Ukraine: Zaporizhia power plant director arrested by Russian soldiers, Energoatom says
Kyiv (Reuters) – The director of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is on Ukrainian territory but occupied by Russian troops, was detained by a Russian patrol, the state-owned company in charge of operating the site said on Saturday.
Ihor Murachov was arrested around 16:00 (13:00 GMT) on Friday while en route to Enerhodar, the group’s chairman Petro Kotin said in a statement.
“He was taken out of the car, blindfolded and taken by car to an undisclosed location,” he said via Telegram, adding that he had no immediate information about his fate.
The Zaporijia power plant has become a key issue in the conflict in Ukraine, in which Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of bombing the plant at the risk of triggering a nuclear catastrophe.
Ihor Murachov “takes sole responsibility for the nuclear and radioactive safety” of the site, and his arrest “endangers the safety of the activities of the largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine and Europe,” underlined Petro Kotin.
He called on Russian troops to “immediately stop acts of nuclear terrorism targeting the site’s management and employees” and to release Ihor Murachov.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it was trying to gather information about Ihor Murachov.
“We have contacted the Russian authorities and asked for an explanation,” a spokesman for the United Nations-based organization told Reuters.
(Report Pavel Polityuk, French version Marc Angrand)
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