Russia Accused of ‘Kidnapping’ Head of Ukraine Nuclear Plant

Ukraine’s nuclear power provider accused Russia on Saturday of “kidnapping” the head of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, a facility now occupied by Russian troops.

Russian forces seized the director-general of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ihor Murashov, around 4 p.m. Friday, Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said.

Energoatom said Russian troops stopped Murashov’s car, blindfolded him and then took him to an undisclosed location.

“His detention by (Russia) jeopardizes the safety of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant,” said Energoatom President Petro Kotin said.

Kotin demanded Russia immediately release Murashov.

Russia did not immediately acknowledge seizing the plant director.

The Zaporizhzhia plant repeatedly has been caught in the crossfire of the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian technicians continued running it after Russian troops seized the power station. The plant’s last reactor was shut down in September amid ongoing shelling near the facility.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has staff at the plant, did not immediately acknowledge Energoatom’s claim of Murashov’s capture by the Russians.

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