The US State Department sent an urgent message to all US embassies in Europe telling them not to retweet the Tweet from the United States Embassy in Kyiv calling Russia’s attack on the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant a war crime this morning, according to the post reviewed by CNN.
The message is an indication that the US government may not condone the embassy’s war crime allegation.
“All – do not/retweet the Kyiv Embassy’s tweet about the bombing of the facility as a possible war crime,” the post read. “If you retweeted it, undo it ASAP.”
As Russian forces continue their attack on major Ukrainian cities, the country’s largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia, was attacked on Friday. A fire there initially raised fears of a potential accident, but the fire has since died down. The International Atomic Energy Agency has also said that the plant’s reactors are safe and no radioactive material has been released.
So far, US President Joe Biden’s administration has not declared any of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine to be war crimes. President Biden said he was following Russia’s actions closely when asked about it on Wednesday.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken made brief remarks several times today in Brussels, but he did not mention the attack on Ukraine’s nuclear power plant.
The United States has no reason to doubt Russian claims that it controls the nuclear power plant, a senior defense official said on Friday. But the official also said it was “deeply concerning” that the United States did not know what Russian control looks like, the expertise of the people there and their near-term intentions.
NBC was first to report on the message.
CNN’s Jamie Crawford contributed reporting for this post.