Highlights

  • Moscow accused of 'kidnapping' head of Europe's largest nuclear power plant
  • 'Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant chief detained hours after annexation'
  • No confirmation yet from Russia

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Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant chief 'kidnapped' by Russian troops, claims Ukraine

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

Ukraine's nuclear power provider accused Russia on Saturday of “kidnapping” the head of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, a facility now occupied by Russian troops and located in a region of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved to annex illegally.

Russian forces seized the director-general of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Ihor Murashov, around 4 p.m. Friday, Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said. That was just hours after Putin, in a sharp escalation of his war, signed treaties to absorb Moscow-controlled Ukrainian territory into Russia.

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

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

Kotin demanded that Russia immediately release Murashov.

Russia did not immediately acknowledge seizing the plant director. The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has staff at the plant, did not immediately acknowledge Energoatom's claim of Murashov's capture.

The Zaporizhzhia plant repeatedly has 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.

ALSO WATCH: Ukraine war: Putin signs treaties absorbing Ukrainian regions

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