RUSSIA/UKRAINE: The state-owned firm in control of the plant announced on Saturday that the director general of the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine had been detained by a Russian patrol, and the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it was looking for “clarifications.”
Ihor Murashov was seized on Friday while travelling from the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, Zaporizhzhia, to the town of Enerhodar, according to a statement from Petro Kotin, the chairman of state-owned Energoatom.
There is currently no information on Murashov’s whereabouts, Kotin stated on the Telegram messaging app. “He was taken out of the car, and with his eyes blindfolded he was driven in an unknown direction.”
Russia hasn’t made any public remarks on the situation. Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was urged to take “all possible immediate actions to urgently free” Murashov, according to Kotin.
In response to a request for comment from Reuters, an IAEA representative stated: “We have contacted Russian authorities and are seeking clarifications.”
Russia’s seven-month invasion of Ukraine has focused attention on the Zaporizhzhia plant as Moscow and Kyiv accuse one another of shelling the facility, endangering the nation’s nuclear stockpile.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, has called for the demilitarization of the area surrounding the factory, which is still staffed by Ukrainians.
In his message on Telegram, Kotin stated that Murashov “bears main and only responsible for the nuclear and radiation safety” of the plant and that his incarceration “jeopardizes the safety of operation of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.”
Kotin pleaded with the Russian military to free Murashov and “halt immediately the acts of nuclear terrorism targeting the management and workers” of the plant.