The head of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP) has been ‘kidnapped by Russian forces, Ukrainian authorities have said.
In its Telegram account, Energoatom, Ukraine’s state nuclear operator, said: “The car was stopped, he was forcibly detained and blindfolded and taken to an unknown direction. Currently, there is no information about Igor Murashov’s whereabouts and fate.”
The statement continued: “The General Director of the ZNPP is a licensed person – he bears the main and exclusive responsibility for the nuclear and radiation safety of the ZNPP.
“His detention poses a danger to the operation of Europe’s largest nuclear plant.”
Zaporizhzhia region has been under Russian control since the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry stated: “This crime is another manifestation of state terrorism on the part of Russia and a gross violation of international law. Russia should immediately dismiss the General Director of the ZNPP.
“We call on the international community, in particular the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and G7 to also take decisive measures to this end.”
Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, said: “Such a detention of any member of the plant staff would be a source of grave concern in itself, but also for its psychological impact and pressure on the rest of the staff – which is detrimental to nuclear safety and security.”