Russia accused of 'kidnapping' nuclear plant head
The head of Europe's largest nuclear power plant was kidnapped by Russian forces, Ukraine's nuclear power company has said.
Ukraine's nuclear power provider on Saturday accused Russia of kidnapping the head of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, a facility now under the control of Russian forces.
Ihor Murashov, the director-general of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, was seized by Russian forces on Friday afternoon, Ukrainian state nuclear company Energoatom said.
"There is no knowledge of his fate," Kotin wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Russian troops stopped Murashov's car, blindfolded him and then took him to an undisclosed location, according to Energoatom.
"His detention by [Russia] jeopardizes the safety of Ukraine and Europe's largest nuclear power plant," Energoatom President Petro Kotin said.
Kotin called for Murashov's immediate release.
Russia did not immediately acknowledge seizing the facility's director.
The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has repeatedly been caught in the crossfire since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Ukrainian technicians continued running it after Russian troops seized control the power station and surrounding area in March.
The plant's last reactor was shut down in September amid ongoing shelling near the facility in southeastern Ukraine.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, which has staff at the plant, did not immediately acknowledge Energoatom's claim of Murashov's capture by the Russians.
The IAEA has warned that fighting risks igniting a nuclear catastrophe and has called for a "safety and security zone" to be set around the plant.
Zaporizhzhia is one of the four Ukrainian regions illegally annexed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.