As I understand it, both Russia and Ukraine have admitted carrying out some limited shooting in the vicinity of the reactors.

  • Russia admitted shooting on some nearby "training buildings" in March, during what it says was an Ukrainian infiltration. (Footage shows at least shooting from BMPs and possibly RPGs, but I'm not sure Russia has admitted to any specifics, besides shooting at the training complex.)

  • Ukraine admitted dropping some small bombs or grenades from drones on the Russian troop encampment that was there in July, but has since been evacuated. (Ukraine themselves released footage of the drone attack.)

As far as I can tell, the contested-origin damage consists (at least) of

  • a "rocket explosion" near the spent nuclear fuel storage

[Dutchman] Zwijnenburg says the debris resembles a BM-27 Uragan short-range artillery rocket. Both Ukraine and Russia use the rockets, but they're usually fired in groups, or salvos, he says. The appearance of just a single weapon is "very strange."

"It's hard to establish the trajectory of the missile that hit the facility," he says. It may have been deliberate or a misfired weapon from either side.

  • three holes in the roofs of two buildings near the reactors. (These appear to be different/larger than the roof holes made by Russia's BMP firing in March. I'm not sure if those larger holes are in the turbine buildings in which Russia parked military trucks at one point. Also not clear if those are the roofs from where Russia seemingly claims its troops shot down Ukrainian drones. Actually, the TASS report is different than what Reuters says Russia said on that. According to TASS, the ("kamikaze") drone was shot down and "fell down on the roof of the plant’s special building". TASS also seems to claim that the drone's actual target may been a different building, the "spent nuclear fuel storage facility", which interestingly is the same one near which the previously mentioned "rocket explosion" took place.)
  • explosions in the residential area of Enerhodar, where I understand the staff [normally] sleeps, but it seems this area is about 3-4 km away from the actual reactors (judging from google maps).

Are there other significant & contested incidents close to the reactors, resulting in actual damage? (Also, have any of those I listed above as contested have actually been admitted as either intentional or accidental attack by their own side, so as to remove them from the contested list?)

  • 2
    Do we count the yesterday's "Normandy landing" claimed by Russia (did not see any independent validation yet) where they say Ukraine has hoped to storm the facility by force and then hold it? I don't think it resolved to any kind of fighting in proximity of the plant but it was supposed to. One source is yesterday's Yuri Podolyaka review.
    – alamar
    Sep 2, 2022 at 8:22
  • @alamar: no, I'm looking for actual damage (and of contested origin). Sep 2, 2022 at 9:15
  • 5-10 days back there were satellite pix of transmission lines - pretty nearby - on fire and that was supposedly why the plant got disconnected from the grid. are you counting those already? Sep 2, 2022 at 17:19
  • Is this a politics question, or is it a question about something that might be of interest to politicians. For example, questions about global warming are off topic, even though global warming is a topic of interest to politicians. Similarly questions about military damage are off topic, even though politicians may be interested.
    – James K
    Sep 2, 2022 at 18:26
  • @JamesK: political enough I think since both Russia and Ukraine have traded sometimes vague claims of shelling "the power plant". So what exactly they disagree was shelled by whom is interesting enough. Sep 2, 2022 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


Based on "Italian Philosophers" comments, it seems that damage to power lines connecting the plant to the exterior qualifies (too) because

  • satellite photos show evidence of burned up areas on their route, so reasonably probable/objective evidence of damage

enter image description here

  • conflicting claims as to who'd done it, e.g. on August 9 (at least) Russia claimed Ukraine attacked the lines, but Ukraine denies it.

It's also worth noting that the lines run for several kilometers on land before crossing the river, and since we've seen "live" explosions at a similar distance front the plant in Enerhodar, it's quite plausible the lines were similarly damaged. Also worth noting, the lines going south from the plant have might been damaged by fires or explosions too, but Reuters has a less detailed photo of that area.

enter image description here

Le Monde OTOH has a photo from Aug 24 showing fires burning in the south, along the route of those power lines.

enter image description here

(The later article claims 3 of the 750 kW lines run north, which is at odds with what the Reuters sketches show.) But this also confirms another dispute as to the cause/origin.

The cause of the large fire on the southern side of the plant is disputed. As can be seen on satellite images released in the middle of the day, the main area of the fire is only one mile from reactor number six and just 500 meters from the electrical substation which converts the electricity produced by the turbines into power that can be fed into the grid. As in most incidents of this type, both sides accused each other of bombing the site.


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