Russian forces have kidnapped the head of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukrainian operator Energoatom said on Saturday.
Ihor Murashov, the power plant’s director general, was arrested by Russian patrols as he headed from the facility to a nearby town on Friday afternoon, according to Energoatom, a state-owned company that operates the country’s four nuclear power plants.
“The vehicle of the General Director of the [Zaporizhzhia plant] he was arrested, taken out of the car and blindfolded and driven in an unknown direction. At the moment there is no information about the fate of him ”, Energoatom boss Petro Kotin said in a statement.
Murashov’s arrest “jeopardizes the security of the Ukraine operation and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant,” Kotin said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has asked for clarification, Reuters reported.
Kotin believes that Russia plans to transfer the Zaporizhzhia power plant to Rosatom, The Guardian reported. “They are trying to make our staff only sign the precise agreements for the work at Rosatom,” the media outlet cited by him said.
The power plant was in the spotlight earlier this month when it was disconnected from the power grid in response to Russian bombing. It is located in one of the areas that Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved to annex.