The head of the besieged Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine was freed on Monday, three days after he was blindfolded while leaving work and taken away by Russian forces.
The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, said he received confirmation that Ihor Murashov was returned safely to his family.
Murashov’s arrest came on the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Zaporizhzhia region, where the nuclear plant is located, along with Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson.
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Ukrainian nuclear operator Energoatom also confirmed that Murashov was released from captivity on Monday.
“The release came about thanks to the wide coverage of the exceptional event and the extraordinary efforts of IAEA Director General Raphael Grossi, who played a major role in freeing Ihor Murashov from Russian captivity,” Energoatom wrote on Telegram.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant was captured by Russian forces in early March, but its Ukrainian personnel have continued to operate amid intermittent shelling and close fighting.
Grossi and a team from the IAEA traveled to the plant in early September and have maintained a presence in Zaporizhzhia.