November 29, 2022

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Director general of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant detained by Russian patrol

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A serviceman with a Russian flag on his uniform stands guard near the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict outside the Russian-controlled city of Enerhodar in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine August 4, 2022

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KYIV (Reuters) -The director general of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was detained by a Russian patrol, Energoatom, the state-owned company in charge of the plant, said on Saturday.

Ihor Murashov was detained on his way from Europe’s largest nuclear plant to the town of Enerhodar around 4 p.m. (1300 GMT) on Friday, company chief Petro Kotin said in a statement.

“He was taken out of the car, and with his eyes blindfolded he was driven in an unknown direction,” Kotin wrote on the Telegram messaging app, adding there was no immediate word on Murashov’s fate.

The Zaporizhzhia plant has been a focal point of Russia’s seven-month invasion of Ukraine, as Moscow and Kyiv accuse each other of shelling the facility, risking a nuclear disaster.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for area around the plant, which is staffed by Ukrainians, to be demilitarized.

Murashov “bears main and exclusive responsibility for the nuclear and radiation safety” of the plant and his detention “jeopardizes the safety of operation of Ukraine and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant”, Kotin said.

He called on Russian forces to “stop immediately the acts of nuclear terrorism towards the management and personnel” of the plant and release Murashov.