Ukraine nuclear mystery: Russian troops DROP DEAD at seized plant in unexplained incident

Ukraine: Fire breaks out at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant

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Soldiers were “so scared that they ran around in a panic” with a handful now in intensive care, according to Dmytro Orlov, the mayor of Enerhodar where the power plant is located. The circumstances behind the mass hysteria are baffling, although Vladimir Putin’s men had been using the location to store several weapons, including missile systems. Mayor Orlov said nine soldiers had been rushed to a local hospital with different degrees of severity.

He also confirmed “some have died” but would not elaborate further on that detail.

The mayor said: “One of them was brought in in a serious condition and has been put in intensive care.

“Some have died but we cannot name their exact number at the moment.”

Mr Orlov added: “They were so frightened that they ran around the territory of the station in a panic, and blocked two shifts of operational personnel at the plant for a very long time instead of changing shifts as they were supposed to.”

On Friday, the head of Ukrainian nuclear agency Energoatom had warned the situation inside the nuclear power plant had turned “extremely tense”, with up to 500 Russian soldiers controlling it.

Petro Kotin said: “The occupiers bring their machinery there, including missile systems, from which they already shell the other side of the river Dnipro and the territory of Nikopol.

“They physically control the perimeter. The occupiers’ heavy machinery and trucks with weapons and explosives remain on the territory of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.”

The power plant, which creates around a fifth of Ukraine’s entire electricity, was taken over by Russian troops on March 4 – less than two weeks after the war began.

The opposition forces have since expanded their influence and now control the administrative buildings and station.

But the mysterious deaths at the nuclear power station will no doubt inflict yet another blow to Putin’s struggling war efforts in Ukraine.

Some 50,000 Russian troops are so far believed dead, wounded or captured in the conflict – including dozens of high-ranking personnel with close links to the President.

It has got so desperate that the Kremlin has contracted mercenary firm the Wagner Group to supply soldiers.

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However in a further damaging blow, even their resources are dwindling following fierce fighting in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

The UK Ministry of Defence claimed Russia is increasingly relying on “convicts and blacklisted individuals” to plug the gaping gaps in its depleted forces.

On Monday, the MoD wrote in an intelligence update: “Russia has used private military company Wagner to reinforce front-line forces and to mitigate manning shortfalls and casualties.

“Wagner has almost certainly played a central role in recent fighting, including the capture of Popasna and Lysyschansk. This fighting has inflicted heavy casualties on the group.

“Wagner are lowering recruitment standards, hiring convicts and formerly blacklisted individuals. Very limited training is made available to new recruits.

“This will highly likely impact on the future operational effectiveness of the group and will reduce its value as a prop to the regular Russian forces.”

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