Head of Ukrainian nuclear power plant ‘kidnapped by Russian forces’

State nuclear company Energoatom said Ihor Murashov, director-general of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, was taken on Friday.

The Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant and the Dnipro river
The Zaporizhzhya nuclear plant and the Dnipro river

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

Russian forces seized Ihor Murashov, director-general of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, at about 4pm on Friday, Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said.

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

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

Mr Kotin demanded that Russia immediately releases Mr Murashov.

Russia did not immediately acknowledge seizing the plant director.

The Zaporizhzhia plant has repeatedly 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 Mr Murashov’s capture by the Russians.

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