Russia kidnaps prominent Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant official, Ukraine says – National

A deputy director of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been abducted by Russian forces and is being held at an unknown location, Ukrainian nuclear energy company Energoatom said on Tuesday.

In a message on the Telegram messaging app, Energoatom said the official, Valeriy Martynyuk, was arrested on Monday. The Russian Defense Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Energoatom called on the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, to take « all possible measures » to help free Martynyuk. The IAEA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Grossi was due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, according to the Kremlin.

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The incident follows the detention of then plant chief Ihor Murashov on October 1. Grossi announced his release on Oct. 3, after which the IAEA said Murashov would not resume his duties as plant chief.

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The facility, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, was captured by Russia at the start of the invasion of Ukraine, but is still operated by Ukrainian personnel.

Russia announced plans last week for its personnel to take control of the plant, a move that was rejected by Energoatom chief Petro Kotin. Kotin appointed himself director of the plant and said that decisions regarding its operation would be made in Kyiv.


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