Russian forces have abducted the head of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukrainian operator Energoatom said on Saturday.
Ihor Murashov, director general of the power plant, was arrested by Russian patrols on his way from the facility to a nearby town on Friday afternoon, according to Energoatom, a state enterprise operating all four nuclear power plants in the country.
“The vehicle of the Director General of the [Zaporizhzhia plant] was stopped, he was taken out of the car, and with his eyes blindfolded he was driven in an unknown direction. For the time being there is no information on his fate,” Energoatom’s head, Petro Kotin, said in a statement.
Murashov’s detention “jeopardizes the safety of operation of Ukraine 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 is planning to transfer the Zaporizhzhia power plant to Rosatom, the Guardian reported. “They are trying to make our personnel just to sign the accurate deals for the work at Rosatom,” the news outlet quoted him as saying.
The power plant was in the spotlight earlier this month when it was taken off the electricity grid in response to Russian shelling. It is located in one of the areas that Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved to annex.