Lavrov Calls Claims That Russia Is Planning Attack on Nuclear Plant ‘Nonsense’

Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill to trigger NATO's Article 5 if an attack on a nuclear facility in Ukraine contaminates NATO territory

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that Ukrainian allegations about Russia planning an attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant are “utter nonsense.”

Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed Russia was planning a “terrorist attack” on the ZNPP, which has been controlled by Russian forces since March 2022.

“Intelligence has received information that Russia is considering the scenario of a terrorist act at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant — a terrorist act with a release of radiation,” he said.

Ukraine has previously launched attacks on the ZNPP in an effort to regain control of the plant. According to a report from The Times of London, Ukrainian special forces soldiers launched an attack on the ZNPP from the north bank of the Dnieper River, attempting to cross the water to the south bank, where the plant is located.

The assault failed as the Ukrainian soldiers could not cross the river due to Russian fire. The US backed the attack on the ZNPP, which is Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, as the Ukrainians used HIMARS rocket launchers to hit Russian positions on the south bank of the river. A Pentagon source told The Times that the US provided “time-sensitive” intelligence to Ukrainian special forces.

Amid Ukraine’s allegations that Russia is plotting an attack on the ZNPP, US Senators Lindsey Grahan (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced legislation related to potential attacks on nuclear facilities.

The bill would declare that Russia’s use of tactical nuclear weapons or the “destruction of a nuclear facility” that dispersed “radioactive contaminates into NATO territory” would trigger NATO’s Article 5, which outlines the alliance’s mutual defense commitment.

The Graham-Blumenthal bill came after a group of Republicans led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) put forward legislation to reaffirm that NATO’s Artice 5 does not override congressional war powers. Explaining the bill, Paul noted that while NATO members are required to assist each other in the event of an attack under Article 5, military action is not mandated.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.