Putin might sabotage ZNPP to restore his authority – report

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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin may consider ordering an attack on the occupied Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) to bolster his frayed authority inside Russia, The Times said in a July 3 article.

Read also: Zelenskyy says Russia could blow up Zaporizhzhya NPP remotely, even after its de-occupation

The publication suggests that Putin, seeking to uphold his image among his followers, may resort to drastic measures due to the stalled invasion of Ukraine, which has become a "massive strategic blunder."

The recent mutiny by the Wagner mercenaries could further spur Putin's drastic decision-making, The Times suggests. The article highlights the warm public reception the mercenaries received in Rostov-on-Don, which they briefly controlled on June 24.

Interestingly, The Times claims that Putin didn't quell the armed coup by overpowering Wagner leader Prigozhin, but through negotiation.

“This is a perilous moment for Putin's regime, hence the heightened risk for the region,” the report reads.

“In an attempt to regain political favor, Putin might be tempted to intensify the war, looking for a quick victory.”

Read also: Russian invaders leaving Zaporizhzhya NPP amid fears of terrorist attack, says military intelligence

The publication suggests that Putin's intent in regaining the military initiative is not only to decisively beat Ukraine, but also to prove to a dispirited Russian military and public that he is still in control.

Following the explosion at the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station, which The Times attributes to Russian forces, the newspaper warns of a possible terror strike on the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant.

"After the Russians blew up the dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric station, it's conceivable they have plans to target the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant," the article said.

The newspaper argues that NATO countries should warn Moscow that any disruptive actions targeting the ZNPP would be met with a robust response.

Read also: Zaporizhzhya NPP reconnects to backup power line after four-month absence

"That would be the quickest way to end this cruel war and neutralize Putin’s corrupt regime," the authors conclude.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine