “is not ready to implement the IAEA initiative, which would prevent an attack from the territory of the power plant”. It is not true.

Analysts of the StopFake project investigated this case and found that the Ukrainian side did not make such statements regarding the Zaporizhzhia NPP. As analysts explain, Ukraine, on the contrary, supports all the efforts of the international community to disarm the captured Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, while Russia does not stop terrorist actions at the ZNPP, ignoring the statements of Western countries.

It is Russia that provokes the possibility of a nuclear threat due to its invasion of Ukraine and, in particular, the seizure of nuclear facilities. The shelling of nuclear scientific installations at Ukrainian research institutes, the launching of missiles over nuclear facilities in Ukraine - these actions of Russian occupiers violate all existing conventions on the treatment of nuclear facilities.

By spreading this fake, propagandists want to convince that Ukraine is an aggressor and that it is carrying out so-called provocations at the ZNPP. Thus, the authors of messages use the tactics of reflection, attributing their actions to opponents because intimidation and “nuclear blackmail” is one of the ways Russian propaganda achieves its goals.

We recall that earlier Detector Media denied the fake that Ukraine allegedly stores weapons on the territory of the ZNPP and analyzed the manipulation, in which they claimed that the Ukrainian leadership had imposed sanctions on the Zaporizhzhia NPP.