How Putin Plans to Unleash a Radioactive Apocalypse on Europe

The Russian leader’s “accidental” armageddon games have a logical (but dooming) economic justification.

Levi Borba
7 min readAug 31, 2022


Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant under Russian Occupation
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant under Russian occupation. Photo by James Waterhouse, CC.

The almost daily bombings of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant are one of the most recent events in the war in Ukraine that has been getting more attention lately.

All the attention this place is receiving is not undeserving. If anything, we should be way more alarmed by the increasing risk the whole European continent is facing every time a shell or a missile hits that building (which is, fortunately, extremely resistant).

But why is Russia bombing a nuclear power plant?

Not any ordinary, little power plant, but Europe’s largest power plant (the largest outside Japan, South Korea, Canada, and China).

The motivations behind bombing this power plant are far more horrifying and revolting than you could ever imagine.

The increasing chances of a catastrophe are certainly of historical and global proportions.

The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

Zaporizhzhia — a strange word to pronounce even for me, a person very familiar with Slavic languages — is a region in south-eastern Ukraine. It was once inhabited by the Zaporizhzhian Cossacks, the autonomous people that once challenged the surrounding powers of the Tsardom of Russia, the Crimean Khanate, and Poland-Lithuania. For many historians, the modern Ukrainian state is the heir of the Zaporizhzhia Cossacks.

In this same region, there is also a gigantic nuclear power plant: the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which we will call here ZNPP for a matter of simplicity.

The ZNPP has always had remarkable safety and security standards and boasts an immense capacity of generating 5700 MW. To understand the immensity of this number, let’s put it into perspective:

  • The largest power plant — of all types — in Germany (Neurath, using coal) can generate 4400 MW.
  • The largest power plant (again of all types) in the UK is the Drax power station, which burns coal to generate a maximum of 3960 MW.