The United States is "deeply" concerned about Russia's intentions for Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that it assaulted and captured overnight, a senior defense official told CNN on Friday.
"We don't have a firm sense on the nature of the attack on the power plant, so I can't give you a blow by blow of exactly how that occurred and who the Russians employed and what they employed to make that assault on the power plant. But the main thing is we don't see any radioactive leakage,” said the official, who was not named by CNN.
The official added that the U.S. is "deeply" concerned about what Russia plans to do with their control over the power plant, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, and that the U.S. is unaware of exactly how many people Russia now has at the plant and what they are capable of "in terms of continuation of operations."
The U.S. also doesn't know how much expertise the Russians now controlling the plant have or what they plan on doing in the short-term.
"We are in no position to refute claims that they are in control of the nuclear power plant. But we don't know exactly right now what that control means and what it looks like. So I would be loath to say that we know with specificity, you know, how many people they have there and what their control over the power plant looks like in terms of continuation of operations. And again, that's one of the things that deeply concerns us, is that we don't know what expertise they have, what they've applied to this, what their intentions are in the near term. I mean all of that is of great concern," the official told CNN.
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