| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Director general of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant detained by Russian patrol, Energoatom says

The director general of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power facility was seized by a Russian patrol on Saturday, according to Energoatom, the state-owned firm in control of the plant.

Ihor Murashov was stopped on his way from Europe’s largest nuclear facility to the town of Enerhodar on Friday at 4 p.m. (1300 GMT), according to company CEO Petro Kotin.

“He was pulled out of the automobile and driven in an unknown destination with his eyes blindfolded,” Kotin said on the Telegram messaging service, adding that there was no immediate information on Murashov’s fate.

The Zaporizhzhia plant has been a focal point of Russia’s seven-month invasion of Ukraine, as Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other of shelling the facility, risking a nuclear disaster.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for area around the plant, which is staffed by Ukrainians, to be demilitarized.

Murashov “bears main and exclusive responsibility for the nuclear and radiation safety” of the plant and his detention “jeopardizes the safety of operation of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant”, Kotin said.

He called on Russian forces to “stop immediately the acts of nuclear terrorism towards the management and personnel” of the plant and release Murashov.

  • Reuters