Russia kidnaps head of Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, says operator

Russian forces have kidnapped the head of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, Ukrainian operator Energoatom said on Saturday.

Ihor Murashov, director general of the power plant, was arrested Friday afternoon by Russian patrols en route from the facility to a nearby town, according to Energoatom, a state-owned company that operates all four nuclear power plants in the country.

“The vehicle of the Director General of the [Zaporizhzhia plant] was stopped, he was removed from the car and driven blindfolded in an unknown direction. There is currently no information about his fate.” Energoatom’s head, Petro Kotin, said in a statement.

Murashov’s detention “endangers the security of the operation of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant,” Kotin said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has requested clarification, Reuters reports.

Kotin believes Russia plans to transfer Zaporizhzhya’s power plant to Rosatom, The Guardian reported. “They’re just trying to get our staff to sign the right deals for work at Rosatom,” the news channel quoted him as saying.

The power plant was in the spotlight earlier this month when it was taken off the grid in response to Russian shelling. It is located in one of the territories annexed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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